Hemel Town Royals opened their campaign for the NatWest Under-19 T20 competition with an impressive eight-wicket win over Redbourn Unicorns on Friday.
After winning the toss and electing to bowl first on a rain-soaked Heath Park, Hemel found themselves on the back foot after an attacking start from Redbourn.
Ed Hales (23) and Tom Copp (17) shared an opening stand of 47 from just seven overs, but two quick wickets from Ed Langley (2-29), combined with some tight bowling from captain Charlie Hoskins (4-12) and Lewis Hodgins (1-12) saw Unicorns slip to 72-8.
Redbourn eventually struggled to a respectable total of 99, thanks to a ninth-wicket partnership of 17 between Hugh Craig (19*) and Ferrin Patel (6*).
The Royals’ response got off to a slow start, amassing just 18 runs off the first five overs. However, that was as good as it got for the visitors as Hemel batsmen Nick Gurney (34*) and Shay Emerton (53*) dismantled the Redbourn bowling attack with some power-hitting and some unorthodox flicks. Both men finished unbeaten as Hemel cruised home with five overs to spare.
The Royals’ next fixture is away to Abbotts Langley on Friday.