Welwyn Garden City off and running with relatively comfortable win over Hertford

PUBLISHED: 11:18 20 July 2020 | UPDATED: 11:18 20 July 2020

Welwyn Garden City beat Hertford in the opening game of the delayed 2020 Herts Cricket League.

Welwyn Garden City beat Hertford in the opening game of the delayed 2020 Herts Cricket League.

Archant

The Herts Cricket League roared back to life and so did Welwyn Garden City – winning by 41 runs at home to Hertford in the Premier Division.

Alex Chalker’s wonderful 84 off just 53 runs, a knock that included 11 fours and three sixes, set the tone although he was assisted by 60 from Owais Shah as they reached 266-6 from their 45 overs.

Alan Jones did his best to keep the visitor in the contest, although his 67 paled alongside the thumping 51 struck by James Leather off a mere 29 deliveries.

However, WGC’s bowlers were all in fine form too and with five of them taking wickets they had Hertford all out for 225 with two overs to spare.

City may have lost the services of Jamie Southgate and Matthew Grant but they have recruited well and there were debuts for Essex pair Aron Nijjar and Mohammed Rizvi.

Another new face, Adil Zareef from Radlett, missed out due to injury.

The hosts won the toss and opted to bat and after losing Dylan van der Westhuizen early, Shah put together partnerships of 50 and 62 with Nijjar and Rizvi to steady the ship.

He went in the same over as Rizvi though as Welwyn looked to accelerate the scoring rate, leaving them on 127-4 with 27 overs gone.

Skipper Dan Blacktopp and Chalker though got them to a total that was much closer the target they hoped for with a partnership of 123 off 97 balls, the former finishing unbeaten on 42.

WGC opened the bowling with the spin of Nijjar and Chalker and it only took 10 deliveries for the Essex man to claim his first wicket for the club, Jamie Riddle caught for one by his fellow debutant Rizvi.

Connor Emerton ended a promising partnership between William Ray and Jones, trapping Ray for 18, and Blacktopp with a brilliant run out saw off Sam Davis.

Another first Welwyn wicket, this one for Rizvi, left Hertford 91-4 and behind the run chase.

Leather’s assault came mostly in the 39th and 40th overs but Emerton bowled him to leave tail-enders Jonny Underdown and Andrew Knight at the crease and 43 runs still to get.

They managed just two before Knight was run out and Welwyn began the year with a win.

Rizvi (2-37), Nijjar (2-39) and Emerton (2-23) were the pick of the WGC bowlers.


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