Flamstead win dramatic clash with rivals
Division Seven Redbourn II 180-8 (53) Flamstead 181-9 (47) FLAMSTEAD and local rivals Redbourn II played out a dramatic clash in Division Seven at Friendless Lane on Saturday. Redbourn skipper Martin Benfield won the toss and had no choice but to bat on
Redbourn II 180-8 (53) Flamstead 181-9 (47)
FLAMSTEAD and local rivals Redbourn II played out a dramatic clash in Division Seven at Friendless Lane on Saturday.
Redbourn skipper Martin Benfield won the toss and had no choice but to bat on such a hot day with a hard, if a little green, wicket.
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Opener Richard Blair (5) was removed by Tim Wilkinson caught at slip by Richard Heseltine.
Dave Smith made a steady start but when he fell for 22 to Wilkinson, followed quickly by Matt Cramer removed by Mark Ridley, Redbourn were struggling at 53 for 3.
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Wilkinson was bowling his normal metronomic line and length making scoring difficult, keeping the run rate less than three-an-over.
Jamie Doherty (31) joined Toby Ascroft (77) and took the attack to Flamstead with some hefty blows. Geoff Bartlett (27) kept the run rate going and Redbourn reached 180-8 off 53 overs. Dave Rogers 0-34 off 10 overs and Jack Smith 1-41 off 10 overs bowled tightly while Wilkinson bowled 24 overs and sent down eight maidens, taking 5-53.
Flamstead opening bats Andy Taylor and David Watson started well defying the pace of Dan Thatcher, the turn of Benfield, and the swing of Dave Wright.
The pair put on 42 off 14 overs before Taylor was run out for 27. Watson (34) and Heseltine took the score on to 81. Chris Godfrey's prodigious leg spin had Watson caught by Cramer. Godfrey (2-47) also removed Heseltine (33) who had taken Flamstead to 128-4 with David Oswin (15).
Victory looked routine for Flamstead until Benfield brought himself back on and found a Wilkinson-style metronomic line with a hint of spin and swing.
With the required rate rising the pressure finally told as Benfield (4 for 56) removed the next three batsmen as they tried to hit out. Gordon Banks (20) and Mark Ridley (19) fell leaving Flamstead requiring 10 to win off the final over with two wickets remaining.
Tom Ridley (14) and Wilkinson hit eight off the first five balls before a stumping by the ever nimble Graeme Smyth on the penultimate ball left two runs to win off the last ball. A leg side full toss allowed a single for the draw but Flamstead colt Jack Smith stunned Smyth by scampering back down for a second. Redbourn felt Wilkinson had been run out at the bowlers end but with no third umpire available the benefit went to the batsmen handing Flamstead a dramatic victory. Flamstead skipper Andy Taylor said: "We should really have won more easily but I suppose we kept the crowd on their toes. I thought young Jack Smith bowled extremely well and our chairman was outstanding in the heat."
Flamstead make the trip to Southgate Adelaide II on Saturday and Redbourn II host Flitwick II.