Redbourn progress after narrow win
Redbourn edge past Old Albanian into Second Round of County Cup
Herts County Cup First Round
Old Albanians, 191
Redbourn won by one wicket
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REDBOURN got back to winning ways on Sunday with a tense victory over Old Albanians in the first round of the Herts County Cup.
Captain Simon Osman won a crucial toss and elected to bowl first on a pitch still damp from the heavy rain the day before, and opening bowlers Jon Fleming and Dan Thatcher exploited the conditions and got Redbourn off to a good start, conceding only two runs between them in the first five overs and Thatcher took the first wicket before a run had been scored.
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OA’s batsman Rehman and Pimm soon got things moving and the score had reached 62 when Rehman edged to Darren Bassill in the slips to give Fleming (1-25) a well deserved wicket. Steve Root was introduced to the attack and took the crucial wicket of Pimm for 40, thanks to a good catch from George Naismith and Redbourn’s bowlers continued to bowl tightly with spinners Dan Darvell and Chris Godfrey (1-19) proving difficult to score off. OA’s struggled to build partnerships and skipper Vijh kept them in the game with a battling 50 before he was last man out to Root who finished with excellent figures of 4-40.
Redbourn’s run chase got off to a perfect start with Osman hitting the first ball for six, but OA’s opening bowlers soon found their line and length and with the score at 32-2 with both openers out caught behind the game was very much in the balance.
Geoff Tookey and Ben Roe then put on 69 for the third wicket to swing the game back into Redbourn’s favour but Tookey’s dismissal to ex-Redbourn player Chris Dobson for 33 sparked a collapse from 101-2 to 103-5. The in-form Ben Roe stood firm and after a couple of early let offs, brought up his third 50 in as many innings but when he was dismissed for 51 with 63 runs still required, Redbourn needed something special to progress to the next round. Step forward Chris Godfrey, who in partnership with Bassill, Darvell and Thatcher took Redbourn to 187-8 with two overs remaining before Thatcher was bowled. Last man Fleming survived a testing penultimate over and with four required from the final over, Godfrey scrambled three runs leaving the scores level and Fleming on strike with three balls remaining.
All Fleming needed to do was not get out to win the game for Redbourn based on fewer wickets lost, but Godfrey was not prepared to take the risk and a quick single was taken to give Redbourn the game by the tightest of margins. It was a fantastic performance from Godfrey, who paced his innings to perfection to end on 43* and the six and four he hit off the opening bowler with just 15 balls remaining were exceptional given the circumstances.
Redbourn’s victory earns them a home tie with Home Counties Premier league side Knebworth Park in the Second Round.