Sandridge throw title race wide open with important victory over league leaders
- Credit: Archant
Sandridge have thrown the cat among the Herts Cricket League Division Four A title race pigeons after a superb two-wicket win at league leaders Parkfield & Headstone.
They are now just 14 points behind with four games to go but for long periods of the game at the Hatch End-based club, the outcome seemed very unlikely.
Parkfield won the toss and elected to bat, a decision which was vindicated when they raced to 77-0 in just 13 overs.
Ramanan Pathmanathan in particular was in scintillating form as he attacked the bowling and it was only after hitting Leonard Peters for six that the spinner induced one big hit too many and the opener was taken on the boundary by Duncan Ferguson.
Sandridge skipper Albert Kerry continued to rotate his bowlers and set some excellent fields which slowly but surely got the villagers back into the contest.
It soon became 99-4 with Murphy, Narula and Qamar each taking a wicket but it was still finely poised.
It was Peters who held the key though and his return saw the wickets tumble as he finished on 3-30.
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He was helped by Ferguson's introduction and only a late flurry of runs got Parkfield to 162.
Ferguson finished on 3-18 while Qamar managed 2-24.
A solid opening was quickly snuffed out as the wheels fell off Sandridge's reply in a hurry and at 55-8 the writing was most certainly on the wall.
However, among the bleakness, 16-year-old Steve Perrin was a shining light.
And when the youngest member of the Sandridge squad was joined by Ferguson, the oldest, Sandridge's hopes inexplicably grew.
The pair batted sensibly but soon stepped on the gas and suddenly with three overs remaining, just six runs were required.
They came courtesy of a four from Ferguson and two wides as Perrin finished on 60 and Ferguson getting to 54.
Skipper Kerry said: "Unfortunately our strong batting line-up didn't fire today against some very good bowling but once again, the fact we bat all the way down the order came to our rescue.
"The two guys were awesome and Steve Perrin in particular showed incredible talent and maturity for someone so young."