Strong start to the season continues as Hatfield and Crusaders down Cockfosters

PUBLISHED: 15:17 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:22 21 May 2018

The successful Hatfield & Crusaders team that beat Watford by 49 runs.

The successful Hatfield & Crusaders team that beat Watford by 49 runs.

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Hatfield & Crusaders maintained their strong start to the new season with another impressive win taking them joint top of Division Five A.

The 49-run victory away to Watford Town II was played in glorious sunshine, a marked contrast to last week’s abandonment for rain.

Skipper Gareth Wynne won the toss and elected to bat and the side produced an excellent team performance with every batsman contributing at least 20 in a competitive total of 266-5.

Openers Yugal Kalaskar (36) and Heath Bond (26) combined for a fluent 85-run first-wicket stand before falling in quick succession.

But that merely heralded the arrival of the middle order who maintained the innings’ impetus.

An outstanding knock from Amit Singh formed the backbone with able support from Chandan Rao (20), Preet Singh (22) and Lewis Wynne (22).

Singh’s unbeaten 82 included one six and seven fours in a characteristicly belligerent innings.

That strong collective effort continued in the field as opening bowlers Sam Edge (2-59) and Aman Sofat prevented Watford getting a foothold.

Singh, Deepak Hasiza and Gareth Wynne (3-36) maintained that pressure, all claiming wickets at regular intervals to leave Watford’s all out for 217.

A determined fielding performance was best exemplified by two superb run outs and a calm catch under pressure from Ben Clark.

The 2nds slipped to a 55-run defeat at home to Hemel Hempstead Town 3rds.

Hemel batted first and reached 229-8 from their 50 overs with some powerful late hitting.

That was despite good spells from the returning Andy Foster (2-26), Tony Jakes (3-25) and Swetang Khambatwala (2-43).

H&C made a strong start as openers Anil Madduri (38) and Barry Phillips (14) contributed 51 before the first wicket fell.

However, some disciplined bowling halted their progress and defiant knocks from Amit Shamal (39) and Khambatwala couldn’t prevent the loss.

The 3rds won for the first time this season though, beating Hitchin 4ths by seven wickets.

Chandan Mahanthesh and Asif Ghafoor claimed three wickets each to bowl Hitchin out for 63 and Ben Pulham hit 30 not out to steer Hatfield home in the 15th over.

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