Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League: DIVISION TWO Welwyn Garden City II 122-2 (30pts) beat Northwood Town 116 (2pts) by eight wickets
A horrendous batting collapse all but handed victory on a plate to Welwyn Garden City II as Northwood Town suffered a shock eight-wicket defeat against relegation threatened opposition.
Town were asked to bat and they started cautiously but Dave Bushnell (25) once again looked solid in his new opening role, although the hosts did somewhat scratch around for their runs.
Town's prospects had not been helped when both Raj and Gurpal Ahluwalia were called away for urgent family reasons but that did not excuse the disaster which befell their team-mates who fell from 70 for two to 84 for seven.
Richard Doling (29) tried desperately to hold the innings together but only Craig Newman (24) gave him any support as Town were all out for just 116. Welwyn took a patient approach in their bid for a priceless victory and while Johanes Van EE and Bushnell took a wicket apiece, the visitors strolled home.
Ahluwalia commented: "It was a poor day all round and one we have to effectively write off.
"Hopefully we can regroup and be back to ourselves next week." [25a0] The second XI had to be content with 19 points after they were unable to force victory against Dunstable III.
Returning skipper Phil Carter elected to bat and was delighted to see Sid Siddarth (38) and John Boast (34) put on an opening partnership worth 68 and Jamie Cotton produced his consistent performance as he scrapped for 29, but Town then slid miserably to 147 for six before Mike Fidler entered the fray.
Fidler rolled back the years with an exceptional innings of expansive shots, hitting 50 as Town were even able to declare early on 222 for nine.The visitors looked well set at 150 for three in reply but a flurry of wickets, with Cotton and Sean O'Neill claiming three apiece,left the hosts to survive four balls to claim a draw and that they did, ending on 208 for nine.
Carter said: "We performed well all things considered. We lacked a little bit of penetration with our bowling but it was a well earned 19 points."
DIVISION TWO: Old Albanians 218-4 (30pts) beat Northwood 217 (14pts) by six wickets
DROPPED catches proved costly as Northwood went down by six wickets away to Old Albanians.
Defending a decent total of 217 North-wood were soon among the wickets, taking three quick scalps but crucially they spilled Kwesi Roy first ball and Jonathan Smithers.
They proceeded to hit some fine strokes to the boundary and although Roy was eventually caught in the deep to an excellent diving catch by Paul Richardson, the damage was done, having scored 71. Smithers remained to finish unbeaten on 83 as Albanians got home in relative comfort from a game which Northwood had started well.
Batting first on a good track after winning the toss, Northwood soon lost Tom
Brockton but Nigel Hussey survived being bowled off a no ball from his second delivery and he made good use of the reprieve, batting sensibly through some fierce bowling.
With Richard Wise he put on 118 for the fourth wicket before Hussey was out for 63 and Wise followed soon after for 52. Amrit Latchman and the lower order pushed the score up to 217 off 52.1 overs but those missed opportunities made the difference.
* Ranjit Latchman was again in imperious form for the seconds as he hit 97 out of a total of 193 all out against Old Albanians II.
Andy Powell Williams and Latchman put on 68 for the second wicket before a middle order collapse brought Rob Reeve to the crease and he helped Latchman move the score to 161 before Latchman was finally out, going for his century.
Albanians had little to offer with the bat as all the Northwood bowlers took wickets with Woodard Patel and Reeve grabbing two each and Shariff another three. Albanians were bowled out for 109 which left Northwood dangerously near a promotion place in sixth place, 25 points off fourth.
* Young Paul Reeve, with five wickets, colt John Clifford with his first league scalp and Jerry Gibb, who bagged two late wickets, gave the thirds a good chance of victory after bowling out Broxbourne for 179. They were on course for victory when the top order all passed 20 including Rob Fells (49), with John Clifford scoring 27 and Mohan making 21.
However, with 20 required and a few overs to go Northwood threw it away.
The runs dried up and in the final over there were two run outs and two wickets off the last two balls left Northwood all out for 159, losing by 20 runs.