Sawbridgeworth defeat Preston in first round of The Cricketer National Village Cup
Sawbridgeworth booked their place in the second round of The Cricketer National Village Cup after recording a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Preston at Town Fields on Sunday, writes Richard White.
After losing the toss, they produced a superb bowling and fielding display to dismiss the visitors for just 90 after two early rain breaks reduced the match to 28 overs per side.
Sam Timms played a part in the first three wickets to fall, firstly removing Peter Murrell, who chopped the final ball of the fourth over onto his stumps with the score on 13. Then Timms' tumbling catch off the bowling of Paul James (6-1-17-1) sent Ollie Catlin on his way without addition to the score, before he removed Daniel Plumb immediately after the second stoppage via a very smart snare at gully by skipper Matt Billings.
Saad Naveed ripped through the middle order with a superb spell, taking 4 for 23 in five overs – his best first XI figures for Sawbo – including the key wicket of Ben Hill (26).
The visitors collapsed from 36 for 3 to 62 for 7 and, after a 28-run stand between Alex Gallimore (15) and Callum Blair (16), Billings (2-1-6-2) took two wickets in successive balls. William Jones (1 for 23) took the final wicket with Gallimore being stumped by Charlie Mann, who rounded off a superb display with the gloves having earlier taken three catches.
Rob Sanders fell in the second over of Sawbridgeworth's reply, but Owen Groves (42 not out) and Jack Timms (30) put on 56 for the second wicket before Mann (10 not out) hit the winning runs to set up a trip to Langleybury on Sunday (1pm start).
It completed a memorable weekend personally for Groves, who had scored his maiden league century for the club on Saturday with 115 for the second XI at Hertingfordbury in Saracens Herts League, Division 5B.
The team posted 248 for 6, with Brad Oakes contributing a fine 71, but like the majority of games in the county, the match was abandoned at the halfway stage.
However, it was at Town Fields where records tumbled as the first team piled up 307 for 5 in their Division One clash against newly promoted Holtwhites Trinibis before the contest came to a premature end.
Vibhor Yadav (107) and Joe Holland (111 not out) scored their maiden league centuries for the club as they featured in the club's highest fourth-wicket partnership of 174, beating the previous best of 172 by David Burrell and Peter Rue against Radlett in August 1985.
Holland's 70-ball hundred was the third fastest league hundred by any Sawbo player since 1984 and the highest by a No 5 batsman over the same period, surpassing Stuart Felstead's unbeaten 100 against Hemel Hempstead in July 1990.
Yadav struck 11 fours and six sixes in 82 deliveries before falling to a return catch by Ahmed Ellech.
Only 30.4 overs were bowled in the third XI's visit to Stansted Hall & Elsenham II in Tees Herts & Essex Border League, Division Two.
The home side reached 159-5 with Andrew Dongworth (2 for 42), Jason Hill (2 for 43) and Kevin Youngs (1 for 20) sharing the wickets.