Lee helps guide Stevenage to victory

Stevenage celebrate Tom Bruce's wicket

Stevenage celebrate Tom Bruce's wicket - Credit: Archant

Herts Championship: Stevenage 249-7, Shenley Village 247-8

Stevenage got off the mark in the Herts Championship with a well judged three wicket win over newly promoted Shenley Village at Ditchmore Lane.

The visitors elected to bat and posted a reasonable 248 target for Chris Whitworth’s side to chase - a total bolstered by a number of dropped catches by the home side at vital moments.

The Shenley total centred on an outstanding century from opener Charlie Thurston, who made 118 in two-and-a half hours at the crease, including 17 fours and a six in his innings.

The former Middlesex Academy player was seventh out, falling to a sharp stumping by Dave Carr off the bowling of Stevenage’s new South African recruit Neville Talbot, after Shenley had passed the 200 mark.

Thurston received his strongest support from Paresh Kerai (30) and the pair were going well until an excellent run-out by Shadrach Gittens-Browne broke their century stand.

Martin Nevill (2-25 off eight) struck early for Stevenage and Gittens-Browne (2-41 off nine) added two in two balls and were the best of the home bowlers, with a wicket apiece for new Sri Lankan paceman Ramesh Subasinghe, Talbot and Whitworth.

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The skipper and his predecessor, Dave Carr, then gave Stevenage a solid platform as they replied with a 55 run opening stand, until Carr (29) fell, clean bowled. Whitworth went soon afterwards for 30, including five fours.

Gittens-Browne fell first ball to bring in Talbot and the half-hitting batsman comfortably eased himself to 40, including seven fours, before he fell to a catch on the boundary.

That brought together Earl Lee and Laurie Brown and together they shared in a match-winning stand of 92, as they took Stevenage from 117-4, when Talbot fell, to 209-5.

Brown was bowled for a competent 35, as Lee, who set a club record League individual knock of 167 in the last game of last season, batted beautifully and looked to be taking the home side to victory.

But then on 75 he cross-batted a suspiciously high delivery straight to a fielder on the boundary.

It was left to Subasinghe and Scott Davies with some selective hard hitting at the end to see Stevenage to victory with two overs in hand.

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