A score of 116 from overseas player Johan Maritz was still not enough to earn Hemel’s first XI a win on Saturday as their clash with Hoddesdon ended in a draw.
In the reverse fixture, Hoddesdon’s South African player Jayden Broodryk smashed 112 off 57 balls. This time around at Heath Park he made 74 off 75 but it was Hemel’s South African Maritz who stole the show with 116 from 105 balls.
Having won the toss and put Hemel in, Maritz and Jack Doodson (67) were able to help the hosts reach 309-7 in their 60 overs, to procuring maximum batting points.
The early part of the visitors run-chase started rapidly with Broodryk and skipper Sam Davis (90no) combining well for the fourth wicket as they marched to 238-3 after 42 overs. With 72 needed from 13 overs on a run-scoring outfield the win was in Hoddesdon’s hands. But a lazy off-drive from Broodryk spooned a ball from Shidhu Kanade to Josh Graves at long-off who, having made a mess of it originally, held onto the ball above the ground between his legs.
With Hoddesdon needing six an over, Hemel kept plugging away and wickets kept falling. They needed 15 off the final over with Davis on strike but Kanade kept him to one boundary and a single as the match ended up drawn.
Hemel are now in fifth place in the Championship table and visit Langleybury this Saturday.
There was another win for Hemel II, putting them in mid-table in Division 3B and just one win off the top of the division. Put in by Potters Bar II, Hemel were able to make good progress through skipper Tom Waterton (68) and Kevin West (46).
They put on 98 for the second wicket. A 23 in the middle from Ed Langley, 24 at the end from Eranda Jayasinghe and 23 not out from Anjam Khan pushed Hemel to 241-9 in their 50 overs.
Hemel’s bowlers kept chipping away in return and after 30 overs, Potters were only at 125-6. It was then a battle between James Illott (65*) – son of England bowler Mark Illott – and Rory Fraser (4-41) who ran through the Potters lower order to keep them at 234-8 and earn a win for Hemel.
There was a home win for Hemel III over Hatfield Crusaders II to keep them in second in Division 6B, five points behind leaders Abbots Langley II, who will be Hemel’s last opponents on September 1.
The roasting sun seems to lead to high scores on the Heath Park nursery ground and skipper Graham Clark didn’t disappoint, hitting an unbeaten 108 in what was his first ton for the club in 25 years of Saturday league cricket.
Sunny Kullar was by his side with 90 as Hemel ended on 252-5 from their 50 overs.
Chipping away at Hatfield was what was required and the Hemel bowlers did just that. Jake Fossey took 3-29 from his 10 overs and Daryll Barnett 3-34 from seven. The spin of young Ed Grayson returned 2-12 from seven overs to give Hemel control.
Hatfield were all out for 168 as Hemel won by 84 runs.
Hemel’s fourth XI went down by 15 runs to the bottom side in Division 9B, Abbots Langley III. Hemel won the toss and put them into bat and they will have thought that their total of 212 was achievable. Nic Benson led the bowling with 3-29, followed by 2-33 from Dil Khan and 2-53 from Vinnie Liddar. There were steady 20s and 30s from the Abbots batsmen but no scoring frenzy.
Hemel’s reply was nowhere near as stable. A 40 from Will Stokes at number four until he was ninth out with the score on 147-9 was one of the better showings. A 50 partnership for the 10th wicket between Matt Scears (37*) and Ajay Savania (10) saw Hemel up to 197. One ball from Ashan Khan put paid to thoughts of victory as he bowled out Ajay.
Sunday saw a friendly against wandering side Saracens, who the Hemel Sunday XI played and beat two weeks ago. This time Hemel batted first and amassed 208 in their 40 overs. The Wilsons were to the fore with Aaron scoring 58 and Ryan 50. That brought Hemel along after a shaky start had seen them at 41-4 in the first 10 overs.
The Hodgins brothers paced the bowling with Will taking 3-24 from his eight overs and Lewis 3-13 from four overs. Despite an early flurry at the start of their innings, with Harris scoring 50, Hemel kept it under control to win by 40 runs.