Owais Shah imperious for Welwyn Garden City but disappointment for North Mymms, Potters Bar and Old Owens
- Credit: KARYN HADDON
There was joy for Welwyn Garden City, heartbreak for North Mymms and disappointment for Potters Bar and Old Owens as competitive cricket made its return to Hertfordshire.
The county T20 championship saw four groups of four battle it out to reach the finals day.
Welwyn made it through with victories over Bishop's Stortford and then Letchworth in their group played at their Digswell Park home.
The winning margin in the semi was seven wickets, WGC restricting Stortford to 160-6 in their 20 overs thanks to three wickets for Owais Shah and two for Simon Bridgewater.
Victory was then wrapped up with more than two overs to spare, Shah returning to thump 70 off 36 balls.
Their opponents in the final were Letchworth who squeezed past neighbours Preston by just four runs.
They put Welwyn into bat and got an instant breakthrough when Mo Rizvi was out to the second ball.
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However, Shah's incredible day continued as he walloped another 75, this time in just 32 balls, while Louis Champion hit 76 and Alex Chalker 32.
Their final total of 217 proved too much for Letchworth and their innings finished on 147 with Thomas Whitton's 3-30 the best figures.
WGC will now face Radlett, Harpenden and Hertford in the finals day in June.
Radlett secured passage by dumping both Potters Bar and North Mymms out of the competition.
Bar were the first to lose to the host side, going down by 37 runs.
They had won the toss and opted to field first, getting a fantastic start when Jigar Mehta had Tom Jenkins well taken at cover by Steve Gale for a second ball duck.
It got even better when Teddy Duke claimed the big wicket of Dom Chatfield as he slapped it to James Scott at mid-off for just 13.
And when Duke claimed his second wicket, Fraser Crawford the victim this time, Radlett were 23-3.
But that's where the fun ended and after 68 from Kabir Toor, Radlett had made 158-7 in their 20 overs. Duke finished on 3-25 while Mehta helped himself to a second wicket.
Bar too struggled early on with the bat, also reaching 23-3, although a tidy if unspectacular partnership between Reece Hussain (29) and Miguel Machado (15) seemed to have steadied the ship.
However, despite that and 43 from Scott, they went from 112-5 to 121 all out in 13 balls.
North Mymms went much closer in the final before bowing to defeat.
They had beaten Langleybury first off with Nesan Jeyaratnam hitting 47 and then Dharmarajsinh Jhala, Richard Oxley and Muhammed Rahim all took two wickets as Langelybury were stopped four runs short.
Jeyaratnam scored another 42 in the final with 36 not out from Andy Lewis as Mymms got to 141-5.
However, this time it was their turn to fall just short, Radlett hitting seven in the final over and grabbing the winning single on the penultimate ball.
Chanaka Ruwansiri was the star bowler for Mymms, taking 3-32.
Old Owens meanwhile were beaten by Harpenden in the opening game at Reed.
Harps hit 163-3, Robert Sibley, Jake Wickham and Brad Lane taking the wickets, and Whickham was the top scorer with the bat with 26 while there was 23 for Luke Peters and 20 from Ralph Lane.
Unfortunately they were always behind the run rate and finished on 105-7.