WGC back in title hunt after thrashing league leaders

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 July 2018

James Southgate hit 117 not out before claiming five wickets in WGCs win over Totteridge Millhillians. Picture: Melissa Page

James Southgate hit 117 not out before claiming five wickets in WGCs win over Totteridge Millhillians. Picture: Melissa Page

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Welwyn Garden City Cricket Club thrust themselves back into the Saracens Herts Cricket League Premier Division title race with a comprehensive victory over leaders Totteridge Millhillians.

Batting first they racked up a monumental 363 in their 60 overs before skittling the visitors to Digswell Park for a measly 159.

And it proved to be the first in a clean sweep of wins for the club with the other three teams also picking up the W.

The first team have now moved third in the table, just 11 points behind Totteridge, who stay on top but with a much-reduced advantage.

They decided to put WGC into bat and probably regretted it all afternoon as only four wickets fell.

Openers Alex Chalker and Louis Champion put on a quickfire 47 for the first wicket and and then despite losing both in quick succession Owais Shah and Dan Blacktopp took the score to 125 before the latter was dismissed by Fraser Colson.

But that only brought the in-form James Southgate to the crease and both he and Shah cut loose.

They put on 218 for the fourth wicket with Shah scoring 139 from 129 balls and Southgate finishing unbeaten with 117 from 97 deliveries.

Totteridge’s reply never got going and despite an 86-run partnership for the second wicket, they were always behind the run rate.

And if they thought they had seen the last of Southgate, they were wrong as he bagged 5-39.

He was ably-assisted by Matthew Grant who claimed 4-43, leaving Millhillians 204 runs shy of victory and not much to show for their day’s efforts.

The seconds also enjoyed a big batting performance as they beat Dunstable by 122 runs.

Again they passed 300, finishing on 304-6 with Hemang Ramlaul’s 109 being backed up by Elliott Gregg’s 76 and Edward Tucker’s 60 not out.

In reply tight bowling by Will Sarchet (3-40) and Tony Skeggs (3-44) meant chasing the total was always a struggle, allowing the spin of Matthew Wells (4-46) to complete the job.

The thirds had a 35-run success over Northwood while half-centuries from Terry Edwards (50), Steve Willis (50), Mario Priolo (51) and Will Haggar (53*) saw WGC to a 156-run win at Letchworth.

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