Redbourn lose out despite improved batting display

Cockfosters secure two-wicket victory on the Common

SHL Division Two

Redbourn 203-8

Cockfosters 204-8

Cockfosters won by two wickets

REDBOURN put in an improved performance, but still ended up on the losing side at home to league leaders Cockfosters on Saturday.

Batting first, Redbourn got off to a solid start reaching 33 before Chris Yorath was bowled for 17. Captain Dan Roe had looked in good form but was next to go, also bowled, for 20.

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After strong performances this season batting down the order, Gary Sandford was promoted to open the innings and justified the decision with his second half century of the year. In partnership with George Naismith, Sandford ensured there was no batting collapse as in previous weeks and pushed Redbourn towards a competitive total before being dismissed for an excellent 59 with the pair putting on 83 together.

Naismith (44) continued to bat positively before he was caught behind six runs short of what would have been a well deserved half century. Redbourn lost quick wickets in the final few overs in pursuit of late runs but were satisfied with their final total of 203-8, their highest score of the season so far and maximum batting points.

Redbourn knew that Cockfosters would look to attack from the start and things started badly with Jon Fleming conceding three boundaries off the first over. However, he and Dan Darvell were soon able to apply the pressure with Darvell making the first breakthrough, trapping New Zealander Reid lbw for 3.

This brought Cockfosters’ in-form batsman Sayers to the crease who hit two 4s and two 6s in the same over before trying one big shot too many and also falling to Darvell (2-100) for a remarkable 20 from just six deliveries.

Cockfosters continued to score freely, but Fleming had now found his line and length and picked up three wickets in his first spell to leave ‘Fosters on 93-5 and the match very much in the balance.

A sixth-wicket partnership of 58 put Cockfosters back in front but a change of ends for Fleming (5-86) and the introduction of Dan Roe brought about three more wickets and at 173-8 Redbourn sensed victory. However, the Cockfosters captain Stead stood firm and played a true captain’s innings, scoring 82* from just 73 balls, to see his team over the line with two wickets and two overs to spare.

After the game a dejected Dan Roe commented: “We batted much better today but lost it in the field where missed half chances and some basic fielding errors cost us dearly. However, we must take some positives from running the league leaders so close.”