Redbourn II top Division Seven

Redbourn IIs now lead Division Seven after a comprehensive win over Harpenden IV on the Common.

Harpenden won the toss and elected to bat but were immediately in trouble when Dan Thatcher’s first ball jagged in sharply and took out John Hoskings’ middle stump.

Darren Bassill kept the pressure on bowling a tight line from the other end setting up Thatcher to have David Robinson caught by keeper Geoff Bartlett in the third over. Dan Thatcher didn’t let his pace drop and soon had Berwyn Petrie caught again by Bartlett, Harpenden now 9-3.

Michael Hughes was beginning to look comfortable so skipper Bartlett brought on spinner Faisal Khan and although he didn’t take a wicket the pressure resulted in the run out of Hughes for 12 after fine fielding by Nigel Wellsbury.

Keenan Minnie came to the crease and started to play some shots to take Harpenden up to 70. Redbourn remained focused in the field and brought Thatcher back on to turn the screw on batting team but it was Martin Benfield who made the break through having Andy Lewis caught at first slip by Chris Fleming. Thatcher (4-18) removed Minnie for 36 the next over. Three further wickets for Benfield (4-35) and a run out due to an excellent chase and through by Ben Farrar finished the Harpenden innings on 97 off 46 overs.

Redbourn’s victory was comfortable, however it didn’t start that way when opening bowler Michael Smith’s second over removed Chris Fleming caught by keeper Berwyn Petrie and then followed it up with a first ball yorker to clean up Toby Ascroft. Faisal Khan was immovable as he provided the rock to the innings scoring a risk free 27* while Antony Mauder finished 50* to win the match in the 32nd over.

Skipper Bartlett said: “This was fielding display I’ve seen by a Redbourn second team. The intensity didn’t let up at any point allowing us to totally dominate for 46 overs. However, we have now played three of the bottom four sides so there is no doubt our biggest tests this season still lie ahead.”

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