Welwyn Garden City too hot for Hertford rivals as big win lifts them up to second place
PUBLISHED: 17:15 27 June 2019
Welwyn Garden City gave their best all-round performance of the 2019 season to thrash Hertford in the Saracens Herts Premier League at Balls Park on Saturday.
And the nine-wicket success saw them move up to second place in the table, just five points behind new leaders Radlett, who had beaten Luton Town & Indians by a 10-wicket margin.
WGC wanted a better result than the previous weekend's disappointing draw but after losing the toss were sent into the field as Hertford took first use of a greenish wicket.
The openers put on 23 without alarm, before left-arm spinner Matthew Grant made the breakthrough in the sixth over.
And good bowling by WGC kept the pressure on the batsmen as runs were made hard to come by.
The second wicket fell with the score on 59 in the 18th over, while William Ray was lbw to Jamie Southgate for an 83-ball 50.
Cowell was run out after one ball as Hertford went into lunch on 108-4 from 35 overs and Adam Carlson was caught by Blacktopp off David O'Sullivan for 43 after the restart.
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The last five wickets fell for just 35 runs as Hertford were all out for 159 in 54 overs, with Southgate (3-12) and O'Sullivan (3-55) the pick of the bowling.
Grant bowled 20 consecutive overs to finish with 2-46, as captain Andrew Nolan took a superb one-handed diving catch to dismiss opposite number Scott Ruskin.
Having scored 359 in their last two opening partnerships, WGC's Owais Shah and Louis Champion looked to set another strong base, seeing off the lively James Leather.
They had put on 80 when Champion was eventually caught for a run-a-ball 49 having hit 10 fours, but Dan Blacktopp then helped Shah steer WGC to their target without further loss.
The reliable Shah finished unbeaten on 73 from 111 balls, while Blacktopp made 33 not out as WGC cruised home with 25 overs in hand.
They remain on the road this coming weekend as they travel to Bishop's Stortford looking to maintain their impressive form.
Elliot Gregg (3-41) took the bowling honours as the seconds saw Redbourn make 205-9.
But a solid start by openers Matthew Hill (51) and Dylan van der Westhuizen (26) proved in vain as WGC were all out for 163.