Welwyn GC bounce back to beat Hoddesdon in Herts Premier

Owais Shah in batting action for Welwyn Garden City

Owais Shah in batting action for Welwyn Garden City - Credit: Karyn Haddon

Welwyn put a disappointing loss at Hertford behind them with a good all-round team performance to get back on the winning trail with an emphatic victory over Hoddesdon at Digswell Park in the Saracens Herts Premier League.

With their batting and bowling working well, they beat a Hoddesdon side that performed in a similar manner to the WGC performance of the previous week.

The win moves WGC up two places in this close-run division, to sixth place, only 11 points behind West Herts in third, but with Potters Bar and Radlett opening up 50 and 37-point gaps over the other teams in the league, it looks at the halfway stage of the season, that either one of these two could be the likely looking champions.

Despite heavy rain for two days before the game, groundsman Simon Bridgewater prepared a good-looking pitch and Dan Blacktopp had no hesitation in putting the visitors into bat.

Aussie Aiden Watterson (2-47) trapped James Achillea lbw with a fast delivery in his second over and produced a lovely ball to nip back and bowl James Curtis for 48 to leave Hoddesdon were 72-2. 

Having got to a chanceless 50, it was some surprise that Jayden Broodryk decided to try and reverse sweep Kapil Dave’s third ball of his opening spell and was bowled, leaving Hoddesdon 139-3 after 32 overs at lunch.

WGC had lost six wickets for 49 after lunch last week and Hoddesdon came out and lost five wickets for 47 as Kapil Dave, bowling unchanged, bowled nine unplayable overs for 14 runs, taking all five wickets. 

Most Read

The Sturdy brothers Todd (35) and Adam (2) were both LBW, Rob Jones (11) and Kyle Wilson (9) were both bowled and skipper Will Steward was well caught by a diving Bridgewater on the boundary for 10.

That left Hoddesdon reeling on 186-8 with 10 overs to go, with Mo Rizvi (1-53) having Tyler Burroughs caught on the boundary by Shah for 23 as they limped to 223-9 off their allotted 60 overs.

Kapil Dave finished with 6-33 from his 18 overs and WGC openers of Matt Hill and Dylan Van der Westhuizen got off to a good start against opening fast bowlers Broodryk and Wilson. 

Against accurate bowling WGC got to 34 off 13 overs, before Hill was bowled for 19 by Wilson who, in his next over, got Rizvi lbw for a rare single figure score of four to make it 41-2.

Van der Westhuizen and Owais Shah added 37 before a brilliant diving, over-the-shoulder catch by Harry Mason off James Curtis, dismissed the other WGC opener for a watchful 28 off 77 deliveries. 

That, however, just set the stage for Shah and Dan Blacktopp to add another century partnership to their already long list of batting partnerships for Welwyn. 

Their 114-run stand in 20 overs ended when Shah, having hit two sixes and nine fours in his 93-ball 77, popped a catch to a diving Adam Sturdy off a hard-working Harry Mason.

The 32 runs needed for victory were quickly hit by Watterson (20 not out off 18 balls) and Blacktopp, playing another mature captain’s innings of 65 off 71 balls with a six and seven fours, as the hosts sealed victory with four overs to go.

Wilson (2-34), Mason (1-68) and Curtis (1-87) were the Hoddesdon wicket takers and Kapil Dave took the LS Fabrications Man of the Match award for his match-turning display.

WGC face another home game against high flying rivals Radlett on Saturday.