Champions! Potters Bar win tense but fantastic play-off
PUBLISHED: 10:40 23 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:40 23 September 2019
Wonderful Potters Bar clinched a first ever Herts Cricket League championship as the beat Radlett by six runs in a nervy but fantastic contest.
Fittingly Radlett, who had topped the league standings at the end of the regular season, had taken the match to the wire with nine runs needed from the final six balls and two wickets remaining.
But they only managed two of them and were all out before the over was finished, making it six straight wins for Bar and allowing skipper Steve Gale to lift the title.
Bar had beaten Radlett in both of their league meetings this season but with both sides at full strength, it was also going to be a tight one to call.
First blood went to Bar as they won the toss and choosing to bat they produced a steady if unspectacular start.
Pat Scott (40) and Rehan Hassan (26) got half-decent scores but at 106-3, Potters Bar were in a touch of trouble.
They were soon out of it though as Rishi Patel swatted his fourth half-century of the year, finally falling to a Kabir Toor delivery and a William Wright catch.
It made 250 an attainable target but with Thilan Walallawita leading a brutal assault in the final four overs, they got to an imposing 280-6 from their 50 overs.
Walallawita finished unbeaten on 48 from a mere 16 deliveries, smashing six fours and three sixes.
Radlett's reply followed a similar pattern to that of Bar, Toor and Josh de Caires building slowly but with wickets falling a little too regularly.
De Caires went on to reach an excellent 80, putting together a partnership of 65 for the fourth wicket with Fraser Crawford.
They still needed 110 with just over 11 overs to go and when he was caught by Walallawita off the bowling of Teddy Duke, the target looked out of reach.
It was at 45 required from 22 balls when Randeep Sanghera arrived at the wicket and he cleared the boundary three times and hit five fours as he gave Radlett a fighting chance in the final over.
But Walallawita bowled him for 52 off the first ball of the final over before removing Rahil Thapar to start the celebrations.
Walallawita was rightly named as man of the match having added 3-53 and two catches to his rapid-fire innings.
Duke finished on 2-63 while Luke Chapman took 2-58.
Bar will now look forward to a winter where they can add and improve their squad further with the knowledge that it is they who will be the team to beat in 2020.