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Saracens Hertfordshire League, Division One: Matt Billings produces best league figures to help Sawbridgeworth win




Matt Billings produced his best league figures to help Sawbridgeworth return to winning ways with a vital three-wicket win at Old Albanian in Saracens Hertfordshire League, Division One, writes Richard White.

The 23-year-old took 5 for 31 in 9.5 overs – his second five-wicket haul in the Herts League – before hitting the winning runs as the visitors scrambled over the line to secure their fourth win of the campaign.

Billings took five of the last six wickets to fall as the home side collapsed from 64 for 3 to 117 all out, which included two catches and a leg-side stumping by skipper Steve Ashman, who enjoyed a superb day behind the timber.

Sawbridgeworth first team's Matt Billings took 5 for 31 in their win over Old Albanian. Picture: Vikki Lince
Sawbridgeworth first team's Matt Billings took 5 for 31 in their win over Old Albanian. Picture: Vikki Lince

His decision to bowl first on an exceptionally green wicket brought immediate dividends as George Kenny (2 for 19) and Paul James (1 for 23) reduced the hosts to 15 for 3 after seven overs.

Father and son Daud (23) and Mohammed Haroon (20) put on 49 for the fourth wicket, but Kamran Choudhry and Ghulam Rasool were the only others to reach double figures. Vibhor Yadav and Saad Naveed took the other wickets to fall.

In reply, Sawbo slipped to 13 for 2 before Jack Timms held the innings together in very difficult batting conditions. He managed to survive 112 balls on his way to scoring 24 – the highest individual score of the match.

Joe Holland contributed 16 to a fourth-wicket partnership of 30 before Luke Garratt added a quickfire 15. It was left to Ashman (13 not out) and Billings (2 not out) to get the visitors to 118 for 7 midway through the 45th over.

Meanwhile, the second XI lost by two wickets to their Old Albanian counterparts after recording their highest team total of 2021 in Division 5B.

They piled up 240 for 8 from their 50 overs, with Joshua Ramsay top-scoring with 52 not out and Tommy Hamilton hitting 38 on his second-team debut. Skipper Alex Syed fell one short of a half-century and Charlie Mann finished unbeaten on 31.

In reply, the visitors reached 241 for 8 with eight balls to spare, with the wickets being shared by Alfie Burrell (3 for 42), Louis Kirby (2 for 51), Andrew Dongworth (2 for 52) and William Jones (1 for 36).



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