Gallery: Herts beat Middlesex in thrilling finish to Shah benefit game

PUBLISHED: 18:12 04 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:05 26 October 2009

Middlesex players, including Owais Shah, celebrate the fall of a wicket

Middlesex players, including Owais Shah, celebrate the fall of a wicket

RAIN failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the large crowd that turned up for Owais Shah s benefit match at WGC s ground on Friday. A heavy downpour at the scheduled start time delayed proceedings at Digswell Park and the Herts versus Middlesex Twenty20 gam

WGC's Martin James leads the Herts XI out onto the Digswell Park pitch

RAIN failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the large crowd that turned up for Owais Shah's benefit match at WGC's ground on Friday.

A heavy downpour at the scheduled start time delayed proceedings at Digswell Park and the Herts versus Middlesex Twenty20 game was reduced to 15 overs per side.

Despite the poor weather to start with, the spectators were then treated to an exciting show of big-hitting with a nail-biting encounter being decided by the very last ball.

The Herts XI also upset the odds somewhat by defeating the newly-crowned National Twenty20 Cup champions in a thrilling finish.

Owais Shah watches as the ball is smacked away at the other end  Pictures by Kevin Hyatt

Middlesex Crusaders, who beat Kent Spitfires in an exciting final at The Rose Bowl, included first team regulars Nick Compton, Dawid Malan, Ben Scott, Steven Finn, Tim Murtagh and David Nash, as well as Shah.

The Lord's outfit also included two WGC players, Phil Driver and Simon Bridgewater, who paid for the privilege of lining up on the same side as England batsman Shah.

Herts fielded an XI including seven WGC first teamers, boosted by county captain Andy Lewis from North Mymms, the Radlett duo of Shane Burger and Paul Barker and ex-Leicestershire all-rounder Nick Walker, who now plays for Potters Bar.

Middlesex, wearing their pink Twenty20 shirts, batted first and they rattled up a formidable total in their 15 overs with South African-born Compton leading the way with a whirlwind 34 from only 17 balls.

Middlesex's Tim Murtagh quickly signs a youngster's shirt

Daniel Housego, Adam London, Malan and Shah himself continued the good work as the runs flowed.

There were a total of six sixes in the innings and 21 other boundaries to scatter the crowd.

Former WGC spin bowler Barker finished with a very creditable 3-25 from his three overs as Middlesex totalled 163-6 in their 15 overs.

The Herts reply was equally swift. Walker and Burger added 24 in 15 balls and then WGC's former Middlesex all-rounder Aaron Laraman took over.

England star Owais Shah with fans at WGC Cricket Club

Laraman scored 63 from only 33 balls against his former team-mates.

Burger claimed 35 runs from 20 deliveries and Ed Tucker 18 from only eight.

After a flurry of boundaries - nine fours and 10 sixes respectively - Herts needed two runs from two balls with Laraman on strike with 63 to his name and beneficiary Shah bowling.

However, Laraman was well caught on the boundary and it was left to another WGC player, Nick Lamb, to drive a four through the covers to take Herts to 165-6 and victory.

Bowling star for Middlesex was guest player Bridgewater with 3-15 from his three overs.

However, the real winner from the occasion was Shah and the game of cricket itself.

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