Sawbridgeworth slip out of Saracens Hertfordshire League, Division One promotion places after suffering a second successive defeat at home to Hitchin
Sawbridgeworth have slipped out of the Saracens Hertfordshire League, Division One promotion places after suffering a second successive league defeat at home to Hitchin on Saturday, writes Richard White.
Their 13-run loss to the leaders at Town Fields saw them drop to third place in the table. They are now 28 points off the top and three adrift of Broxbourne, who moved ahead of Sawbo following their eight-wicket win over Holtwhites Trinibis.
After dismissing the visitors for 183, the unfortunate run out of Travis Hussain (21) in the 10th over sparked a top-order collapse from 24 without loss to 51 for 5 – including the key wicket of Vibhor Yadav for 11.
Michael Burrell (56) led the recovery as he featured in two 39-run partnerships with stand-in captain George Kenny (29) and Charlie Mann (14) before adding a further 35 with Matt Billings (16).
The hosts reached 164 for 7 midway through the 46th over, requiring 20 to win off 27 balls.
Billings was trapped lbw by Luke Day and Sean Black was bowled without scoring by Musa Ilyas (4 for 26) before Burrell, who battled his way to 50 from 71 balls, holed out to Day at mid-wicket as Sawbo were all out for 170 with nine balls remaining.
Earlier, Hitchin advanced to 119 for 3 off 32 overs after being inserted before losing their last seven wickets for 64 runs. Saad Waqas top-scored with 61 after featuring in a fourth-wicket partnership of 58 with Kashif Nizami.
Black (3 for 26) finished off the innings with three wickets in nine balls and a run out, with Billings taking 2 for 38 in nine overs. Paul James (10-1-22-1) bowled impressively at the start of the innings with Burrell and Yadav claiming a wicket apiece.
Elsewhere, Sawbridgeworth II remain winless in Division 5B as they lost to their Broxbourne counterparts by four wickets.
A two-hour delay saw the game reduced to 33 overs a side. Sawbo were dismissed for 120 with Gabriel Inch top-scoring with 38.
Andrew Dongworth (6-1-23-1) got the breakthrough before Saad Naveed picked up 3 for 28 from his seven overs.
Nick Dale claimed 2 for 19, including the wicket of skipper Alex O'Sullivan (40), but the hosts reached 121 for 6 midway through the 28th over.
Sawbridgeworth III's trip to Essendon in Tees Herts & Essex Border League, Division Two was abandoned without a ball being bowled.
Meanwhile, captain Riz Akram hit 55 to lead Matching Green to a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Little Hallingbury in the HEBL Premier Division.
He had good support from Steve Ward (41 not out) as they reached 98 for 1 in just 10 overs.
Little Hallingbury had earlier been removed for 95 as Hassan Ali and Jonny Taylor took five and three wickets respectively.
In Division Three, Matching Green II maintained their winning run by beating Albury by 68 runs.
Simon Jeffrey and Luke Fishpool hit half-centuries in a total of 240 for 7 before Lorcan Neville's three-wicket haul helped limit their opponents to 172 for 9.