One more step to go for Bar as they reach play-off final

PUBLISHED: 16:55 17 September 2019

Thilan Walallawita bagged four wickets to help Potters Bar into the play-off final. Picture: DANNY LOO

Thilan Walallawita bagged four wickets to help Potters Bar into the play-off final. Picture: DANNY LOO

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Potters Bar finally loosened Welwyn Garden City's grip on the Herts Cricket League championship title as they battled to a four-wicket win at Digswell Park.

The home side have won each of the last three play-off finals and had gone through the season with just one defeat.

But Bar arrived as the league's form team with 11 games undefeated and only one loss in 14 and thanks to a superb all-round display they closed out the victory with 14 balls to spare.

Welwyn won the toss and chose to bat first but they were met by an on-fire Thilan Walallawita who found the edge of Louis Champion's bat with the score on eight.

Better was to follow too as the league's top run scorer for the last two seasons, Owais Shah, was bowled for just nine to leave WGC on 15-2.

Two more wickets would fall before the 100 was reached but James Southgate was well set by that point as he scored 44 consecutive singles in 63 balls to reach his 50.

His problem was he kept running out of partners. Jamie Hewitt was caught in the deep for 20 and Alex Chalker went for just four and although Southgate and Matt Grant put on 44 in 61 balls, the Aussie spinner skied one to mid-off and when Conor Emerton was run out next ball, Welwyn were 185-8 with 52 balls left.

But Southgate powered on, bashing 37 in his last 16 balls, to finish on 115 not out and leave WGC on 248-8.

Walallawita was the Potters Bar star bowler with 4-39.

Bar's reply got off to an equally shaky start with Steve Gale and Pat Scott both out early as Bar fell to 35-2.

The home side smelt blood but when Rehan Hassan and Rishi Patel restored calm to the Bar ranks as they found the boundary with alarming regularity.

The pair put on 74 in 100 balls before Patel was caught on 39 and Charlie Scott's dismissal left them needing 125 in 26 overs.

Hassan completed his sixth fifty of the season when he was run out on 52, Bar were 166-5.

But James Scott took control and he reached his half-century with relative ease and 16 runs in the 47th over between him and Walallawita pretty much saw Bar home.

Two boundaries sealed the deal and left Scott unbeaten on 72 from 67 balls.

Potters Bar will return to WGC on Saturday for the final where Radlett will be the opposition.

They may have finished top of the league but two of their four defeats came against the Bar, including a 48-run success on the final day.

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