OA hold their nerve to pick up win

Saracens Herts League Division Two Old Albanian 200-5 beat Watford Town 198-6 by five wickets HOPING for a more successful run-chase than in the previous week when OA fell eight runs short of the Potters Bar total, OACC captain Graham Dill once more in

Saracens Herts League Division Two

Old Albanian 200-5 beat Watford Town 198-6 by five wickets

HOPING for a more successful run-chase than in the previous week when OA fell eight runs short of the Potters Bar total, OACC captain Graham Dill once more inserted the opponents on winning the toss.

Despite a spate of no-balls and other extras, OA made consistent inroads into the Watford Town innings, and the Watford top six were all back in the pavilion after 30 overs, when the score stood at 90-6, and a low Watford total looked likely.

However, Dan Foster dropped a caught-and-bowled chance off Prodger who had made only five with the total at 96, and that was the last chance on offer.

Prodger with 55* and wicketkeeper Knox with 42* went on to compile an unbeaten stand of 108, the Watford innings closed at 198-6 off the allotted 53 overs.

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A slow over rate similar to that of test cricket, a problem for OA in the last couple of years meant that two overs were forfeited in their reply, so they had only 45 overs to reach the victory target of 199.

Despite the early loss of Roy and Freedman to leave OA teetering on 24-2 after 10 overs, Alf Rehman dug in and played a typically determined innings ending up with 48 who managed the first half of the run chase with Jon Smithers (17) and Nick Nguyen. When Rehman was out, OA had reached 113-4 after 30 overs, leaving less than six an over needed in the last third of the innings.

Fierce hitting by Nick Nguyen with 70* off 64 balls saw OA home, being ably supported by 25 off 26 balls from skipper Graham Dill and 16* off 19 balls from Matt Corran.

OA eventually overhauled the victory target with only five wickets down and with over three overs to spare.

Next week OA host Broxbourne at Woollams in what should be a competitive contest with both sides starting the season in good form.

OLD Albanian II battled hard for a draw with Northchurch II.

Northchurch won the toss and decided to make first use of what looked like an excellent batting wicket at Woollams.

Perry Hall was the pick of the bowlers picking up two early wickets and returning for a second spell at the death finishing with season best figure of 5-47.

A third wicket partnership of 129 put Northchurch in charge and were on course for a score well in excess of 200 before the third wicket partnership was broken as Tom Preest exerted some pressure with Hall in the final overs. The visitors finished on 213-8 of their allotted overs.

In reply OA struggled against the impressive new ball attack and when Tariq Hassan retired hurt the score was 42-3. Arif Hassan and Andrew McCree led the fight back with Hassan particularly brutal in his assault on the Northchurch change bowlers ending on 46 before being run out by a direct hit.

McCree played his normal patient innings gradually building momentum and with Burman and Fortune both scoring at a good rate 24 runs were required off the final three overs for an unlikely victory.

Nick Burman played one shot too many and was bowled leaving OA to score at two a ball for the final two overs.

Northchurch seemed content with a draw as they protected the boundary rather than attack and look to take wickets in pursuit of victory. OA picked up maximum batting bonus points finishing on 204-7 and a well earned 18 points.

ON the best Saturday of the year to date, it looked as if the traveling would prevent OA III from even playing the game let alone winning it. With the M25 closed and the mobile phone network in meltdown, it took over two hours to make the journey to Winchmore Hill.

On arrival, Duncan Taylor, OA III skipper, correctly called heads and put the Exiles in.

It seemed to be a bad decision as Jagdeep Desai took a liking to the opening bowlers and the Exiles quickly made heir way to 50 without loss.

Kamal Jagatia then removed the dangerous Desai and when Taylor removed the opposing skipper, Dharmesh Patel for 52, the Exiles resistance faltered in the face of excellent OA fielding and bowling from Hiren Amin and the nagging left-arm of Taylor. The innings finally closed on 128 all out.

Taylor was the pick of the OA bowlers finishing with 6-47, his best figures for the club.

OA started brightly with Raja Khan and Simon Wakeling putting on a well-paced 24 before Wakeling fell to the wily left arm of Ashley Tomlinson.

One brings two as the saying goes and Stuart Dunklin was the unfortunate one to make it come true. A brisk stand of 54 between Khan and Jitesh Pindoria for the third wicket put OA back the driving seat before Khan was out for 32 lbw to Tomlinson. Wickets started to fall regularly but Pindoria stood firm and with some lusty blows reached and passed 50.

It was fitting that Pindoria should hit the winning run as he finished on 63no, giving the OA III back-to-back wins as they continue their surge up the table.

KALPIT Vachhani was the only OA batsman to put any real resistance finishing on 61 as OA IV stumbled to 136 all out against Old Owens. In reply the visitors cruised to victory in short time completing the run chase without loss.

THE Sunday XI took on the Outlaws who decided to make first use of the excellent Woollams wicket reaching 288-8 off their allotted 40 overs.

Opener Ashley Friend scored 119* with a fine display of clean hitting ably assisted by Duncan Taylor who hit 68 not out in a frenetic assault in the final overs.

Alf Rehman continued the high scoring reaching his maiden century for OA eventually falling for 103 but it was not enough as the OA innings fell away eventually finishing on 233.