Bar close in on play-off spot thanks to West Herts stroll
PUBLISHED: 06:35 21 August 2019
Potters Bar consolidated their position in the top three of the Herts Cricket League Premier Division with a comfortable 103-run win over West Herts.
They now know that victory at Harpenden on Saturday will all but guarantee them a place in the end of season play-offs for a second successive season - and they will have high hopes of reeling in second place Welwyn Garden City too with the gap just 16 points.
This victory at The Walk saw Bar in complete control despite a pitch that had been hit by rain over the preceding days.
Asked to bat first on losing the toss, the home side got off to a great start with excellent batting from Steve Gale and Rehan Hassan laying a solid foundation following the early loss of Charlie Scott.
The duo put together a 133-run partnership before Gale fell for 62.
As is so often the case though once one goes, the other isn't far behind and Hassan lost his own wicket just four runs later after a fine 70.
The constant falling of wickets kept West Herts in the game but thanks to a cheeky run-a-ball 20 from Harrison Palmer and the usual Catherine Wheel batting of Thilan Walallawita (21*), Bar closed their innings on 239, one ball shy of their allotted 50 overs.
Walallawita's innings saw him become only the second Potters Bar cricketer in the modern ECB era to reach the 1,000 run and 100 wicket milestone.
The home side were still confident that their total would be enough and that they could restrict the visitors' attempts at chasing the target.
As it turned out they didn't just restrict them, they strangled the life out of them.
Not once did West Herts look like breaking clear from the clutches of the Bar bowling attack, for whom Luke Chapman took the plaudits.
He claimed 5-34 from his eight overs as he crashed through the 30 league wickets barrier for the season.
There was also another two wickets for Jigar Mehta as he finished on 2-18 and Brad Sayers managed an equally impressive 2-16 as the visitors limped to 136.
Bar's second team moved top of Division Three B after a thumping 222-run win away to Langleybury.
They made a whopping 307-5 in their 50 overs, Ben Taylor getting 131 and Ben Hunter 63 not out before dismissing their hosts for just 85.
A defeat for previous leaders Chipperfield Clarendon at West Herts 2nds means Bar have a 19-point advantage.