Gallery: WGC beat Sawbridgeworth to lift Herts Cup for fifth time
PUBLISHED: 17:48 16 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:26 26 October 2009
Herts County Cup Final Sawbridgeworth 129-10 Welwyn Garden City 130-6 WELWYN Garden City won the Hertfordshire County Cup for a record fifth time on Sunday. The Digswell Park cricket club easily beat a Sawbridgeworth side by four wickets at Shenley to l
Herts County Cup Final
Sawbridgeworth 129-10 Welwyn Garden City 130-6
WELWYN Garden City won the Hertfordshire County Cup for a record fifth time on Sunday.
The Digswell Park cricket club easily beat a Sawbridgeworth side by four wickets at Shenley to lift the county silverware.
Aussie Derek Tate was named man of the match by the umpires for his unbeaten 45 that steered WGC to victory after earlier bowling an economical spell with the ball.
The pattern of the day was set by the very first ball of the final when Gavin Baker demolished the stumps of Sawbo captain Danny Wilson.
Claiming the prized scalp of Wilson, ex of Essex and Sawbo's leading run scorer, was a perfect way to start proceedings.
After this the accuracy of WGC's bowlers on a very slow pitch kept them dominant throughout the innings.
Herts star Simon White bowled Ashman in the fourth over to leave the East Herts side on 8-2 and in dire straits.
Matt Birch somehow got a reprieve from his first ball from White when the umpire turned down what looked to be a rock-solid lbw appeal.
With Leslie Gaylard riding his luck and Birch mixing boundaries with plays and misses, the two Sawbo batsmen repaired the early damage.
They added 49 runs in a dozen overs whilst the fielding restrictions were in force.
James Hewitt came on for three very hostile overs to put the initial brakes on the scoring and then spinners Ben Frazer and Tate strangled the life out of the Sawbo innings.
Frazer bowled his eight overs for 20 runs, taking the wicket of Birch for 22, and Tate bowled his 10 overs of off-spin for 2-18.
Excellent WGC fielding meant in desperation there were four Sawbridgeworth batsmen run out.
Hewitt returned at the end to complete six overs for only nine runs.
Gaylard remained impressively undefeated for 71 runs after nearly three hours at the wicket.
But in truth, 129 all out was never likely to be a testing target on an admittedly slow pitch.
In opening up in reply, Frazer looked like he was trying to win the game in about 10 overs.
But he was caught in the deep for 22 after receiving only a dozen balls and at 31-1 in the fifth over, WGC had shown an aggressive response to the small target.
However, Ryan Cunningham's left-arm spin which had beaten WGC before struck twice to remove former Middlesex man Hewitt for eight and Herts wicketkeeper-batsman Dan Blacktopp for four.
At 41-3, things didn't look so rosy for the Digswell Park side.
The two experienced first-class cricketers in the WGC team - Aussie Derek Tate and ex-Middlesex all-rounder Aaron Laraman - ensured that was the end of the worries.
They added 57 runs in only 12 overs before Laraman was unluckily bowled off an inside edge for 31.
Nick Lamb fell the same and teenager Jamie Southgate hit two boundaries before he was caught.
But man-of-the-match Tate stood firm with 45 not out and White came in to strike the winning boundary past mid-off with 23 overs to spare.
Sunday's cup win gives WGC a decent reward for a season where they have performed admirably and shown themselves to be the strongest side in county, although they didn't get the recognition for this in terms of final league position in HCPL Division One.
Eighteen years ago skipper Martin James lifted the Herts Cup and it was the first meaningful trophy WGC had won in competitive cricket.
So it was particularly satisfying for the now veteran to do it one more time with probably the strongest side he has captained.