Wheatho triumph in derby clash with OAs

Six wicket win for men from Nomansland

SHL Division Three

Old Albanian 115

Wheathampstead 116-4

Wheathampstead won by six wickets

In their first first XI local derby for many seasons, Wheathampstead prevailed over OAs by six wickets at Nomansland on Saturday, to prolong the visitors’ insipid start to the 2011 season.

Upon winning their first Herts League toss of the coin this season, OAs elected to bat first on a dry, recently re-laid wicket. OAs overcame the early losses of Hughes and Burnley, and occasional low bounce as the wicket broke up, to lay the platform for a decent total. However, the departures of David Rourke (50) and Victor Stairmand (17) within three balls, following a 42-run stand, precipitated a collapse from 99-4 to 115 all out. Home skipper Adam Robbins returned 3-31 from a challenging 16-over spell, while Dave Arbuthnot returned 4-13 as he ran through the OAs lower order.

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Wheathampstead belied their lowly position with some good fielding and positive batting, as they chased down the target at a run per ball. Clean hitting from Walayat (40) and Griffiths (28*) was a feature of the short run chase. Stairmand ran in hard and impressively throughout for OAs to claim a deserved 4-43.

OAs IIs came close to their first victory of 2011, but ultimately had to settle for a draw with Hexton at Woollams on Saturday.

OAs’ total of 192 was a democratic effort, on a parched wicket, with all the batsmen contributing - Andrew McCree (34), Raja Khan (29) and Chris Jukes (26) leading the way.

In reply, an OAs career-best effort of 7-52 from Arif Hassan swung the game in OAs’ favour after the visitors reached 100-2. Assisted by Julian Baines (2-28), Hassan’s feat gave OAs four overs at the last pair, but Hexton - who lost eight overs of their reply owing to their own slow over-rate during the OAs innings - held on for the draw.

OAs III took a most welcome 11 points, and some positive personal performances, from their trip to high-flying Hertford IV on Saturday, despite the hefty 126-run margin of defeat.

The hosts elected to bat, and accumulated 300-5 declared. Skipper Carter (103) and Abeywickrema (79) took the game away from OAs, after a positive start, with a stand of 167 for the third wicket.

Tim Smith (3-61) and Naran Jagatia (1-42) were the pick of the OA bowlers. In reply, the batting of Syed Hassan (30) and Dominic Baldwin (70) was the highlight as OAs totalled 174, Baldwin’s effort following his two excellent catches earlier.