Bar date confirmed as WGC get the better of Stortford in high-scoring extravaganza

PUBLISHED: 16:17 01 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:17 01 September 2019

Skipper Andy Nolan was in irresistible form with the bat for WGC against Bishops Stortford. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Skipper Andy Nolan was in irresistible form with the bat for WGC against Bishops Stortford. Picture: KARYN HADDON

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Welwyn Garden City secured a Herts Cricket League Premier Division semi-final with Potters Bar after a hard-fought win at home to Bishop's Stortford - although they still need one more success to guarantee it will be at Digswell Park.

It was a high-scoring affair against the already-relegated Stortford with both sides contributing to the entertainment.

In a break from previous winning coin tosses this season, City opted to bat first with Jamie Hewitt joining Owais Shah in the absence of Louis Champion.

And the pair managed to put together 68 in the opening 11 overs before Shah was bowled by Chris Thomas for 21.

Thomas got the better of Dan Blacktopp just two balls later but with Jamie Southgate now in tandem with Hewitt, Welwyn regrouped and a partnership of 79 took them on to 147.

A mistimed shot from Hewitt saw him depart for 66 but a second 79-run partnership, this time between Southgate and skipper Andy Nolan continued to build a big total.

Southgate went for 80 off 82 balls but Nolan was in inspired form, clubbing the ball to all parts of the ground as he got to 85 from a mere 58 balls, an innings containing 10 fours and two sixes.

It meant a final total of 304-8 for the home side and a formidable target but the visitors responded with a solid start from openers Adam Bassingthwaite and Joe Burslem who made 56 in nine overs before Simon Bridgewater got one through the latter's defences.

It was only a small blip as county skipper Reece Hussain and Bassingthwaite took them onto 151-1.

Bridgewater again got the breakthrough wicket, Bassingthwaite caught by Hewitt for a well made 81 off 93 balls.

When Hussain was well stumped by Blacktopp 16 runs later, off the bowling Southgate for 45, Stortford were 167-3 and needing 137 in the final 14 overs.

Dominic Chatfield (35), Sam Davis (30) and Joe Hawkins (37) tried their best but never quite managed to reduce the scoring rate to below 10 runs per over and Stortford finally run out of overs to close on 286-8.

Matthew Grant finished with figures of 3-68 with Bridgewater (2-39) and Southgate (2-57) the best of the rest.

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