Saracens Hertfordshire League: Michael Burrell makes 250th league appearance as Sawbridgeworth beat Hitchin
Michael Burrell marked his 250th league appearance for Sawbridgeworth with two important wickets as he helped his side to a superb 35-run victory at Saracens Hertfordshire League, Division One leaders Hitchin, writes Richard White.
The 37-year-old former captain, who made his debut at Welwyn Garden City in July 1999, took 2-43 in his new-ball spell of eight overs.
He needed only three deliveries to dismiss home skipper Sanjay Chandarana lbw before taking a low return catch in his fourth over to send Ollie Howell on his way without scoring.
This reduced the home side to 43-3 in the eighth over of their reply after the Town Fields side had posted 270-7 off their 50 overs – their highest total of the season.
Gary Brown (42 off 30 balls) and Owen Groves (25) got Sawbo off to a flier with an opening partnership of 61 in 10 overs before both players were run out in quick succession.
Jack Timms contributed just nine runs to a third-wicket partnership of 62 with Vibhor Yadav, who top-scored with 57, before the hosts slipped from 137-2 to 162-6.
Rob Sanders was dropped twice in three balls then added 71 with skipper Steve Ashman before falling for 52 after a short break for rain. Ashman finished 42 not out as 37 were scored off the last five overs, with Matt Billings finishing unbeaten on 10.
Ashman produced another excellent performance behind the stumps, including an excellent catch to dismiss Hitchin opener Luke Day (17) off the bowling of Yadav.
Shaftab Khalid (81) and Saad Waqas led the leaders' fightback as they added 77 for the fourth wicket before a calamitous mix-up saw the latter run out for 31.
Khalid added 50 with Elliott Beard (37) before falling lbw to Saad Naveed's first ball. Sean Black (2-55) and Yadav (3-45) returned to take two wickets each before Leighton Gibbs (13) was run out in the last over.
Despite their victory, Sawbridgeworth remain third in the table. They are still 15 points behind Broxbourne, who remain favourites to take the second promotion spot as they still have the bottom two sides to play.
The second XI moved 16 points clear of the Division 5B relegation zone despite losing to Broxbourne II by eight wickets.
Luke Garratt top-scored with 68 as Alex Syed's team recovered from 66-4 to make 261-8. The visitors' skipper Alex O'Sullivan smashed 171 off 138 balls as they raced to 262-2 in 39.3 overs.