Welwyn Garden City's winning run halted by Luton Town

PUBLISHED: 07:02 23 July 2019

Louis Champion was the top-scorer with the bat for Welwyn Garden City against Luton Town. Picture: WGCCC

Louis Champion was the top-scorer with the bat for Welwyn Garden City against Luton Town. Picture: WGCCC

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Welwyn Garden City's winning run came to a halt after being held to a draw at Luton Town & Indians.

They stay top of the Herts Cricket League Premier Division, although their lead has been cut to 25 points back to Radlett, after the hard-fought encounter at Wardown Park.

But neither side could get to grips with what turned out to be a very difficult pitch.

With overnight rain seeping through the covers onto the wicket and the bowlers run up, the umpires delayed the start by an hour and a half, and reduced the match to a 47/43 overs game.

Welwyn were asked to face the 47 overs having been put in by the hosts who probably had an inkling the pitch was going to be lively.

That proved to be the case from the off but adopting a positive approach, the two openers of Owais Shah (59) and Louis Champion (60) rode their luck and put on 90 after the first 15 overs.

The partnership was broken on 107 with Shah's dismissal and the introduction of the Luton spinners slowed the scoring rate.

Shay Emerton gave the innings some impetus with a well hit 32 off 29 balls and skipper Andy Nolan (17*) and David O'Sullivan (11*) hit 19 off the final over to leave Welwyn on 223-7.

In reply there was an early wicket for Connor Emerton but Suleiman Mohammed and Kashif Dalvi put on 103 for the second wicket, a stand which left Luton needing another 116 with 14 overs remaining.

But Matthew Grant bagged himself two wickets, deceiving Suleiman and then claiming the scalp of Zawar Hussain, while Simon Bridgewater also chipped in with a wicket as the game petered out to a draw.

Dan Blacktopp hat plenty of fun with the gloves, claiming two catches and taking two stumpings while there was a run-out from Nolan as the home side finished on 181-5.

WGC will look to get back to winning ways at home to second-placed Radlett on Saturday.

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