Saracens Hertfordshire League: Bishop's Stortford top again after thrilling one-run win over Luton Town & Indians
Bishop's Stortford returned to the top of the Saracens Hertfordshire League, Championship Division with a dramatic one-run win at home on Saturday.
With opponents Luton Town & Indians requiring just 20 runs off a minimum of 13 overs with five wickets in hand, most of the Cricketfield Lane crowd thought the result was inevitable – but not so the Stortford players.
Stortford lost the toss on what looked like being an on-off day of cricket and the visitors elected to field. The hosts recovered from 53-5 to a defendable total of 171 thanks largely to Joe Hawkins (57) and Jonny Gaffney (35).
Bowlers Matt Pike and Jack Williams had Luton in trouble at 5-2 in the fourth over, but Sajjad Homyoon and Murtaza Trunkwala turned things around with a third-wicket partnership of 121. Trunkwala exploited the short boundary and was eventually dismissed by a brilliant catch by Williams off the bowling of Dom Clutterbuck for 95, trying to hit a six to reach his century.
As rain after tea reduced the visitors' innings to 48 overs, a sharp run-out by Clutterbuck, a catch behind by Hawkins off Pike, followed by Pike removing the middle stump of the No 7 batsman saw the score become 153-6 in the 34th over.
The dogged innings of No 3 batsman Homyoon, who faced 127 balls for his 46, ended when Williams took a catch off his own bowling.
The total of 164 remained unchanged when Williams sent captain Divesh Patel's stumps flying and repeated the action to the No 8 batsman. With the last two batsmen at the crease and Luton 165-9, they required seven runs with seven overs remaining.
With Pike’s overs completed, Clutterbuck was reintroduced into the attack. With the score on 170, the No 11 batsman skied the ball and was well caught by Sam Robinson, sending the whole crowd to their feet. Williams took 4-23 from 11 overs and Pike 3-55 from 16.
With Old Owens losing to Flitwick, Stortford lead the Championship by 17 points before their final timed game of the season at Preston on Saturday. Old Owens will be the visitors to Cricketfield Lane on August 14 for the return of the 50-50 format.
In a rain-affected, reduced-overs match in Division 4A, Bishop's Stortford II posted 156 on a damp wicket against Northwood Town. Haitel Patel (52), Hugh Williams (34) and Harry Olorenshaw (30) were the chief contributors to that total.
Northwood lost wickets steadily but reached their victory target in the 38th over to win by three wickets. Pick of the Stortford bowlers were Scott Hunt (3-22) and Liam Mays (1-22).
In the Tees Herts and Essex Border League Premier Division, Bishop's Stortford III beat Farnham by 26 runs.
The Stortford total of 246-4 was based mainly on an excellent partnership between Tom Waring (80) and Harry Barrett (64 not out). Opening bowler Ireland took three early wickets.
Farnham's Tom McCraith made 63 in the reply but the village side lost wickets regularly and were bowled out for 220. Joe Clune took 4-31.
Three teenagers played key parts in Bishop's Stortford IV's seven-wicket win over Takeley II in HEBL Division Two.
Stortford’s young openers bowled superbly after their opponents elected to bat first, with 15-year-old Elizabeth Clune taking 2-16 and 16-year-old Edward Swift 2-13 in their eight-over spells. Despite Rob Harrington’s 79 not out, their total of 135-5 from 40 overs looked light.
Stortford cruised to 138-3, with eight overs to spare, courtesy of an unbeaten 61 from veteran Simon Sargent and 46 from 15-year-old Tegid Thomas.