Potters Bar and Welwyn Garden City produce a modern-day classic as they beat the rain but not each other

PUBLISHED: 12:31 27 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:04 27 July 2020

Welwyn Garden City captain Dan Blacktopp. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Welwyn Garden City captain Dan Blacktopp. Picture: KARYN HADDON


After having half of their season lost to coronavirus it was perhaps understandable that both Welwyn Garden City and Potters Bar were determined to finish their game even in the face of some heavy rain showers – and the spectators at a damp Walk were so pleased they did.

Teddy Duke bowling for Potters Bar. Picture: KARYN HADDONTeddy Duke bowling for Potters Bar. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Two of the top teams in the Herts Cricket League Premier Division this was always going to be an anticiapted fixture but despite going off a number of times because of the weather and with adjusted run chases the sides battled to a thrilling tie after the hosts scrambled a two off the last ball.

It was a pulsating clash with both teams enjoying moments of supremacy and the final result was probably the right one.

Both teams were quick with the plaudits for all the players and umpires Tim Caldicott and Murray Carlson.

A spokesman for Potters Bar said: “Huge credit to the players and umpires for giving the game every chance in weather that was average at best.

“It just goes to show why we care so much for the game we love when we aren’t allowed to participate and enjoy it.”

Midway through the home innings, WGC would have been disappointed if they hadn’t gone on and won the match.

At the end, they were probably pleased they hadn’t lost.

Welwyn’s tried and tested policy of winning the toss and batting first, was once again adopted by skipper Dan Blacktopp.

The hope was a good score would put them in a strong position to control the match and they started steadily before Teddy Duke ripped through the top order in the space of four overs, leaving WGC at 54-3.

It took the captain and Alex Chalker to bring order back to the innings, the pair putting on 58 for the fifth wicket before the latter was run out on 35.

Blacktopp would finally be trapped lbw by Luke chapman for 45 but with valuable knocks by Andrew Nolan (20) and Mohammed Rizvi (25*) Welwyn were able to get to 196-8 in the 41st over before the rain arrived.

Duke finished on 3-25 and Chapman took 2-30 and the break always saw Bar put into bat with a revised target of 193 off 35 overs.

But Welwyn’s bowlers came out on the attack and a barnstorming opening spell had them wobbling at 66-5.

A further revision to the total meant Potters Bar needed 117 off 13 overs but that was when Rishi Patel and Miguel Machado got together.

Between them they hit 77 in eight overs before Owais Shah caught and bowled Machado for a hard hit 52 off just 32 balls, a total that included six sixes.

Rizvi’s catch of Patel (44) off Simon Bridgewater left Bar searhing for 17 in the final 11 balls for victory and although Shah had Steve Gale (13) caught by Bridgewater with the second ball of the final over, Duke scored the runs needed to ensure a tie.

Connor Emerton (2-17), Shah (2-22), Aron Nijjar (2-20) and Bridgewater (2-38) were the wicket takers for Welwyn.

Elsewhere the fixture list was very bereft of results other than abandoned, although there were wins for the third teams of both Potters Bar and Welwyn.

Bar romped to a success at home to Hatfield & Crusaders seconds a they bowled the visitors out for just 54, Dinith Karunathilaka taking 4-10, and with rain clouds threatening, skipper Dave Pett and Lewis Harris chased down the total in less than nine overs.

Welwyn’s thirds beat Baldock Town by four wickets, although they played their match on Sunday.

James Stapleton and Johnathan Mester both took three wickets, the former finishing on 3-12 from his eight overs, and an unbeaten 58 from Daniel Cope guided them to victory.

North Mymms will have been frustrated by the abandonment of their game with Harpenden after 74 from Hamza Ahmed got them up to 218-7.

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