Paternott ton shows Radlett promise ahead of opening day

CRICKET: A MAIDEN century by Lloyd Paternott for Radlett set up a good 30-run win against Winchmore Hill at Cobden Hill and raised hopes before the start of the Home Counties Premier League next Saturday.

Paternott, 18, unleashed shots all round the wicket for a superb 120, stunning his Middlesex League opponents in this 45-overs club game, and a stronger batting line-up holds the key after Radlett slipped to seventh place in the HCPL last year.

Fraser Crawford upstaged Paternott on Sunday by smashing 128 in a 141-run home win over Harrow Town in the first round of the Club Cricket Conference Cup.

Alongside another maiden centurion Andre Sharma, 109*, he put on 237, a club record in all cricket for the second wicket.

The seasoned opener Nick Fielden is returning to the first team after spending three seasons in the seconds for family reasons, and the skills of Crawford, an exceptional Zimbabwean left-hander, former youth player Paternott and Sharma should bolster Radlett’s upper order.

This should mean less reliance on Kabir Toor, on Essex’s books, and captain Shane Burger, who a month ago made his maiden century for Lions, the Johannesburg franchise.

The two all-rounders dominated Radlett’s fortunes last year, Toor making 521 runs at 32.56 and claiming 30 wickets with his leg-spin. Burger hit 455 at 37.92, adding 26 wickets with his seamers. Toor hit 66 off 34 balls against Harrow.

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The recruitment of Rob Clements, the Herts left-arm spinner, and the former Old Albanian Dan Foster, another left-armer, should add an extra dimension in what is one of the country’s strongest leagues.

Radlett begin their campaign with a trip to newly promoted Bishops Stortford looking for revenge for the surprise defeat in the Herts Cup final last season.

With Fielden opting for first-team cricket again, Radlett’s second team start their second year as the only reserve side in Herts Division One with Gwilym Jones as the new captain.

The side is strengthened by the arrival of Grant Mokoena, the Queens’ School Bushey coaching professional from Johannesburg, and Matt Lewis, 18, a New Zealand Academy batsman with a British passport.