Hatfield Hyde visited Ball’s Park to face an in-form Hertford 2ndXI this weekend whilst Hertford were out to avenge the early season ‘no-result’ against the same opposition. HH won the toss and rudely decided to have a bat:
As-per-normal, Dawson and Thompson opened up and Dawson quickly demonstrated what a new ball can do. HH-skipper Russell had his off-stump removed and placed about 2 yards behind the bowling crease, a couple of overs later and Griffith was given an identical treatment.
Of course anyone in Hatfield can tell you, that when one HH wicket falls; Aamir Malik walks in. Malik (complete with aviator glasses) didn’t hesitate in showing-off some of his trade mark slogs, first off the impressive Dawson, then off Thompson. Dawson didn’t like Malik taking advantage of his young-new-ball partner and sent down an out-swinger that took the edge, it flew to Ray at 2nd slip who after a juggle, claimed the catch. Boom-Boom Malik just stood there, maybe waiting for appropriate recognition for his abilities, or maybe because he thought golden-boy Will Ray had dropped it. The umpires sent him packing, the whole county knows a Ray don’t lie.
When Thompson had Dunklin well caught by Riddle, HH were struggling on 43-4. Sadly for Hertford the next 2 wickets cost nearly 120 runs. This was brought about by a mixture of bowling and an improvement in the batting. At 172-6, Whitton (77) departed and Hertford had a chance to get stuck into two new batsman. Ray had settled into a great spell and together with Carlson, and a return from Dawson, they finished-off the rest of the HH batting order.
Stand-out figures from Dawson (10-0-39-4) and Ray (11.4-0-37-4) and some great catching in the slips meant that HH innings closed in the 52nd over with 201 on the board.
Hertford sent out two gym-loving opening batsman to try to build a platform for what could be a potentially tricky chase. Ray and Riddle showed HH exactly what a pair of in-form-mesomorphs can do and added 58 for the first wicket. Of course none other than Boom-Boom-Malik was on-hand to break the partnership with his legendary quicker ball.
Ryan Stevenson, after being encouraged by Dave Williams to pursue his football career, made his way to the crease for the last time this season. Stevenson (20) and Ray (45) made good progress but when both came unstuck and Carlson (9) followed quickly, Hertford were in a spot of bother at 122-4. Skipper Linney and Pavey came together to add a reassuring partnership of 50 when the pressure was on. Linney (47) was the aggressor and managed to tame a difficult run-rate, however both fell within the space of a few balls and Golder completed an excellent day by chipping his best mate to mid-on.
174-7 didn’t look great, however Hertford were confident, Rahul Sharma and Cliff Cavener made-up what has to be the most capable 8 and 9 in the league and even when needing more than 6-an-over finished the game in classy style; Cavener 14 not out and Sharma 10 not out. Well batted!
Hertford 2’s now make-up part of the chasing-pack in Div.3A, another win and Hertford will be hot on the tails of the leading 3 teams. A special mention to Brad Dawson who continues to bowl brilliantly with the new ball, and as-ever he was backed-up by some excellent fielding which set the platform for the batsman to finish the job again.