Inspired Redbourn take the title
A JON Fleming and Ahmed Jamal inspired Redbourn grabbed their 13th win of the season against second-placed Clarendon and clinched the Division Four title on Saturday. Skipper Dan Roe won and chose to bat first.
Redbourn 157-10 (40.2) Clarendon 119-10 (32.4)
A JON Fleming and Ahmed Jamal inspired Redbourn grabbed their 13th win of the season against second-placed Clarendon and clinched the Division Four title on Saturday.
Skipper Dan Roe won the toss and chose to bat first. Openers Simon Osman and Chris Yorath had a testing time against the new ball attack, with McMillan and Fitzgerald bowling fine spells. The pair managed to see off the new ball adding 56 for the first wicket, before Osman (23) was unfortunate to be bowled by a ball that kept a little low.
Yorath (33) went next and Toby Ascroft added 29, but it was Ahmed Jamal's innings of 34 off 30 balls that kick started the Redbourn innings.
Jamal fell with the score on 146 for 6 and Redbourn were bowled out for just 157, with McMillan taking 6 for 68. At Tea, skipper Roe felt that the total was worth around 180 because of the slow outfield, but that it was still around 20 runs below a par score, especially with his strike bowler Jamal suffering from a bad back.
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With a chance to take the title, Redbourn started the Clarendon innings in determined fashion.
Jamal bravely took the new ball, but for the second week in a row bowled without much luck. It was Fleming that was to take the first two wickets, bowling both openers before the score had reached double figures. He was to take a further wicket with the score on 29, and with Jamal finally taking a wicket courtesy of a fine catch from wicketkeeper Gary Sandford, Clarendon were struggling on 68 for 4.
Fleming bowled the dangerous McMillan and Darren Bassill (1 for 23) also got amongst the wickets with Roe pocketing a catch at slip. Unbelievably, Jamal returned to the attack, and whilst he could not run up properly due to his back problems, he was able to generate enough pace to bowl Clarendon's number nine for a duck.
Clarendon were now 118 for 8, and even their star man Wise was not going to be able to win the game for his side from this position. Fleming was to finish with superb figures of 6 for 48 off 19 overs, but it was Jamal (3 for 40) who would take the final wicket with the score on 119, as Roe took a catch on the boundary at the third attempt, to remove Wise for a well played 64.
Celebrations went on well into the early hours, as the win guaranteed a first Herts League Title for the Redbourn first team. Delighted skipper Roe said: "What a fantastic season. Our squad has put in a lot of hard work in practice and it has paid off. Jon's 55 league wickets has been the cornerstone of the team's performance, but Jamal's efforts today, when he could hardly walk let alone bowl, typified the team spirit and never say die attitude this year.
"One thing that has stood out for me is that everyone within the squad has made a contribution, whether it be with bat, ball or in the field. Our fielding has certainly improved.
"We have one league game remaining, and whilst we have a number of players suffering from various injuries and ailments, we will be giving it our all. Our attention will then switch to the Herts Trophy Final match."
Redbourn face Northampton Exiles as they bid to complete a spectacular league and cup double on Sunday, September 14 at Shenley Park.