Dacorum cricket round-up: Including a fourth straight defeat for Hemel Town I

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Hemel Town I subsided to their fourth straight defeat at the start of the 2015 Herts League season as they were beaten by North Mymms I.

Choosing to bat first, Hemel were only able to muster 158 runs with Hem Ilangaratne (63), Sam Jenkinson (40) and Ed Langley (27) the only batsmen making it to double figures. A partnership of 73 for the second wicket between Ilangaratne and Jenkinson was the best that was managed.

It was not a great total to defend, but Steve Reader (3-31) dug out the opening batsmen and, from 33-4, Hemel then had Mymms at 70-6 at the halfway stage.

Unfortunately for Hemel, Neil Bamford (60 n/o) rode his luck with the bowlers and the umpires and, together with Prithviraj Sarvaiya (41), batted for a couple of hours to see Mymms to 158.

A couple of quick wickets from Brett Penny (4-32) came too late as Mymms got home by two wickets with nine balls to spare.

Hemel Town II crashed to a poor defeat against Bushey where lack of batting proved to be their downfall.

Tight bowling had managed to dismiss Bushey for just 152 in 47 overs, with Duncan Howard mopping up the Bushey tail to take 3-32. Bryan Davies took 2-30 and Rory Fraser, up from the third XI, returned 2-22.

But it proved to be too many for a Hemel side lacking in runs. A knock of 28 from Will Langley – also up from the thirds – and 22 from Bryan Davies were the top scores as Hemel could only manage 101 to lose by 51 runs.

Hemel Town III provided much-needed cheer for the club as they saw off Preston II. Preston won the toss and batted first, scoring 104 in 28 overs until Hemel bowled them out.

Hemel then batted and got past the total for the loss of six wickets. Extras managed to obtain the top score with 27 and wides equalled the batting top score of 18 from Steve Smith.

A partnership of 36 between John Clulow (11 n/o) and Andy Turbutt (14 n/o) saw Hemel to victory from 69-6 to 105-6 and 30 points.

Hemel Town IV suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Letchworth GC IV which saw them slip to the foot of Division 8B after four games.

Nick Benson was the only light in Hemel’s batting, scoring 50 n/o in a total of 85. The only other double figure scorer was Mike Samuels with 12.

Letchworth wasted no time tapping off the runs, with their opener Hughes scoring 57 n/o.

> Leverstock Green

Headlining a generous list of outstanding individual batting performances on Saturday was a superb 134 by Miles Barnard for Leverstock Green I during a 94-run home win over St Albans.

Compiled from 101 balls, Barnard put on 207 for the first wicket with Lewis Koch (80) as Green amassed 324-3 from their 50 overs – thanks also to a quick 70 n/o from Kris Jadeja.

Phil Caley, batting at number 7 for the visitors, matched Barnard’s 134 but 20 was the next highest score for St Albans who were all out in the final over – well short of the target.

The victory makes it four straight wins for Levy in Division 2A of the Saracens Herts Cricket League.

Just as emphatic a triumph saw Leverstock Green II chase down Hertingfordbury’s 224-8 for the loss of just two wickets.

Thirty miserly overs from slow bowlers Ali Khan (3-37), Lee Littlejohn (2-35) and Ian Wallis (1-27) took the heat out of Bury’s start and kept the victory target to five runs an over.

Green openers Ben Parkes (46) and Nick Merrett (33) set about the chase with gusto, adding 78 in quick time for the first wicket.

However numbers 3 and 4 stole the limelight. Sam Revell hit 73 not out and Luke Weston an unbeaten 56 as the pair put on an unbroken stand of 134 to see Levy home with eight wickets and nearly 12 overs in hand.

Leverstock Green III made short work of Abbots Langley III at Parmiter’s School, recording a convincing nine-wicket success.

Matt Lake (35 n/o) and Dan Lake (37 n/o) put on an unbeaten 66 to reach the 89 runs required for victory.

Earlier in the day, Karl Turner’s 3-11 from his 10 overs was at the forefront of Abbots’ demise.

All five bowlers claimed at least one victim as the visitors were bowled out for a meagre 88. Jaxon Lloyd top scored for Abbots with 23.

Six junior cricketers under the age of 15 played their part in Leverstock Green IV’s gallant effort away to a strong West Herts IV side.

There was a dismissal for Herts League debutant Jake Klosterman and one wicket apiece for Luke Carl and Becky Tyson as they dovetailed with the more experienced trio of Roger Wallis, Andy Welch and Derrick Sheldon to help restrict the hosts to 173.

In reply, opener Welch struck 32 and Wasim Saleem fired off two sixes in his 23 during a second-wicket partnership of 43, but Levy were all out around 50 runs short of victory.

> Berkhamsted

Berkhamsted I toppled previously unbeaten Southgate Compton in an impressive team performance to move up to second place in the league.

Batting first, Berko lost two quick wickets before Andrew Joyce (39) and Luke Frey (45) steadied the ship. With the middle order all chipping in, Berko posted a competitive score of 172.

In reply, Berko dominated their opposition, with only three of Southgate’s side getting into double figures.

Man of the match Doug Foster took a 5-fer (5-31) in his 10 overs, and a typically miserly Steve Dight (2-5 in 8 overs) meant that Berkhamsted easily won by 94 runs – bowling Southgate out for just 78

Berkhamsted II managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on Saturday in a very close match with second placed Potters Bar III.

Inviting Potters Bar to bat first, Berko soon had them reeling at 88-5, but the lower order added late runs to post a respectable 176 – with colt Matthew Dight (3-29) taking one more wicket than his father in the first team.

In reply, a youthful Berko fought well and kept up with the run rate, but kept losing wickets at key times.

Special mention goes to Tomas Pierleoni (61) and George Lewarne (21) who put Berko in a commanding position. However, only needing 14 from four overs with three wickets left, Berko imploded and fell just short by eight runs.

Watford V posted an impressive 235-8 batting first against a very young Berko IV side.

However, Berko never gave up in the field and took eight bowling points, with some excellent deliveries from Charlie Mann in particular

In reply, Watford bowled excellent lines and Berkhamsted were never in the chase – falling well short at 120 all out, despite an excellent display from 14-year-old Tom Clarke (57).

> Abbots Langley

A superb 123 from Chris Chellew, including 16 boundaries, helped Abbots Langley I to a comfortable victory over Potton Town.

He was well supported with useful contributions from Jack Read, Scott Newman and Tom Carson.

In reply, Potton fell 67 runs short, with Nick Gurney’s off-spin claiming an excellent 5-30.

Some excellent off-spin bowling from Lewis Hodgins (6-20) and some accurate seaming from George Agius, who claimed three victims, put Abbots Langley II on course for victory over St Margaretsbury II.

However, some indifferent batting and some accurate medium pace bowling saw Abbots crumble to 90 all out, with nobody able to hold the innings together.

It was a very difficult day for Abbots Langley III against Leverstock Green III. See above.

> Bovingdon

Bovingdon knocked Boxmoor out of the Herts Village Trophy on Thursday as a superb 60 from Paul Sniders helped the home side to amass 158.

Nick Baxter took 4-17 and Sean Gatehouse snared 2-24 to rip through the Boxmoor top order, as they were eventually bowled out for 99.

Following their cup win, the Bovingdon league side travelled to Ware on Saturday, looking to maintain their outstanding start to the season.

The hosts won the toss and chose to bat on a decent looking track. Ware managed to make 219 in their innings, with Tony Shand (2-39), Baxter (2-37) and Luke Stickland (1-31) all bowling their allocation of 10 overs well.

There was also a fine delivery from Paul Fidler (1-14) to dismiss a dangerous middle order batsman.

In the second innings, Bovingdon’s opening partnership of Jack Blackburn and Michael Buttleman got them off to another fabulous start, amassing more than 100 for the first wicket for the second time in three weeks.

Blackburn (52) finally fell with the score on 111, but there was no respite as Stickland scored a powerful 30 in quick time. The winning runs were eventually scored in the 42nd over by Ian Arnold (24 n/o) for the loss of just three wickets, with Buttleman (65 n/o) carrying his bat at the other end. This leaves Bovingdon as the only team with a perfect record of four wins from four in Division 7B.

On Sunday, Bovingdon held on for a draw away at Potten End. The home side scored 235-7, as Shand was the pick of the bowlers with 3-34.

The run chase never really got going aside from a captain’s innings from Gatehouse (66 n/o), as the visitors ended on 133-7.

> Chipperfield Clarendon

Chipperfield Clarendon I thrashed Wheathampstead by 168 runs.

Losing the toss and being asked to bat, Freddie Hampson (20) set up a steady opening partnership with Alex Moore – Hampson falling with the score on 45. Skipper Richard Hudson added 141 with Moore for the second wicket, before Hudson was caught for 59. Shaun Jennings came in and hit a quickfire 59 n/o, before Moore was finally out for 130. The innings ended on 315-3.

In reply, tight bowling from Samson and Fitzgerald kept the hosts from getting any sort of start, but it was the introduction of Grout (2-36) and Oliver (2-34) which really made the contest a one-sided affair, with Bambury (4-12) finishing the innings off.

Chipperfield Clarendon II won their second successive match with a six-wicket victory over Cockfosters II.

Winning the toss and electing to bowl, runs were kept in short supply by the bowling of Mahmood and Durrant, who both remained wicketless – mainly due to poor catching.

The introduction of Graham Gurney (4-38) and skipper Mepham (1-33) made inroads and, along with Wiles (2-14), they restricted the visitors to 172-9 from 50 overs.

In reply Josh Gurney fell cheaply, along with Cousens (15), but 33 from Wiles, 69 n/o from Shawn Mepham and 40 n/o from Durrant saw Chipperfield home in 36 overs for the loss of four wickets.

> Boxmoor

Boxmoor I continued their impressive start to the season as they saw off Totteridge Millhillians III by three wickets.

Fielding first, Boxmoor took wickets at regular intervals to restrict them to 198 all out, with Dukes taking three wickets.

In response, the top order laid a solid platform, with everyone chipping in. After a small middle order wobble, Andy Price came in to hit the winning runs with two overs left.

Boxmoor II lost their first league game of the season as Ickleford III hit the winning runs with just two balls to spare.

Ickleford won the toss and decided to bowl first; Boxmoor finished their innings on 224-8 which included an excellent 70 from A Hamdani who was well supported by A Hills (37) and N Harper (35).

In reply, Ickleford were able to keep wickets in hand, and a string of dropped catches meant they scraped over the line.

Boxmoor III made it back to back wins as they beat Chipperfield Clarendon III in a comprehensive eight-wicket win.

After making a flying start, Chipperfield fell apart from 100-3 to 125 all out, with Alexis Panayiotou and Phil Lovell taking three wickets apiece.

In reply Dan Webb made it all look easy, playing with complete freedom and hitting some lusty blows, finishing on 86 not out.

Boxmoor IV suffered a big defeat away at Kings Langley IV. See report below.

> Kings Langley

Kings Langley I recovered from the perilous position of 32-4 to record a comprehensive 203-run victory over Knebworth Park 1st XI.

After a top order collapse, brought on by some reckless shot selection, Kings’ middle order rallied impressively to provide a base for some late big hitting and set Knebworth the substantial target of 263.

Junior Ashford (64) rolled back the years to record his second half-century in as many weeks and his partnership of 104 with Harry Sambrook (71) began to wrestle some control back the way of Kings Langley.

Overseas player Dan Donaldson (50) also chipped in with his first league 50 before leaving the lower order to advance Kings to 263-7.

Knebworth Park never looked comfortable in their run chase and a combination of aggressive bowling and some fine fielding provided the catalyst for Kings Langley to roll through the batting line up.

With all of Kings’ front line bowlers contributing with the ball and taking a couple of wickets apiece, Knebworth Park found themselves all out for 60 runs inside 18 overs.

Kings Langley II continued their fine form with victory against Redbourn II. Redbourn decided to have first use of an flat wicket and, after a quick start, were pegged back to 217-7.

Some tight bowling and excellent fielding helped Kings keep the runs down. Rob Clark and Ben Joyce helped themselves to two wickets each, with Scott Rolfe, Matt Langston and David Burnell getting one apiece.

In reply, a first wicket stand of 101 between father and son Rolfe built a solid base for the run chase. Rolfe senior hit a fine 74 with young Scott scoring 47.

A couple of quick wickets slowed the runs down for a while before a partnership of 46 between David Burnell (38 n/o) and Tom Clark (26 n/o) saw Kings home comfortably with four overs to spare.

Kings Langley III were left to rue some careless batting as they fell to a five-wicket defeat at Greenwood Park.

Having been put in to bat, Sifan Naeem tried to hold the Kings innings together with his second 50 in a row but wickets fell regularly around him.

Young Liberty Maher dug deep in the second half with 16 as Kings limped to 136 all out in the 43rd over; Poojari taking 3-39.

Greenwood Park were made to work hard in the chase, falling to 42-3. However, 50 from Farooq and 33 from Zeb was enough to guide the home team home with eight overs to spare.

Kings Langley IV got their first win of the season with an emphatic victory over Boxmoor.

Put in to bat, Boxmoor had no answer to any of the six bowlers Kings used. Only extras reached double figures as Moor were dismissed for 51.

Harding (2-6), Jacob Huchings (2-12) and Toby Hendy (2-13) did the damage, with three others claiming a wicket each. In reply, Dave Barton (22 n/o) and Warwick Smith (18 n/out) saw Langley home by nine wickets in only 13 overs.

Meanwhile, Kings Langley are safely through to the second round of the County Trophy after an easy win over Parkfield on Sunday.

Kings batted first and hit an impressive 288, with Brazier and Donaldson chalking up half centuries.

Parkfield were bowled out about 100 runs short, with wickets shared between Clark, Brazier, Donaldson, Rolfe and Joyce.