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Sawbridgeworth go top of Saracens Hertfordshire League, Division One after beating Harpenden II




Sawbridgeworth moved to the top of Saracens Hertfordshire League, Division One after they dismantled Harpenden II by nine wickets on Saturday, writes Richard White.

Steve Ashman's side needed just 15.1 overs to chase down their victory target of 129 to move a point clear of Hitchin, who were knocked off pole position after suffering a two-wicket defeat to Ampthill Town, who recorded their first win of the season.

Despite heavy overnight rain at Town Fields, the game started on time and Ashman had no hesitation in electing to bowl first.

The visitors progressed to 71 for 2 in the 19th over after Michael Burrell had taken two early wickets in his first spell. Opener Zaid Kureshi (35) being caught by Jack Timms off the bowling of George Kenny (2 for 16) began a dramatic collapse as the visitors lost their last eight wickets for 57 runs.

Mark de Claiterosse, who finished 21 not out batting at number seven, was the only other Harpenden player to pass 20 as the visitors were all out in 42.4 overs.

Burrell returned to take two more wickets to finish with figures of 4 for 29 in 10 overs while the other successful bowlers were Vibhor Yadav (2 for 24) and Matt Billings (2 for 23).

The hosts shrugged off the early loss of Travis Hussain (4) to the fifth ball of their reply as Yadav joined Owen Groves for a match-winning second-wicket partnership of 125.

Yadav, who scored a century against the same opposition last season, struck seven fours and four sixes as he raced to an unbeaten 71 off just 41 balls.

Groves provided excellent support at the other end as he ended the game with three successive boundaries to finish one short of his 50. He struck seven fours in total from 48 deliveries.

In contrast, the seconds suffered a disappointing 40-run defeat at Baldock in Division 5B.

A superb bowling display saw them dismiss their hosts for just 109 in 48.2 overs as father and daughter William and Emma Jones took seven wickets between them.

Emma was the pick of the attack, taking 4 for 33 in her 10 overs, while William returned figures of 3 for 14.

The other wickets fell to Nick Dale (2 for 32) and Andrew Dongworth (1 for 17) while Paul James conceded just seven runs from 10 overs which included four maidens.

In reply, Sawbo were all out for 69 with James Bovaird (23) being their only player to reach double figures.

To add to their frustrations, they were deducted half of their 10 bowling bonus points for not supplying an umpire.

In Tees Herts and Essex Border League, Division Two, the thirds suffered a 43-run defeat at Stansted Hall & Elsenham II.

The hosts recovered from losing four early wickets to make 168 all out. Andrew McKinlay top-scored for the hosts with 91.

In reply, the visitors were dismissed for 125 as Peter Page took 6 for 13 in six overs. The other wickets were shared between David Saker (2 for 5) and Andrew Wood (2 for 10), who had earlier scored 22 with the bat.

Meanwhile, the Boardmans Davies Cup T20 competition gets under way on June 15 when holders Takeley entertain Rickling Ramblers.

June 23 is the date for Stansted's home game against Hockerill, Molehill Green's trip to Thorley and Birchanger's home meeting with Matching Green.



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