Shenley flatten Redbourn

Three figure margin of victory for Shenley

SHL Division Two

Shenley Village 197-8dec Redbourn 96

Shenley Village won by 101 runs

AFTER heavy overnight rain, Shenley Village were inserted to bat first on a slightly soft pitch by visitors Redbourn, who as bottom team in the division, were looking to secure their first victory of the season.

Redbourn got off to a dream start as medium-pacer Darren Bassill struck with his first ball; Tharic Sameem cutting one straight to the fielder at point. In the next over, fellow-opener Rahul Gajjar was stumped and Shenley found themselves at 4-2.

Once again it was Dion Ebrahim, coming in at number three, who set about the task of rebuilding the innings.

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In partnership with Lloyd Willingham, the pair put on 71 for the third wicket, before Willingham - who had compiled a fluent 26 which contained five 4s - was dismissed lbw. By this time, Ebrahim had made his 50 from 54 balls and another good partnership with Matt Evans added 57 runs to the total before coming to an end with Evans run out by a direct hit to the stumps.

With Shenley now on 132-4 after 34 overs and with a strong batting line-up yet to come, stability was restored.

After a little over two hours at the crease, Shenley skipper Ebrahim finally fell for 81, caught at square leg off his Redbourn counterpart Dan Roe who entered the bowling attack to replace Dean Dass, who had injured an ankle and was unable to continue. The scoreboard now read 152-5. Within the same over, Morgan Stanley was also removed by Roe - caught at first slip by the injured Dass, who was not required to move very far to take a simple catch. But once again, Shenley’s strength in depth came to the fore. Craig Rawlings, batting at eight, made an unbeaten 17 and Rifkhan Hameed at No.9 hit a quick 21 before falling to a second member of the Roe family, in the shape of brother Ben.

Youngster Paddy Sidwell, playing his first match for the 1st XI, had made five not out when the 50-over mark was reached with the total on 197-8. Shenley captain Ebahim surprisingly declared their innings closed with three overs in hand and his team could go in to tea reasonably satisfied with their performance. Bassill took 2-45 and Dan Roe 2-27.

The Redbourn reply also suffered an early setback, with a first over wicket-maiden from seamer Craig Rawlings removing opening batsman Geoff Tookey - caught behind by Matt Evans.

The experienced Gary Sandford - who top-scored with 16 - followed in exactly the same fashion a couple of overs later to reduce Redbourn to 21-2. This second-wicket partnership proved to be the largest of the innings. The Shenley attack of Rawlings and Jemile Al-Darraji were making runs hard to come by and despite a couple of missed catches, the wickets were regularly tumbling.

Ed Charlesworth (15) and Darren Bassill (10) were the only other batsmen to score double figures. Spinner Rifkhan Hameed took the last two wickets as Redbourn were all out for 96 in 26.4 overs to complete an 101-run victory. Al-Darraji ended with figures of 4-55, Rawlings 4-27 and Hameed 2-11.

With another 30 valuable points under their belts, Shenley moved to fourth in the Division Two table with promotion still a possibility; while Redbourn look destined for relegation.

This Saturday Shenley take on Welwyn Garden City II, in another must-win match if a move upwards to Division One is to remain within their sights.