Welwyn Garden City end season with narrow loss to Totteridge Millhillians

Welwyn Garden City closed out the 2020 Herts Cricket League season with a 28-run loss at Totteridge Millhillians.

Both sides came into the contest with a slim chance of winning the Premier Division crown, although that was taken away from them by the speed of Potters Bar’s victory.

In the end Totteridge finished as runners-up while WGC were fourth, one place and one point behind Radlett.

The hosts won the toss and unsurprisingly opted to bat on a warm and sunny day.

With a couple of late replacements in their side, Welwyn opened the bowling with Alex Chalker and David O’Sullivan and soon made a breakthrough, getting Jack Keeping run out for four after a mix up with skipper Jonathan Miles.

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Things got worse for Miles in the next over when a beauty from O’Sullivan sent his off-stump flying leaving Totteridge on 13-2.

The visitors thought they had their third wicket a few overs later, Mo Rizvi’s swoop and direct throw looking to have run out Shaun O’Brien by yards, but he made the most of his reprieve, putting on 97 with Simon Webster before Simon Bridgewater snared him for 37 with a sharp caught and bowled.

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Webster had gone close to a century three times this season and failed again when he mishit a Tom Whitton delivery to Dylan Van Der Westhuizen on the boundary, out for 82.

Steve Selwood’s 58 not out proved valuable too as Totteridge ended their 45 overs on 268-7.

Whitton, in just his second game for the team, was the pick of the bowlers with 2-35.

Knowing that a good start was needed, WGC lost Jamie Hewitt, playing only his second game of the season, to the fifth ball of the first over and Van Der Westhuizen followed three overs later, leg before to Ben Lederman for four.

Owais Shah and Rizvi took them past the 50 mark in the ninth over but the loss of three quick wickets seemingly took the game away from them.

Chalker, however, had other ideas, and with memories of his match-winning cup final innings still fresh, he and Adil Zareef put on 96 in 55 balls, taking WGC to 197-6 in the

27th over.

But having scored 97 off 55 balls including 11 fours and six sixes he was caught going for his century to a wonderful one-handed catch by Keeping on the boundary edge.

And although there was some further determined hitting by Zareef (46), his top score of the season, and O’Sullivan (15) and Whitton (10), Welwyn eventually ran out of wickets with nearly 12 overs remaining.

A spokesman said: “We can reflect on a good season in which we played a lot of our normal brand of exciting cricket but we will rue a couple of poor hours.

“However, the experience given to a number of the younger players will only hold them in good stead in the forthcoming season.”

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