Flamstead pick up useful points

Acting skipper sees his side take home 17 points

SHL Division

Flamstead 208–5

Rickmansworth 98-7

Match drawn

FLAMSTEAD visited Rickmansworth II on Saturday and came away with a useful 17 points as most of their promotion rivals had to be content with only ten points due to the weather causing their matches to be abandoned.

With skipper, Andy Taylor not available due to illness and vice captain, Matt Brown away on holiday acting skipper, Tim Wilkinson lost the toss and Flamstead batted first. James Clark and Matt Westwood got Flamstead off to a steady but slow start. They were not helped by having to play through the rain for twenty minutes and with a very slow outfield boundaries were hard to find. After an opening partnership of 55 off 22 overs Clark (36) was bowled by Lindsey and just 12 runs later Westwood (21) also fell to the same bowler. Gordon Banks (19) and Martin Lindley then put on a useful 30 runs before Banks was caught behind trying to up the tempo.

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Lindley, playing against his old club, and Richard Heseltine finally got the innings moving as they began to attack and scored 79 runs off the next 14 overs. Heseltine (40) was caught in the covers but Lindley (62*) continued his good form from the previous week and with the help of Josh Rose (15) got Flamstead up to 208 and ten batting points.

Flamstead got off to an excellent start with Rose getting an early breakthrough in his second over with only two runs on the board. A heavy shower then forced the players off the field but the match continued after the loss of only two overs. Rose then struck again with his first ball after the delay and with Twiggy Rogers starting with four consecutive maidens Rickmansworth were struggling. With the score on 23 both Rose and Rogers got a wicket before a stubborn stand of 17 in 10 overs forced Flamstead into making some bowling changes. Off spinner, Mark Ridley came into the attack and in his second over he removed Cusack (16) thanks to a good catch at deep square leg by Josh Rose.

With Rickmansworth now 40-5 after 22 overs, Flamstead were looking for a quick finish. However with no batsman trying to score runs the overs began to pass and so Tim Wilkinson, having used five bowlers trying to get another breakthrough, turned back to his opening bowlers. These changes soon worked as Rogers (2-23 off 13 overs) had skipper, Raine caught in the gully by Richard Heseltine and Rose (4-31 off 14 overs) removed Lindsey caught at cover by Matt Westwood. At 62 for 7 and 12 overs remaining Rickmansworth had given up any hope of trying to acquire any batting points. With no further success Flamstead had to settle for their first draw of the season as Riddleston (12*) and Alnutt (33*) saw Rickmansworth to 98-7 off 45 overs.

Acting skipper, Tim Wilkinson was left frustrated but pleased with the haul of 17 points. “Even though we didn’t win today we gained ground on all the top teams bar Ware who won,” he said.

“We are now only 13 points behind second placed, Old Cholmeleians and level with Chorleywood II in fourth place. I was pleased with our batting today in difficult conditions.

“Both Martin Lindley and Richard Heseltine batted well together but the bowling was not up to our usual high standard. I was a bit bemused by the tactics of Rickmansworth who ended the day with no points at all for their efforts. I’m not quite sure why their number six batted for 31 overs for just 12 not out when they are fourth from bottom in the table and needed as many points as possible.”