Stalemate frustrates Redbourn

Bourn collect just four points from draw

SHL Division Two

Abbots Langley 278-4

Redbourn 193-7

Match Drawn

IT was another tough afternoon for Redbourn on Saturday, this time at home to Abbots Langley.

Having batted first for the last six weeks with little success, captain Dan Roe decided on a change of tactics and elected to field first having won the toss.

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Redbourn started poorly, with loose bowling and fielding errors allowing Abbots a flying start before Jon Fleming picked up the first wicket in the ninth over with 48 already on the board. Abbots continued to score freely and despite wickets for Steve Root and Ben Roe, Redbourn were unable to stop the flow of runs. Abbots’ Australian opener Inglis looked in particularly good form, scoring 122 before he was well caught by George Naismith off the bowling of Geoff Tookey. With no.5 Read (74) also batting well, Abbots were able to declare on 278-4 with two overs unused.

It was going to take a monumental effort to reach the target but Redbourn felt confident at tea that if they could keep wickets in hand and build partnerships they could put pressure on the Abbots bowling in the final overs and push for victory.

Redbourn got off to a solid start with Chris Yorath and Gary Sandford putting on 49 for the first wicket before Yorath was bowled for 27. Toby Ascroft and Jamie Doherty both fell cheaply and when Gary Sandford was caught behind for 35, Redbourn’s run chase was faltering.

Dan Roe and Root (17) staged a small recovery putting on 46 for the fifth wicket but Redbourn were always behind the run rate and with 20 overs left, 180 runs were still required.

At this point the game reached a bit of a stalemate, with Abbots bowling tightly and setting defensive fields and Redbourn now needing over 10 runs an over with only five wickets in hand. This left Redbourn with little option but to abandon any thoughts of victory and settling for whatever bonus points they could pick up. Dan Roe was the pick of the batting, ending up 71* from 89 balls as Redbourn reached 193-7 from their 49 overs.

Despite their need for a win Redbourn were clearly not prepared to simply risk throwing their wickets away in search of a highly unlikely victory and therefore in all probability handing Abbots the 30 points. Surely Abbots would have stood more chance of winning the game themselves had they kept Redbourn interested, either by ‘throwing it up’ or at least setting attacking fields rather than defending the boundaries.

This resulted in a disappointing end to the game with Redbourn picking up just four points and now sitting 41 points adrift at the bottom of the Division Two table.