Match-winner Walker blasts whirlwind ton

PUBLISHED: 13:21 14 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:24 26 October 2009

Nick Walker

Nick Walker

Home Counties Premier League Division Two (East) Sawbridgeworth 208-10 Potters Bar 214-4 NICK Walker smashed a spectacular 116 off only 57 balls to guide Potters Bar to a convincing six-wicket victory over Sawbridgeworth. There was plenty to cheer for Ba

Home Counties Premier League Division Two (East)

Sawbridgeworth 208-10 Potters Bar 214-4

NICK Walker smashed a spectacular 116 off only 57 balls to guide Potters Bar to a convincing six-wicket victory over Sawbridgeworth.

There was plenty to cheer for Bar in this game, with former Essex and England international Mark Ilott showing his class taking 5-53.

New Sri Lankan star Lanka de Silva also had a good day with the bat, making 66.

On a warm day and in bright sunshine, stand-in skipper Jared Norman lost the toss and was made to bowl.

Bar, sporting some new playing gear, started well and it was in the second over when Ilott removed Steve Ashman for a duck with the hosts just 6-1.

Stand-in opener Dean Lloyd then went to a fine leg-side stumping by Guy Thatcher off Ilott again for 14 and at 28-2, Bar were in the ascendancy.

Runciman was clean bowled by Ilott, which went through the gate, and at 66-3 the game was set up nicely.

The fall of the third wicket brought in a surprise as Andrew Richardson came to the crease at number five.

After surviving three massive shouts, he dispatched three big pick and mixes, albeit one off the 'seventh' ball of the over.

The batsmen brought up their 50 stand, Sawbridgeworth's first of the season in just 62 balls.

The hosts went into the lunch break at 121-3 from just 32 overs.

However, with the break over there was always going to be a second chance for Bar to atone for an average first session.

Paul McGee saw the end of Andrew Richardson for 30 in the seventh ball after lunch as he bamboozled him with a slower, loopier delivery which cleaned him up.

Then Simon Greenall went for a duck as he attempted a sweep, which he top edged and Guy Thatcher took a simple looped catch.

The total of 121-3 was now 125-5 with the lower middle order exposed.

Danny Wilson was batting well for the hosts with a vast array of shots.

He was joined by Phil Marshall but the Sawbo skipper went for 47 as he was adjudged leg before wicket.

Wilson went for a 115-ball stay as Nick Walker claimed his first league scalp for Bar and the hosts were now 145-6.

It soon became 153-7 as Walker cleaned up his good friend and ex-Bar target Mike Burrell for a third ball duck and it was a wicket that Walker certainly enjoyed.

Marshall went for 35 as Walker found a regulation edge carry through to Mike Palmer at second slip.

When Ilott had Cunningham plumb in front for 10 and Reed clean bowled for 25, Bar had bowled the hosts out for 208 with four balls remaining of their 60-over allocation.

Of the bowlers, Mark Ilott was excellent and his 5-53 was well deserved from 17 overs.

Walker took 3-66 from 21 overs on his league debut and McGee claimed 2-43 from 12.

So Bar needed 209 from a minimum of 50 overs to win.

It didn't start well as Steve Gale played on for a duck sixth ball.

And when Mike Palmer was leg before for one, Bar were 17-2 and the target was looking distant.

At the wicket was professional Lanka de Silva, who arrived in the country just 48 hours previously, and he looked a class act.

Both de Silva and Nesan Jeyaratnam started to settle in and began to make in-roads into the target.

But on just 10, Nesan flashed hard to second slip only for Runicman to take a smart catch.

At 41-3, Walker came in and as tea approached there were no signs of the fireworks that were about to take place.

Bar went into the break sat on 67-3 after 21 overs needing another 142 for victory off 29 overs.

The rate required was just under five an over. As de Silva was starting to find the gaps in the field, Walker started to impose himself with some fine boundaries and despite easing to 28 off just 24 balls, the entertainment was just around the corner.

The pair put on their 50 partnership in just 43 balls as Bar were starting to cruise.

In Ryan Cunningham's sixth over de Silva completed a lovely 50 off of just 66 balls with an edge through the vacant slip area and a scampered three was taken.

This brought Walker to the wicket, who went 6, 4, 4, 6, 6 to complete an over which had quite literally disappeared for 29 and the home side were a beaten team.

This brought up Walker's maiden Bar 50 in just 29 balls.

Potters Bar were now 128-3 needing a further 81 to win.

Worse was to follow as Cunningham came off and Mike Burrell, desperate not only to impress but get his good friend out, struggled against Walker.

He smoked five fours in an over and Bar were as good as home as Burrell's three overs had gone for 44.

Sadly, de Silva got a shooter from Cunningham's first ball back in the attack after scoring 66 from 85 balls.

At the other end, Walker completed arguably one of the most destructive tons ever seen in this form of cricket as he completed it with a firm off drive.

His hundred came from just 54 balls.

With seven to win, Dean Lloyd came into the attack.

Walker hit his two deliveries for huge sixes to end the game in majestic style and complete a six-wicket win with 78 balls to spare.

Walker ended 116 not out off of just 57 balls. He struck 18 fours and five enormous sixes to win the game and earn a well deserved man-of-the-match accolade.

This victory, done so without skipper Len Cooper, bodes well for the season.

At the weekend the 1st XI entertain Stevenage, who will be expecting to do very well in the league and in truth are one of Bar's bogey sides.

Sunday sees the second round of the Cockspur Cup.

Bar entertain Middlesex Premier League side Southgate.

The winner of that tie will travel to play either Colchester or Hainault & Clayhill.


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