Herts Cricket League: Owais Shah rolls back the years as Welwyn Garden City keep in play-off hunt
PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 August 2018
Welwyn Garden City kept their noses firmly in the play-off race thanks to a victory over Radlett forged by a reminder of the class of Owais Shah.
The former Middlesex and England man hit a wonderful 119 not out, smashed from 114 balls, as WGC won by five wickets at Digswell Park.
And it needed it to as the momentum of the game continually shifted first one way, then the other.
A delay of just over an hour, thanks to a soaking-outfield early in the day, had shortened the game to 45-overs per side and there were just four balls remaining when the winning runs were hit.
Radlett had won the toss and chose to bat but it was WGC who took the early lead, Shah claiming the wicket of Josh De Caires with the first ball.
And they kept the flow of wickets going as Radlett slumped to 48-3 and by the time they got to the final 10 overs of their innings, the scoreboard showed just 147-6.
But Radlett still had Joe Cooke at the crease, having come in for the second ball, and it was at this point that he started to increase the Radlett tempo and run rate.
Hitting eight sixes with powerful clean strikes he was eventually caught for 125, helping Radlett to add 108 in those final overs and finish on 255-8.
The wickets were shared between the WGC bowlers, Shah, James Southgate, Matthew Grant and Connor Emerton all getting two each.
And having shifted the momentum back in their favour, Radlett kept the pressure on with their bowling.
WGC lost both openers in the first five overs but consolidated their innings with a partnership of 87 between Dan Blacktopp (56) and Shah.
But as the overs ticked by, the run rate also continued to grow, with Muhammed Adil Zareef producing a miserly spell and conceding just 21 runs in his nine overs.
However, needing a seemingly impossible 91 in the last eight overs, Shah used his considerable skill and experience to manufacture a win.
His third century of the campaign contained 12 fours and three sixes and has moved them to three points of third-placed Potters Bar.