Potters Bar open new Herts Cricket League season with win over Harpenden
- Credit: KARYN HADDON
Potters Bar's tilt at another table-topping season in the Herts Cricket League Premier Division began with victory at the club who led the league standings at the end of the regular season last year - Harpenden.
Put into bat, they made 276-6 in their 50 overs, thanks in the main to a superb fifth-wicket partnership between James Scott and Reece Hussain.
They joined forces at 106-4 and brought up the century together 114 balls later.
Scott would eventually go for 64 with Bar on 250 and Hussain departed for 93 to the penultimate ball.
Jigar Mehta struck in the first over of the reply to take the wicket of James Latham but led by Bill Meacock, Harps started to rebuild.
Scott Galloway made 43 and Gus Laws-Mather 33 as the hosts began to look threatening.
There was a first league wicket for Anmol Maheshram in there but Meacock kept plodding on until he got to 92, debutant wicket keeper James Seward taking his fourth and final catch of the day.
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That was off the bowling of Luke Chapman and the skipper would go on to take two more wickets, finishing on 3-46, before Thilan Walallawita wrapped up the victory with the caught and bowled of Arthur Garrett.
It left Harpenden 49 runs short and gave Bar a first league win since week 10 of last season.
North Mymms meanwhile recorded a superb five-wicket win away to 2021 play-off champions Hertford.
They put their hosts into the bat and then promptly dismissed them for 110 in 42.2 overs.
Hertford managed 45 for the first wicket but after that Mymms took charge with Chanaka Ruwansiri (4-18) and Dharmarajsinh Jhala (3-20) key to that.
The reply was knocked inside 31 overs with Ruwansiri (30 in 31 balls) and Nesan Jeyaratnam (28) putting on 54 for the third wicket.
Old Owens beat Flitwick by 41 runs in the Championship, 52 from Jack Timms and 3-19 for Tej Thakkar, while in Division Three A there were wins for Datchworth and Knebworth Park.
Datch beat North Enfield by 45 runs, Tom Bennett scoring 83, while Park saw off Chipperfield Clarendon by four wickets, Gareth Jones and Alex Richmond sharing six wickets between them.
Hatfield & Crusaders meanwhile won their opener in Division Four A by 64 runs against Cheshunt Rosedale. Ben Gethin Golder (74) and Heath Bond (58) were the stars, sharing 112 for the third wicket although Amin Singh took 3-4 in 14 deliveries.
Preston II 135-10 (38.1 ov) v Bentley Heath 151-10 (38.5 ov)
Bentley Heath II 125-10 (31 ov) v Boxmoor II 67-10 (25 ov)
It was a perfect start for Bentley Heath on the opening day of the 2022 season with convincing wins for both their first and second teams.
The ones opened up with a 16-run success at Preston seconds in Division Five A.
Chris Gallagher top scored with an unbeaten 40, although he frustratingly ran out of partners, while there was 30 for Shabaz Hussain and 29 for Mohsin Ahmed.
It got them to 151 in 39 overs and Imran Ali's dismissal of both openers, on his way to 2-21, got them off to a good start in reply.
Preston's middle order proved difficult but once Hassan Zeb (3-29) made the break-through, the flood gates opened.
Gallagher added 2-11 in seven overs as Preston were all out for 135.
The seconds faced Boxmoor and having lost the toss, they were forced to bat on a damp pitch.
There were some decent scores in the conditions, James Medforth's 37 in particular, but it took a highly-important final partnership of 37 between Lahiru Weerasinghe (17*) and Zach Goddard (6) to leave Boxmoor needing 126 to win.
Weerasinghe then returned with 2-22 but it was superb bowling from Luke Peace that did the real damage as Boxmoor crumbled from 42-2 to 49-6 and eventually 67 all out.
He took 5-12 in eight overs with some well-taken catches from Matt Bird and Medforth also playing their part.
Cambridgeshire ended Hertfordshire’s reign as champions by edging them out on net run rate to win Group Three of the National Counties T20.
Hertfordshire led the group after they beat Cambridgeshire by four wickets in the first match at Welwyn Garden City where former Essex batsman Kishen Velani saw them home with a half century on his first appearance of the season.
But Cambridgeshire turned the tables in the second match with James Sykes, the former Leicestershire slow left-armer taking four wickets in a seven-run win.
Ben Seabrook’s half century proved important for Cambridgeshire and although captain Reece Hussain responded in kind, Hertfordshire’s net run rate over eight matches was 0.49 inferior to Cambridgeshire’s.