Shenley hold on for draw

Rawlings sees out final over to ensure draw

Knebworth Park II 250-7

Shenley Village 234-9

Match Drawn

IT was another draw for Shenley Village on Saturday, as they took on Knebworth Park II. The visitors from Knebworth won the toss and batted first. Shenley’s bowlers restricted them well in the opening spell and things were looking well set when two wickets fell in consecutive overs. A smart caught and bowled by Craig Rawlings removed Adam Turner for 13 and Wendell Roberts followed up, bowling Brendan Logue for 1 leaving Knebworth at 33-2 in the 13th over.

However, Knebworth captain Colin Letford dug in, making 44 in just over two hours, before falling to spinner Rifkhan Hameed. Some uncharacteristic lapses in the field, along with some fine batting from Adam Seargent (49) and Junior D’Abreau (48) enabled the visitors to amass a total of 250-7. Hameed’s figures were 2-16, while Al-Darraji took 2-39 and Roberts 2-62.

The Shenley reply got off to a shaky start with the early loss of their opening partnership. Wicket-keeper Rob Laney began the task of rebuilding the innings, surviving an appeal for a low catch early on in his knock, and going on to make 33 valuable runs before he was caught off veteran spinner Graham Fisher. It was the aggressive middle order of Lloyd Willingham and Wendell Roberts, batting at six and seven, who steered Shenley back on course for a thrilling final run chase. The pair put on an assured display, Roberts reaching his 50 off just 30 balls and hitting six 4s and five 6s before being caught on the boundary for 67.

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When Roberts returned to the pavilion, seven overs of the game remained with three wickets in hand and a rate of around six runs an over needed. It was still anybody’s game and Shenley went all out for the win. But when the excellent innings of Willingham came to an end midway through the penultimate over - given out lbw for 70 after being at the crease for an hour and a half and hitting eight 4s and a 6 it left the two remaining batsmen with too big an ask. With 17 runs needed for victory, Rawlings faced the final over from the experienced Fisher. With fielders all around his bat he defended safely for a draw.

Shenley sit in upper mid-table and face Welwyn Garden City II, the team directly above them, at Digswell Park next week.