Welwyn back on form as they unveil latest talented youngster in win over West Herts
- Credit: Archant
Welwyn Garden City bounced back after a poor performance against Hoddesdon to cruise impressively to victory against West Herts at Digswell Park.
The six-wicket win lifts WGC up to third in the Herts Cricket League Premier Division season ahead of the final game.
That is the team currently in second, Totteridge Millhillians, with Radlett completing the trio separated by just three points and 18 behind leaders Potters Bar.
But this was much more like what fans have come to expect and with their batting and bowling firing again, Welwyn also gave a debut to one of their promising juniors, 15-year-old Zaid Faleel.
And he grabbed the bull by the horns, bowling with good control and pace and finishing with a fine 2-20 in 4.2 overs.
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He was well supported by the rest of the bowling attack though as they had the visitors all out for 162.
Mo Rizvi led the wicket takers with 4-28 but he was closely followed by 3-40 from Adil Zareef. Connor Emerton got the remaining wicket.
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But hoping to put their worst batting performance of the season behind them, they didn’t get off to the start they hoped.
A deflected edge by Louis Champion off the bowling of Avinash Mane via the keeper’s glove to Ian Gurney at slip, saw the opener depart for 10.
Mane then picked up his second and third wickets as Dylan Van Der Westhuizen and Rizvi went for 17 and five respectively, the former trapped leg before and the latter caught at deep gully.
That left Welwyn on 80-3 after 18 overs but there were to be no further mishaps.
Owais Shah was back to his imperious best and along with skipper Dan Blacktopp, they used their experience to put together a partnership of 76.
With the finish line in sight Blacktopp was bowled by one that kept low from Simon Walker, out for a patient 37 off 70 balls, but that left enough time for Faleel to join Shah.
And it was the youngster who hit the winning runs, sweeping the fourth delivery faced to the boundary for four.
Shah’s innings of 73 not out off 94 balls included nine fours and two huge sixes, and took him to 308 runs and the top of the league’s run scoring charts.
Mane’s impressive spell of bowling saw him take 3-19 off his nine overs.