Success is down to strength in depth says skipper

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 July 2018

Hatfield & Crusaders' Ben Clark traps St Albans II's Naveed Ahmed LBW in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

Hatfield & Crusaders' Ben Clark traps St Albans II's Naveed Ahmed LBW in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Hatfield & Crusaders' strength in depth is the big plus behind their fantastic first half of the year according to captain Gareth Wynne.

Hatfield & Crusaders celebrate a wicket in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders celebrate a wicket in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

The Ascots Lane-based cricket club made it seven wins from nine this season with a three-wicket win over St Albans 2nds keeping them top of Division Five A.

Hatfield & Crusaders celebrate a wicket in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders celebrate a wicket in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

They even extended their lead and the skipper says this year is exceeding even his aspirations.

Hatfield & Crusaders in the field in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders in the field in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

He said: “I was hoping to win six but to get seven out of the first nine is beyond our wildest dreams.

Hatfield & Crusaders wicket keeper in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders wicket keeper in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

“From next week we start the reverse fixtures so other teams will pick up things from us and we’ll pick up things against them.

Hatfield & Crusaders' Aman Sofat appeals for LBW in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders' Aman Sofat appeals for LBW in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

“That will be interesting as it is a really competitive league.

Hatfield & Crusaders' Aman Sofat bowls in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders' Aman Sofat bowls in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

“What I do say to the guys is that if we don’t win, let’s pick up points.

Hatfield & Crusaders' Ben Clark celebrates St Albans II's Naveed Ahmed wicket in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders' Ben Clark celebrates St Albans II's Naveed Ahmed wicket in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

“When we lost to Holtwhites, we still picked up 12 or so points which keeps you in the top positions.

Hatfield & Crusaders' Ben Clark in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders' Ben Clark in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

“I’m also pleased about the all-round strength. One week Sam Edge got 50 the next Ben Clark got three wickets and Preet Singh gets lots of late runs.

Hatfield & Crusaders' Ben Clark traps St Albans II's Naveed Ahmed LBW in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders' Ben Clark traps St Albans II's Naveed Ahmed LBW in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

“We’re not just relying on one or two.”

Hatfield & Crusaders' Sam Edge bowls in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders' Sam Edge bowls in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

The victory over St Albans saw the hosts restrict their visitors to 215, a total they got to only thanks to a lot of late runs.

Hatfield & Crusaders' Sam Edge bowls in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders' Sam Edge bowls in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

And in reply H&C roared to victory inside 33 overs.

Hatfield & Crusaders' Sam Edge shouts an appeal in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders' Sam Edge shouts an appeal in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

Heath Bond smashed 93 and Amit Singh 43 in a match-winning stand and while Wynne acknowledged their efforts, he reserved special praise for the bowling attack.

Hatfield & Crusaders' Ben Clark prepares to bowl in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOOHatfield & Crusaders' Ben Clark prepares to bowl in the match between Hatfield & Crusaders and St Albans II. Picture: DANNY LOO

He said: “For me the key was our spin. They bowled 20 overs for 40 runs and in a 50-over game, that’s nearly half your overs so that was good.

“On a day like today when you’re fielding first and it’s red hot, it’s hard to keep it going so I was really impressed with the fielding.”

They had to survive a late wobble with a number of wickets falling late, leaving the captain to pace nervously, before the win was secured.

However, Wynne was never unduly worried.

“I’ve played for Hatfield for a long time so I know what’s to come,” he joked.

“As captain, you feel a little bit of extra responsibility for the batting order but Heath Bond and Amit Singh took the game away from them and you could tell how flat they were.”

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