Knebworth Park miss chance to take Stevenage scalp as rest of the club also struggle

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 June 2018

Knebworth's Guy Warman removes Stevenage's Asif Mahmood's middle stump in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

Knebworth's Guy Warman removes Stevenage's Asif Mahmood's middle stump in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Knebworth Park only had themselves to blame for an 80-run defeat against Stevenage, although they took sufficient points to stay above their rivals in the Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League Division One table.

Knebworth's Muhammed Ali bowls in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOOKnebworth's Muhammed Ali bowls in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

Gary Brown survived two dropped catches and a close run-out call to crack a fine century that put Stevenage in a strong position.

Knebworth fielding in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOOKnebworth fielding in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

But once he was out the run rate subsided, showing just what might have been if Park had taken their chances.

Knebworth's Charlie Randall bowls in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOOKnebworth's Charlie Randall bowls in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

Brown along with fellow opener Dave Carr (59) set Stevenage off to a steady reasonable start, scoring at around four an over.

Knebworth wicket keeper catches a return throw in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOOKnebworth wicket keeper catches a return throw in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

But while both continued to tick over nicely, some undisciplined bowling let them off the hook and Brown in particular began to cut loose.

Knebworth's Guy Warman looks relaxed in between deliveries in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOOKnebworth's Guy Warman looks relaxed in between deliveries in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

A dropped catch off the bowling of Guy Warman with Brown on 65 proved costly.

Knebworth's Matt Hutchinson fields the ball whilst on the run in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOOKnebworth's Matt Hutchinson fields the ball whilst on the run in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

He went on to make 111 before Mo Ali finally got his wicket.

Knebworth celebrate the key wicket of Stevenage's Gary Brown in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOOKnebworth celebrate the key wicket of Stevenage's Gary Brown in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

Knebworth did manage to put the brakes on slightly, slowing Stevenage from 138-0 to their final target of a still-competitive 279-5.

Knebworth congratulate Stevenage batsman Gary Brown as he leaves the field after losing his wicket on 111 in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOOKnebworth congratulate Stevenage batsman Gary Brown as he leaves the field after losing his wicket on 111 in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

Knebworth started off well enough with the opening pair of Josh Roseberry and Asif taking the total to 58 after 13 overs before Asif was caught on boundary.

A Knebworth fielder chases down a ball in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOOA Knebworth fielder chases down a ball in the match between Stevenage and Knebworth Park. Picture: DANNY LOO

Roseberry and Adam Sergeant continued to grind away at the total before the latter was caught for 21 and then Tariq Umair was run out at the non-striker’s end after a firmly-struck straight drive from Roseberry was dropped onto the stumps.

But Roseberry continued to bat well and struck some superb shots before he departed for a well-made 75.

At 140-4 in the 34th over Knebworth were struggling to keep up with the rate and when Ryan Skeggs was caught for 16, the task became even harder.

Matt Hutchinson (18) and Charlie Randall (27) found the boundaries regularly but knew they had to go at nearly 10 an over for the last 10.

It never happened as they both went in the same over and the final few wickets went for just five runs.

It turned out to be a poor day all round as the three other teams all lost as well.

The second team’s winning run came to an abrupt end as lowly Old Haberdashers picked up a 61-run victory.

The visitors had a magnificent sixth-wicket stand of 118 between Lewis Jenkins and Ben Kohler to thank for their total up to a still below par 239-7.

Jenkins finished unbeaten on 100 while Kohler got 68 as the pair punished the Park’s bowlers.

The Knebworth reply saw them slide to 71-5 and although new player Mason Tewkesbury (65), Jono Evetts (25) and Ollie O’Brien (36) pushed out, they were eventually all out for 179.

The thirds’ day started promisingly but ended up in an eight-wicket loss to Berkhamsted 2nds.

Put into bat, Knebworth’s Danny Digweed (42) and Ian Pickering battled through against the accurate bowling of the Berkhamsted attack to put the Park in a promising position of 67-2 at the halfway stage.

But with a solid platform built and wickets in hand, Park slumped to 71-6.

Pete Bayford and Ben Childs brought some solidity to the innings and along with Jack Randall helped the Park scramble to 131 before being dismissed in the final over.

The disappointment then continued in the field as Park were unable to make any significant inroads into the Berkhamsted response who cruised to their total in just 27 overs.

The 4ths match was lit up by a career-best 6-46 from Jonathan Cirkel but it could not stop them losing to St Margaretsbury 3rds.

Amelia Kemp was also richly rewarded with her first wicket for Knebworth with a superb delivery clean bowling the number six.

But St Margaretsbury still managed to post 240-8 and apart from Phil Wheeler and Cirkel, none of the early batsmen reached double figures.

What was really encouraging, however, was that Kemp and Catherine Cirkel batted well at the end to lift the score to 100 all out.

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