Welwyn snatch victory from jaws of defeat after a nerve-wracking clash with Reed

Welwyn Garden City beat Reed on the final ball of their Herts Cricket League Premier Division clash.

Welwyn Garden City beat Reed on the final ball of their Herts Cricket League Premier Division clash. Picture: WGCCC - Credit: Archant

Welwyn Garden City moved back level with Potters Bar at the top of the Herts Cricket League Premier Division table after somehow grabbing a seven-run victory from the jaws of defeat.

For the majority of the game at Digswell Park visitors Reed were in charge.

But the hosts never know when they were beaten and after keeping in touch, they snatched the win in the final over.

Reed won the toss and put Welwyn in, hoping to take advantage of the quickening pitch the longer the afternoon went on.

And so it proved. WGC were never able to take control of their innings thanks to good bowling from Reed.

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The away side made the perfect start when Jack Tidey trapped Owais Shah in the second over but Louis Champion (25) and Aron Nijjar (29) put on a 53-run partnership.

With both gone skipper Dan Blacktopp was caught on 20 just as he was getting going leaving the home side 118-4 and with only 17 overs remaining.

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Further wickets saw WGC in trouble at 161-7 but fortunately they still had Mo Rizvi at the crease and his mature batting held the innings together.

He made 64 in 65 balls, allowing them to reach 227 all out, Shay Emerton out for 24 to the last ball.

Robert Lankester (3-13) and Toby Fynn (3-30) were the pick of the bowlers and needing a little more than five an over Reed were given a good start by Ed Wharton and William Heslam.

The former departed for 29 with Reed on 47 and they had increased that to 88 by the time Lankester, James Heslam and Jack Caine had joined him back in the pavilion.

That said Reed were always up with the run rate with Welwyn’s main problem, opener Heslam, continuing to stack up the runs.

A 47-run partnership with Stuart Smith, a 36 with Tom Greaves and 28 with Tidey meant Reed were still favourites despite the falling of wickets and the form of Nijjar, bowling 40 dot balls out of 54.

However, they still needed 19 off the final over, which reduced to nine from the last two balls after a six and a four.

And after a superb 111 from 146 deliveries Heslam perished to the penultimate delivery, well caught on the boundary by Nijjar off the nerveless Shah.

Simon Bridgewater bowled 2-24 with support from Connor Emerton who took 3-52.

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