Brilliant stand gets Herts off and running
Hertfordshire round-up A spectacular record-breaking partnership swept Herts to their first win of the season in truly emphatic style against Oxfordshire. After two narrow defeats in the Minor Counties One-Day Trophy, it was vital that Herts recovered the
A spectacular record-breaking partnership swept Herts to their first win of the season in truly emphatic style against Oxfordshire.
After two narrow defeats in the Minor Counties One-Day Trophy, it was vital that Herts recovered the winning habit at Aston Rowant on Sunday. To do so in such a convincing manner sends them into the championship programme in confident mood.
Herts won the toss and batted first on a damp morning, knowing they would have to work hard at the start.
So former Surrey star David Ward launched the first two balls through extra cover for four!
Ward and captain Andy Lewis, who plays for North Mymms, then grafted their way along as Oxfordshire's bowlers found their line and length. Lewis top-edged a pull shot high into the clouds for the keeper to take the catch.
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Enter the in-form Steve Lowe of Radlett, with half-centuries in each of Herts' two previous games under his belt.
They saw off the opening bowlers and dug themselves in before putting the accelerator down and producing a dazzling array of cricket shots.
Their partnership grew and grew, as did the run rate.
Together the pair put on a massive and thoroughly entertaining 189 before Lowe was bowled for a wonderful 84 off 87 balls, including nine fours and three sixes.
Ward made a masterful century, falling leg before for 102 from 119 balls, with 11 fours and three sixes.
Simon White added a rapid 25 as Herts finished their 50 overs on an imposing 281-7.
Aaron Laraman demolished the Oxfordshire reply in a seven-over spell of 4-26, which included a devastating burst of three wickets in five balls.
He was well supported by Hitchin's David Moore, who put in his best stint of the season and was desperately unlucky not to finish with a wicket or two in his spell of 10 overs for 35 runs.
Lewis tightened the stranglehold with White taking 1-18 in 10 miserly overs and Tony Skeggs of Knebworth Park taking a wicket with his third ball.
The job was finally finished with three overs left as Oxfordshire were all out for 159.
A delighted Lewis said: "It was a wonderful partnership from David and Steve and a good team performance with the ball and in the field.
"It really does show that if one or two of the top order can get a big score we will be a team who are hard to beat."
Herts will be hoping to take that form in to their next outing, the start of their championship season.
It is a three-day match against Bedfordshire at Hertford starting on Sunday, May 28 (11am).