Welwyn Garden City trounced in first game of new Herts Cricket League season

Owais Shah couldn't prevent Welwyn Garden City from slipping to a big defeat against Radlett.

Owais Shah couldn't prevent Welwyn Garden City from slipping to a big defeat against Radlett. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Welwyn Garden City's hopes of starting the Herts Cricket League season with a bang were undone on day one as they fell to a thumping defeat away to rivals Radlett.

Batting first they struggled to 155 before watching Fraser Crawford and Dominic Chatfield wreak havoc on their bowling line-up as the hosts cruised to a 10-wicket success inside 27 overs.

Welwyn included three new signings in their team. Aiden Watterson is an opening bowler spending a season’s sabbatical in England while Kapil Dave has been recruited from Reed.

Umesh Valjee, a former captain of the England deaf team, joined as a batsman and WGC also had Owais Shah back after missing the T20 games last week, replacing the suspended Dan Blacktopp.

Shah won the toss and had no hesitation in opting to bat first on a good-looking wicket but that proved to be the highlight of Welwyn’s day.

Fellow opener Valjee top scored with 40, showing why he has played in three ICC Disability World Cups, and for a moment there was hope as he and Mo Rizvi began to put the makings of a good partnership together.

But Valjee went with the score on 82 and by the time Rizvi departed for 36, the score had only moved to 135-7.

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Only Jason Lewis made it into double figures of the rest, scoring 10, and Welwyn's 155 was boosted by 38 extras.

Kabir Toor and Harvey Booth got three wickets each for Radlett and that was their day done as Crawford and Chatfield set about dismantling any last remaining hope the visitors had.

Watterson did bowl an impressive opening spell once he got his radar working, generating both lift and speed to beat the bat but also the stumps.

And once the openers had weathered the storm and built their confidence, they eased through the gears, Crawford managing 78 from 79 balls while Chatfield got 64 from 80.

Welwyn ended up using seven bowlers but it wasn't enough to stop them falling to their first 10-wicket loss since May 2016.

That too was against Radlett although it would be Welwyn who would have the last laugh that season, beating Radlett in the play-off final.

There will be fingers crossed that that will happen again.

Welwyn host Harpenden on Saturday at Digswell Park.