Skipper keeps Hatfield & Crusaders in promotion race with victory over Knebworth
PUBLISHED: 12:09 22 August 2019
Hatfield & Crusaders' mid-season slump is starting to be forgotten after a second successive win kept their SHCL Division Four A promotion hopes well and truly alive.
They had lost three in a row, and had two matches cancelled, before winning the last two, the latest being a priceless success at Knebworth Park 2nds.
It means with three games to go they sit just eight points behind second-place Sandridge who they meet on the penultimate Saturday of the season.
H&C travelled to Knebworth full of confidence having bowled Park out cheaply in the return fixture at Ascots Lane and on winning the toss they had no hesitation in bowling first.
A repeat performance seemed to be on the cards as the hosts were reduced to 27-4 thanks to excellent opening spells from Ian Golder (2-9) and Rory Golder (3-45).
Billy Bigley was keeping the pressure on too and Park were finding scoring difficult until a notable recovery thanks to the efforts of Orlandi (43) and Woods followed.
The latter made 90 before he was caught behind off the bowling of skipper Deepak Hasiza, who would go on to collect 2-33.
The partnership though had provided the backbone of the innings as Knebworth posted a respectable 199-8 from their 50 overs.
Hatfield & Crusaders made a poor start in reply, slipping to 16-2 in the fifth over.
Yugal Kalaskar (26) and Rory Faraday (43) got the chase back on track with a belligerent partnership worth 67 in just 10 overs, Faraday in particular finding the boundary with regularity with six fours and a six in a quickfire innings.
Another collapse followed their departures to leave the visitors on 126-7 and confronted by an increasingly unlikely target.
But a remarkable partnership sealed the win, as Hasiza (42*) and Golder (28*) added 46 runs unbeaten to see H&C home with 15 overs to spare, Golder even having the audacity to seal the victory with a six.
The second team clinched a dramatic victory at home to Boxmoor - winning by three runs.
A defiant 35 from Yasir Shafi managed to drag Hatfield up to 89 but it needed a superb 5-26 from Urvish Mistry to clinch the win for the home side.