Ebrahim has Watford Town in a spin
Shenley skipper takes 5-49 and hits 121*
SHL Division Two
Watford Town 207
Shenley Village 211-3
Shenley Village won by seven wickets
DION Ebrahim once again starred with bat and ball as Shenley Village’s recent vein of form continued with a seven-wicket win over Watford Town.
Shenley captain Ebrahim won the toss and decided to bowl first on a dry-looking wicket. Brothers Mohammed and Khalid Manzoor opened the batting for Watford, putting on 16 before Khalid fell to a fine catch at gully by Lloyd Willingham off the bowling of Craig Rawlings for five. Mohammed was then joined at the crease by Stewart Knox and the pair put on 69 for the second wicket. After almost an hour, Knox was undone by the off-spin of Ebrahim, trapped lbw for 31. Tahir Afridi then came to the middle and hit some big shots before edging to the keeper off the bowling of Dave Shelley for 16, to leave the Watford score at 104-3.
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Mohammed Manzoor continued to lead from the front, batting with determination and purpose and reached his century with a flourish as he hit a six. But he was running out of partners as Ebrahim and Shelley cleaned up the middle and lower order between them. Of the remaining batsmen only Kazim Naqvi, coming in at number 10, was able to make double figures.
Mohammed Manzoor’s great effort finally came to an end after exactly three hours - caught at long-on by Anooj Vadgama for 114. Naqvi was the last wicket to fall, right on the final delivery of the allotted 53 overs, stumped by Matt Evans off Ebrahim for 12, to close the innings at 207 all out. Ebrahim finished with 5-49, Shelley 3-79 and Rawlings 1-37.
The Shenley reply got off to a shaky start with their top three batsmen all falling cheaply within the first five overs to reduce the home side to 25-3. However, any Watford celebrations were premature as Ebrahim and Lloyd Willingham set about rebuilding the Shenley innings. Willingham batted patiently - although he had a little luck on his side when he could have been caught when on 27 - making his 50 in around the same time as Ebrahim took to make his century and going on to score 64 not out.
Ebrahim, who also survived a dropped slip catch and an appeal for caught behind, finished the match in style, ending the 39th over with a six to and take his partnership with Willingham to 187 and clinch victory with plenty of batsmen still in reserve who never even needed to put their pads on. Ebrahim’s unbeaten 121 was an impressive fourth consecutive century over the last three weekends and took his average for the season to above 100. For the visitors, Afridi was the most successful of the bowlers, taking 2-64.
With results above them not going their way Shenley remain seventh in the table but will look to move further up next week when they travel to 17th placed Abbots Langley. They will then celebrate their 150th anniversary on Sunday with a friendly against the prestigious M.C.C at Shenley, starting at 11.30am. Spectators will be warmly welcomed.