Lead extends for Potters Bar as Welwyn defy Radlett's batting masterclass

Welwyn Garden City battled to a draw against Radlett in the Herts Cricket League.

Welwyn Garden City battled to a draw against Radlett in the Herts Cricket League. - Credit: WGC CRICKET

Potters Bar took full advantage of a backs to the wall battle by Welwyn Garden City to move further clear at the top of Herts Cricket League Premier Division.

The leaders are now 27 points clear after a 54-run success at home to Harpenden but they also owe a debt of gratitude to their rivals from Digswell Park for a home draw with nearest challengers Radlett.

Any sort of positive result looked far beyond them after a batting masterclass by the visitors, and especially Dominic Chatfield and Kabir Toor.

Radlett had started with Chatfield and Chris Arul but after they had put on 35, the latter pulled his hamstring going for a quick single and from there it became the Chatfield and Toor show.

The pair batted beautifully and confidently throughout. The 100 partnership came off 121 balls and the 200 was up in another 105 deliveries.

They even managed to go beyond the 300 mark, the last century needing just 48 balls, before it all ended on 303 thanks to a superb diving catch by Simon Bridgewater to dismiss Toor off the bowling of Mo Rizvi.

He had made 157 by that point though, a knock made in just 132 deliveries and containing 12 fours and nine maximums.

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Chatfield would remain unbeaten, his innings coming at an end on 173 in 172 balls with 17 fours and five sixes.

Radlett declared on a mammoth 357-2 in 56 overs and having spent nearly four hours in the blazing sun chasing the ball all round the outfield, and with such an impossibly large score to chase, Welwyn knew a draw was their best hope of salvaging anything from the game.

Dylan van der Westhuizen managed an impressive 68-ball 33 but when he was dismissed, WGC were 62-3 with 38 overs still to bowl.

But Owais Shah and skipper Dan Blacktopp not only steadied the ship but instilled some much needed belief with a prtnership of 82 before Shah went for 56 in 87 deliveries.

That was in the 44th over and although Alex Chalker and Dan Roomans would depart, Blacktopp and Kapil Dave saw out the last nine over to see them to 187-7 and a draw.

The skipper ended with an unbeaten 63, crafted from 121 balls with the result leaving Welwyn seventh, 14 points off the play-offs.

Chapman preparing to bowl for Potters Bar in the league match between Harpenden 1st XI and Potters B

Luke Chapman took four wickets for Potters Bar against Harpenden. - Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY

Potters Bar had some impressive batting too with Reece Hussain's top score of 77 only just edging the 75 not out from Charlie Scott and the 74 for Joshua Matthews.

It got them to 293-6 in 60 overs but they had to work hard to clinch the win, Harpenden lasting 58 overs, and with 10 minutes left to play, before coughing up their final wicket.

Luke Chapman took the top bowling figures with 4-75 from 18 overs and there was two wickets each for Jigar Mehta and Teddy Duke.

North Mymms meanwhile grabbed a draw themselves against Hertford at Home Farm, leaving them two points outside the top four.

The visitors batted first and made 232-7 with Rhys Wynne (2-31), Imran Qayyum (2-62) and Chanaka Ruwansiri (2-85) among the wickets.

They had a few nervy moments in reply but eventually reached 164-8 after 57 overs as the time expired.

Guganeshan Muralitharan hit 51 from 90 balls while Richard Soulsby faced 85 deliveries on his way to 40.