Delight for Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club after play-off final win over Radlett
PUBLISHED: 13:38 20 September 2016 | UPDATED: 13:47 20 September 2016
Half centuries from Dan Blacktopp (83) and captain Jamie Hewitt (64) plus the bowling exploits of Owais Shah (4-27) proved crucial as Welwyn Garden City CC beat Radlett by 131 runs to be crowned SHCL Premier Division Play-off winners.
Hewitt, playing his last first team game for the club, won the toss and chose to bat first at Radlett on a wicket covered after a day of torrential rain; he was hoping to take advantage of the bowler friendly conditions.
However, despite losing Adil Arif and Louis Champion early, it was the engine room of Blacktopp, Shah and Hewitt who took the game away from the home side.
On that, the game should have been played at a neutral venue, but none could be found, and despite disappointment from WGC at having to give home advantage to Radlett, given the conditions, it probably was one of the few grounds that could have coped with the previous day’s deluge, allowing the final to go ahead virtually on time.
WGC could have got in excess of 300, but lost wickets at wrong times after some good partnerships, but despite this, a seventh wicket stand in excess of 50 by Alex Chalker (31 from 22) and a run-a-ball 16 from Connor Emerton saw WGC post an impressive 288, a lot more than Radlett would have liked.
In reply, the home side were never really in the hunt.
An early wicket for Gurjit Sandhu and tight bowling from Arif (10 overs 1-39) put the brakes o immediately.
When Emerton (2-17 from six) came on and dismissed Fraser Crawford for 35 and then had Fakir Dungaria lbw next ball, radlett found themselves four down and way behind the rate.
The introduction of spin didn’t help their cause.
Shah (4-27) and Simon Bridgewater (2-37) cut through the middle order.
Despite some lusty blows by Matt Creese (29 not out) and Ben Lederman (19) the games was WGC’s to lose - and they weren’t going to.
The final wicket of the league season was Stanley Tinkler’s cuaght by Jason Lewis and bowled by the ever reliable Bridgewater for a duck.
With that WGC could finally celebrate a great result and super season.
See this week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times for both captain’s reactions to the final.
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