Saracens Herts Cricket League: Century makers Burslem and Hawkins are more than your average Joes with record unbeaten 256-run partnership for Stortford at Hertford
Joe Burslem and Joe Hawkins both scored their maiden centuries in forging an outstanding record unbeaten 256-run partnership for Bishop's Stortford at Hertford in the Saracens Herts Cricket League on Saturday.
The 21-year-olds came together with the score on 32-3 chasing the hosts' mammoth total of 286-4 and steered the Cricketfield Lane side to a magnificent seven-wicket victory to stop the rot after three successive defeats in the Premier Division.
Burslem showed his intent from the first ball at Balls Park and his first 50 came off 60 deliveries. His 120 not out off 136 balls included 14 fours and two sixes.
At the other end, Hawkins started slightly more sedately, but his last 50 came off just 17 balls and three-quarters of his unbeaten 141 came in boundaries: 13 fours and nine massive sixes.
It was an impressive performance from two lads who have played together at Stortford since their junior days, making their senior debuts for the fourth XI in 2014. Their stand was a club record partnership with both being not out as well as a fourth-wicket club record. The club has one bigger partnership of 275 when one of the batsmen was out.
Earlier, Hertford had won the toss and elected to bat. Their first over saw Hugh Cavener run out without facing a ball.
Progression was slow, and in the 10th over Matt Pike had opener Will Ray caught in the slips and then Richard Leather caught behind to put the hosts 46-3.
A partnership of 191 between Fayaz Homyoon and Bailey Eustace took the score to 237 before the former was again caught behind off Pike for 114.
Hertford’s final six overs produced 49 runs with Eustace finishing on 115 not out. Ben Twohig was unlucky to end wicket-less in his excellent spell of 20 overs for 78 runs.
In reply, Stortford had Ekky Singh caught behind off the first ball of the innings, and when Maz Khan (8) and Twohig (14) were back in the pavilion with the score 32-3 in the 11th over, a draw looked like the best option Stortford could hope for.
Enter Burslem and Hawkins, who had other ideas. With the score at 175-3 and a minimum of 15 overs left, 112 runs were required for victory – 10 overs later the target had been reached.
The win moves Stortford up to fifth in the table. On Saturday they host Hoddesdon, who are one position and seven points behind.
In Division 4A, leaders Bishop's Stortford II suffered their second defeat of the season in a calmer contest against Old Haberdashers at Cricketfield Lane.
Batting first, Haitel Patel top-scored with 73, with all the other batsmen chipping in with 20s, as the hosts finished 204-6 at the end of their 50 overs.
The visitors quietly chipped away at the target and needed five runs off the last over which they achieved in three balls to finish on 208-7 for a three-wicket victory.
Richie Heywood (3-27), Callum Sykes (1-15), Will Lambert and Sam Robinson were the pick of the Stortford bowlers.
The second XI drop to third and on Saturday visit Cheshunt Rosedale, who are one place and five behind them.
In the Tees Herts and Essex Border League, Bishop's Stortford III did very well to restrict Thorley to 201, for whom Charlie Castle made 50, in their Premier Division match, but what followed in reply was disastrous.
At one stage Stortford were 13-8 and in the end managed a total of 45 all out, with only Sam Howlett making double figures.
It was Stortford's fifth defeat in seven league matches and they are second from bottom.
In Division Two, a magnificent knock of 118 from Jay Ward was the outstanding performance as Bishop's Stortford IV ended a run of three defeats, chasing down their target of 238 at home against Stansted Hall and Elsenham II with three wickets in hand and six overs to spare.
Earlier, Josh Beaumont made 61 and Gus Mackinlay 63 in SH&E's total of 237-8, with Elizabeth Clune taking 3-32.
The target looked tough for Stortford as three early wickets fell, but Ward had other ideas and they got home despite losing a few wickets at the end, with George Mackenzie taking 3-32 for the visitors.
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