Herts Cricket League: Welwyn Garden City on course for third title after tense North Mymms semi-final win
PUBLISHED: 07:00 11 September 2018
Welwyn Garden City’s hopes of a third successive Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League Premier Division play-off title remain well and truly alive after a tense four-run win at North Mymms.
Both teams came into the semi-final on the back of good, end of season form and a good crowd at Home Farm were treated to hard-fought, pulsating encounter.
After winning the toss, WGC once again decided to continue their recent policy of batting first and asking the opposition to chase a total they hoped their in-form spinners would defend.
But after taking 27 from the first five overs, WGC soon found that batting was not going to be as easy as they first thought.
They lost Alex Chalker and Louis Champion to consecutive balls, although a partnership of 53 in 13 overs by Daniel Blacktopp (28) and James Hewitt (29) took WGC to 80.
However, Rhys Wynne accounted for both batsmen with the help of a stumping from Richard Soulsby and a sharp catch by Steve Snell and with James Southgate falling lbw to Dharmarajsinh Jhala, second ball, WGC were 92-5, and struggling to get the score they had hoped.
But skipper Andy Nolan (35) and Matthew Grant (28) put on 62 in 17 overs and with the rest of tail contributing, WGC finished with a score of 202-9.
It was a total that looked 30-runs light and Mymms had good tight bowling by Hamza Qayyum (2-29) and Wynne (3-36), supported by some excellent fielding, to thank.
And despite losing Hamza Ahmed and Nesan Jeyaratnum in the first five overs, Mymms looked to have had the game under control, with Snell and Hamza Qayyum putting on a partnership of 53 that took the score to 84-2.
But when Nolan caught Snell off the bowling of Southgate and Grant dismissed Qayyum thanks to a sharp catch by Chalker, suddenly the game was back in the balance.
When Andy Lewis (42) and Soulsby put on 52, Mymms only needed 63 runs with 14 overs and six wickets in hand.
But WGC know how to win tight games and once Lewis was run out and Blacktopp had taken two stumpings, the hosts lost their last wicket in the 49th over, just one boundary from victory.
The wickets were shared out with Chalker taking 3-43, Grant 2-43 and Connor Emerton 2-36.
Welwyn now head to Totteridge Millhillians on Saturday in a repeat of last year’s final.