Hatfield & Crusaders keep relentless charge up the table going with ninth win

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 July 2018

Ben Clark was back among the wickets in Hatfield & Crusaders' latest victory against Ickleford. Picture: DANNY LOO

Ben Clark was back among the wickets in Hatfield & Crusaders' latest victory against Ickleford. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Hatfield & Crusaders continued their excellent run of form in Division Five A with a comfortable win away to Ickleford 2nds.

The five-wicket success, their ninth in 11 games with one game failing to get to a finish, means they are now 36 points clear of Holtwhites Trinibis in second.

The hosts elected to bat first on another sweltering Saturday but Rory Gethin-Golder made an early breakthrough in his first over.

He was backed up well by Sam Edge (2-47) and Ben Clark (3-33), who bowled impressively to reduce a youthful Ickleford side to 52-4 in the 12th over.

Clark in particular showed unrelenting discipline in a probing spell, claiming a sharp catch off his own bowling and the key wicket of Jenner, who made played fluently before falling lbw for 28.

And although Ickleford produced a defiant 107-run partnership, Hatfield got back among the wickets to finish them off in the final over at 226.

H&C lost two wickets early in their reply but Anil Madduri (61) and Amit Singh (74*) batted with great fluency to move them quickly on to 134-2.

And the flurry of boundaries that followed meant a partnership of 82 until Madduri was caught after a very stylish knock.

That breakthrough heralded a couple of quick wickets but it was only a glimmer of hope for Ickleford and Singh and Sam Edge (45*) saw the visitors home with almost 19 overs remaining.

They are back at Ascots Lane on Saturday when they entertain third-placed Watford Town.

For the second week running the seconds fell agonisingly short in a run chase.

Letchworth 3rds got to 210-9 in their 50 overs with Yasir Shafi (4-61) the pick of the bowlers.

Shafi (24) and Keven Whitehead (51) rebuilt after a shaky start but wickets continued to fall and they were stopped on 204 in the 44th over, six short of victory.

The 3rds also suffered defeat in a close contest, going down by three wickets at home to Old Owens 3rds.

A fluent 33 from skipper Leigh Parkhouse as well as 4-15 from Syam Chowdary and 3-11 from Clive Starr were the standout performances as they fell short of an unlikely victory.

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