Ruthless Welwyn continue relentless charge to top of the Premier Division table

PUBLISHED: 14:21 08 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:21 08 July 2019

Jamie Southgate in action for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: WGCCC

Jamie Southgate in action for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: WGCCC

Archant

Welwyn Garden City showed no mercy as they roared to the top of the table with a quick victory against bottom of the table West Herts.

Owais Shah in action for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: WGCCCOwais Shah in action for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: WGCCC

And Welwyn's joy at the seven-wicket win was boosted by the news that all three of their Hertfordshire Cricket League Premier Division rivals failed to follow suit.

Welwyn Garden City's Matthew Grant. Picture: WGCCCWelwyn Garden City's Matthew Grant. Picture: WGCCC

Another win at the coin toss brought another start in the field as Welwyn skipper Andy Nolan looked for his in-form bowlers to restrict the opposition.

Welwyn Garden City's Louis Champion. Picture: WGCCCWelwyn Garden City's Louis Champion. Picture: WGCCC

And they did just that with Connor Emerton and David O'Sullivan making early inroads, taking the first two wickets with just 14 runs on the board.

Jamie Southgate takes a diving catch for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: WGCCCJamie Southgate takes a diving catch for Welwyn Garden City. Picture: WGCCC

This brought Pakistan A batsman Jaahid Ali in to join wicketkeeper Joe Warren, and they produced West Herts' best partnership of the match with 48.

West Herts' William Jones bowling to Welwyn Garden City's Louis Champion. Picture: WGCCCWest Herts' William Jones bowling to Welwyn Garden City's Louis Champion. Picture: WGCCC

That ended when O'Sullivan's constant line and length induced the stylish Ali (34) to edge a delivery to the diving Owais Shah at first slip.

WGC earned a seven-wicket win over West Herts. Picture: WGCCCWGC earned a seven-wicket win over West Herts. Picture: WGCCC

And as with previous weeks, once WGC had got through the top order they ruthlessly ripped through the rest and 62-2 soon became 86-6.

WGC celebrate another wicket for Matthew Grant. Picture: WGCCCWGC celebrate another wicket for Matthew Grant. Picture: WGCCC

And with spinner Jamie Southgate keeping one end tight, fellow spinner Matthew Grant reaped the rewards, mopping up the tail for whom Matthew Smith (32) was the only one to offer any resistance.

WGC earned a seven-wicket win over West Herts. Picture: WGCCCWGC earned a seven-wicket win over West Herts. Picture: WGCCC

Grant finished on 6-48, best-ever figures for the youngster, with West Herts all out for 135.

O'Sullivan's support brought him figures of 2-28 while Emerton claimed 2-46.

Openers Louis Champion and Shah set WGC off on their chase, looking to finish the match as well as they had started it.

A slashing drive by Champion (20) was well caught by Arjun Patel off Matthew Smith and brought to an end the opening partnership of 53.

Dan Blacktopp joined Shah, and the two of them took the score on to 110 before Ryan Woosley got Shah to play a false shot and end his inning on 56.

That takes his tally for the season up to 537.

Further not outs for Blacktopp (41*) and Southgate (10*) were enough to see WGC home in the 35th over.

The first of the return fixtures on Saturday is back at Digswell Park with a clash against Harpenden, fresh from consecutive wins against North Mymms and Totteridge Millhillians.

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