Redbourn hold their nerve to claim honours in local derby
Saracens Herts League Division Three Redbourn (128) beat St Albans II (126) by two runs REDBOURN beat St Albans II in a thrilling contest on Saturday afternoon at Clarence Park. Stand-in skipper Simon Osman lost the toss and was asked to bat on a wicket
Saracens Herts League Division Three
Redbourn (128) beat St Albans II (126) by two runs
REDBOURN beat St Albans II in a thrilling contest on Saturday afternoon at Clarence Park. Stand-in skipper Simon Osman lost the toss and was asked to bat on a wicket that looked like it would favour the bowlers.
This proved to be the case as Redbourn's first three batsmen were back in the pavilion with only nine runs on the board. Geoff Tookey and Ben Roe then set about repairing the damage with a 35 run partnership before Roe was well caught in the slips.
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Faisal Khan joined Tookey and the pair batted sensibly to take the score to 95 before a flurry of wickets, including Tookey for a well made 40, left Redbourn on 104-9. Gary Sandford scored a quick 20 as Redbourn were all out for 128. Harris Mehboob was the pick of the St Albans bowlers with 6-31.
Redbourn knew that early wickets with the new ball were the key and Jon Fleming obliged by bowling the St Albans opener with his first ball with one that moved a long way off the seam.
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With Ahmed Jamal also taking an early wicket and Fleming taking another in his second over, St Albans were soon in trouble on 7-3. Fleming and Jamal (2-47) continued to cause trouble for the batsman and at 60-8 Redbourn looked odds on for the win. However, a partnership developed between Vijender (45no) and Mehboob and with Fleming (6-48) beginning to tire, St Albans worked their way back into the game.
They had reached 126 and needed just three runs to win when Chris Godfrey took a stunning one handed diving catch in the gully to remove Mehboob off the bowling of Darren Bassill. Bassill (2-12) then completed the remarkable victory by taking the final wicket, bowling the St Albans number 11 for 0.
A relieved Osman said afterwards: "At 126-8 I thought we had blown our chance, but the lads never gave up and I can't praise them enough for that. There was very little between the two teams but it was Chris's amazing catch that turned the match in our favour."
l Redbourn IIs have an early lead at the top of Division Seven after beating Cheshunt to record two wins out of two.
The wicket was green and produced a lot of seam movement for the faster bowlers. Batting first Redbourn's Jack Dyer looked comfortable but when he and skipper Anthony Mauder fell in quick succession, followed by a further wicket, Redbourn had been reduced to 23 for 3. Geoff Bartlett batted sensibly to stabilise the innings and allow Matt Cramer to find his range.
Cramer was joined by Noddy Akhtar and the pair rebuilt the innings with a 68 run partnership. Catches win matches, as they say, and it was Cheshunt's eight dropped catches in total that probably cost them the match.
Cramer finally fell for 65 and Akhtar went on to score 53 with Redbourn finishing all out for 161 off 44 overs. Redbourn were confident that their strong bowling line up would make their normally low total a challenging one. Opening fast bowler Dan Thatcher produced an early double wicket maiden and a wicket for Akhtar put Redbourn in a dominant position at 15-3.
Thatcher and Akhtar both produced excellent displays, never letting the pressure ease. Only Cheshunt's captain Mark Brooks produced any real resistance but when he fell for 31 with the score at 63-6, Redbourn were in sight of victory.
Pete Cridland kept the pressure on with 1-14 off seven overs. Mark Stokes was the last Cheshunt player to look capable of halting Redbourn so when Akhtar (4-38) had him caught via a Grahame Smyth diving catch the result was inevitable. Dan Thatcher took the last wicket to claim a deserved five wicket haul (5-34) as Cheshunt were all out for 112 off 35 overs.
l REDBOURN'S Sunday XI drew a close contest with Shenley Village on Sunday. Shenley batted first scoring 216-5 and then ended their innings on 213-9, just three runs short.
Geoff Tookey and Ben Roe both scored 48, but it was Toby Ascroft with 67 who nearly took Redbourn to victory before being caught out in the final over.