Six wicket defeat for Shenley

Shenley fail to capitalise on good start

Shenley Village 192-8

Welwyn Garden City II 194-4

Welwyn Garden City II won by six wickets

ON A decidedly chilly afternoon at Digswell Park, Shenley Village came away with a disappointing defeat. Having won the toss, Shenley decided to bat and started well enough, reaching 44 without loss after 15 overs. Welwyn’s first breakthrough came in the following over, as opener Anooj Vadgama was bowled by Pat Lynch on 24.

Rahul Gajjar joined fellow opener Jemile Al-Darraji at the crease and the pair put on 46 runs before Gajjar became the first to fall to Welwyn’s spinner Simon Bridgewater, with the score on 90.

With some key players missing, Shenley’s middle order struggled to put sufficient runs on the board; all falling to Bridgewater. Skipper Al-Darraji top-scored with 75 and was finally caught in the deep after a patient and largely untroubled innings, which lasted nearly two hours. Seventeen year-old Matt Evans, making his first XI debut, impressed for his 28. The Shenley innings ended on 192-8 after their 53 overs. Welwyn’s Bridgewater took 7-55 from 16 overs.

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After tea, Shenley got off to a promising start, opener Andrew Nolan removed for a duck - caught and bowled by Craig Rawlings. Rawlings struck again with the Welwyn score on 47, bowling Alex Chalker for 15. But the home side eased ahead of the run rate on a batting wicket and the Shenley bowlers had to work hard for a breakthrough. Left-arm seamer James Davenall bowled the dangerous-looking Rudraswamy for 33 while leg-spinner Rifkhan Hameed finally removed opener Matthew Hill for 56 with a great caught and bowled - holding on to the ball as it was returned to him with rocket-like velocity.

But the game became out of reach for Shenley and Welwyn reached their target with overs to spare, clinching the win with 194-4. Due to the results of those teams around them in the Division Two table, the loss did not affect their positiion and they remain in mid-table. On Saturday they travel to Watford Town with the aim of getting back to winning ways.