Hatfield & Crusaders recover from poor start at Bentley Heath to leap back to the summit

PUBLISHED: 08:22 27 June 2018 | UPDATED: 08:38 27 June 2018

Amit Singh top scored for Hatfield & Crusaders against Bentley Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

Amit Singh top scored for Hatfield & Crusaders against Bentley Heath. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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Hatfield & Crusaders overcame a dreadful start away to Bentley Heath to send them back to the top of SHCL Division Five A.

Batting first they lost the first two wickets without getting a run on the board.

But slowly they recovered to record a 72-run win, which coupled with Watford Town’s loss at Preston 2nds was enough to move them back up the table.

That outcome seemed a long way off after the hosts roared out of the gate.

Martin Dunnett pulled off a spectacular catch diving low to his right at wide slip off the bowling of Rohan Francis and Kashan Tirmizi followed this up by trapping Heath Bond LBW.

But Hatfield did what they needed to and dug in, rebuilding the innings with small partnerships.

But with the pitch beginning to show a few demons Amit Singh played well for 59, Anil Madduri hit 42 and Preet Singh got 34, with all contributing to take the score to 249.

There were moments of brilliance in the field too.

Dunnett and Haroon Raja made difficult catches look ridiculously easy and there was a run out from a direct hit from Jacob Holden.

Heath were left a little disappointed with the bowling figures although Francis’s 2-45 and 3-42 from Mohsin Ahmed were the highlights.

In response Bentley knew they had a tough ask, with the par score being 180 on this wicket.

They started off aggressively, racing to 39-1 in the first six overs, Michael Hubbard striking three fours and a six for an entertaining 22.

However, the pitch was a lot harder than a week earlier and the regular loss of wickets after starts didn’t help the cause.

At 68-4, Ahmed was joined by Raja (29) and the pair put on 40 before Gareth Wynne (4-34) trapped the latter with a skiddy delivery for 29.

And despite a late flurry from Francis (31*) it was too little too late and they were all out for 177 in the 45th over.

Aside from Wynne, opening bowler Ben Clark took 3-42.

Hatfield host St Albans 2nds on Saturday while Bentley Heath go to Hertford 3rds, the side directly below them in the table.

The Crusaders’ second team lost by two wickets against Old Elizabethans. Mark Collins (47) top scored as Ady Foster claimed 4-37.

Bentley Heath’s second team are hauling themselves clear of the bottom of the Division 10B table after beating Chorleywood 3rds by 73 runs.

The win was the second in a row for the Wrotham Park-based Cricket Club and has them up to sixth.

It was built around five wickets for Luke Peace, with three of them making up a hat-trick.

That came after the visitors had made 199. Chetan Bakrania and Dylan Ransi were the big scorers for Heath, scoring 67 and 41 respectively.

Peace’s moment of brilliance came at just the right moment as it took the hosts from 119-6 to 119-9 in the blink of an eye.

He finished with 5-20 as Heath wrapped up a good all-round performance where they took all the chances offered to them.

They will be in confident mood on Saturday as they look to make it three in a row although top of the table Northwood 3rds will provide stern opposition.

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