Shenley plan for life in Division Two
SHL Division Three Shenley Village 124-8 beat Abbots Langley 123 by two wickets SHENLEY Village secured their place in Division Two next season; sealing promotion with a two-wicket away win over fellow high-fliers Abbots Langley. With the top four teams
SHL Division Three
Shenley Village 124-8 beat Abbots Langley 123 by two wickets
SHENLEY Village secured their place in Division Two next season; sealing promotion with a two-wicket away win over fellow high-fliers Abbots Langley.
With the top four teams going up and those chasing below them now too far adrift to catch up, all that now remains is to see who will emerge next week as Division Three winners.
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The Abbots Langley fixture was crucial, with both sides needing the win. The stage was set for an epic encounter as both Division Three's top wicket-taker, Shenley's Wendell Roberts, and top run-scorer, Abbots Langley's Chris Chellew, came face-to-face.
Abbots Langley won the toss and decided to bat on a pitch that had been under water on Friday evening due to a heavy rainstorm.
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The home side faced a formidable bowling attack from Roberts, well supported at the other end by captain Jemile Al-Darraji.
Al-Darraji took the first three wickets and Abbots soon found themselves reeling at 23-3. Chellew lived up to his billing with the bat, making 61 before being caught - fittingly off the bowling of Roberts - who finished with four wickets.
Al-Darraji finished with 3-19.
Dave Carlisle was the only other batsman to make double figures (22) as Abbots were all out for 123.
In reply, Shenley put on 31 for the first wicket. But then, on a turning pitch, they fell foul of left-arm off-spinner Matt Dunstone (7-34) who reduced the visitors to 105-8. Anooj Vadgama top-scored with 25. It was a close finish, but a determined effort from Rifkhan Hameed and Al-Darraji saw them home as they reached their target with no further mishaps in the 47th over. Once again, the game seemed to go according to the script, with the winning runs coming from former Abbots Langley player Al-Darraji.
The final push for the Division Three title sees Shenley hosting Wheathampstead on Saturday (12.30pm start.)
For the title to be theirs, the Radlett Lane-based club will require a win, while the two teams immediately above them - Hemel and Letchworth - would both have to slip up on their potential banana skins in the respective forms of Ickleford and St Albans.