Redbourn’s top order fail to fire

Dan Darvell bowls for Redbourn

Dan Darvell bowls for Redbourn - Credit: Archant

Redbourn’s top order failed to fire again on Saturday as they were beaten by Hemel Hempstead 2nds.

In the opening day loss to St Albans West Indian the top three managed nine runs and on Saturday they struggled again, totalling 14. The collapse meant the run chase never got off the ground, despite good knocks from the middle order.

Redbourn skipper Ben Roe elected to bowl first and it looked to be a stroke of genius as Hemel were reduced to 0-1 by Alex Salter.

However, the visitors found their strider and Aaron Wilson (34) and Matt Potton saw the score past 100 for the loss of two wickets.

Daniel Darvell removed Wilson and Chris Blunt (0) for a five ball duck before trapping Alastair Leighton (8) LBW to leave Hemel at 114-5.

Danger-man Potton, who was on 41, continued to be the thorn in Redbourn’s side and with Matt Dale (44*) he saw Hemel past the 200 mark before he eventually fell for 88, caught by Dave Irwin off Darvell’s bowling.

Hemel batted out the 47th over and then declared with the score on 209-6, giving them three more overs to dismiss Redbourn.

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As it turned out it was a brilliant piece of skippering by Graham Clarke as Hemel picked up the final wicket needed with the penultimate ball of the extra overs.

Redbourn were never in danger of topping Hemel’s total after Chris Fleming (5), Gary Sandford (8) and Irwin (2) were dismissed within the first six overs.

James Bunce (28), Salter (31), Roe (22) and Dan Lennox (40*) showed resistance to Hemel’s attack and steadied the innings, taking Redbourn from 14-3 to 96-6.

A tail end collapse ended any hopes of a draw though as Hemel took the last four wickets for just 19 runs.