Brook's best for Knebworth Park

Evergreen Chris Brook notched up career-best figures, including his first ever hat-trick, for Knebworth Park to demolish high-riding Totteridge Millhillians in the Saracens Herts League Division One. Brook, who has been opening the bowling for almost 30 y

Evergreen Chris Brook notched up career-best figures, including his first ever hat-trick, for Knebworth Park to demolish high-riding Totteridge Millhillians in the Saracens Herts League Division One.

Brook, who has been opening the bowling for almost 30 years ever since beginning as a colt, finished with remarkable figures of 9-28 in 8.2 overs to bowl out the home side for 67 in only 17 overs.

This was in reply to the Park's 229-8 and the emphatic win lifts them back up the table to third.

Captain and club coach Jarrod Turner won the toss again and decided to bat, hoping to continue with what is becoming a solid opening partnership with Steve Gregory.


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Each scored at a consistent rate, setting a new season's record by the 17th over, and going on to 116 before Gregory (41) mistimed a shot to be caught on the midwicket boundary by Lee Hodgson, giving Will Somerville his first wicket of the day.

Hodgson and Somerville bowled throughout the rest of the innings, and it was Hodgson who took the next wicket, bowling Phil Simpson with the score on 143.

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Turner went to 90 before being trapped leg before by Somerville, with the score on 165-3, and with 20 overs still to go a substantial target looked certain.

A mixture of improved bowling and eagerness to keep up the run rate saw a collapse of the middle order.

Ryan Skeggs (23) tried to hold things together, but when he, Adam Sergeant and Tom Hemingway all fell in consecutive overs from Somerville, 205-7 looked way short of a necessary target.

Paul Slade (18no) chipped in with useful runs towards the end, but not before Somerville claimed his sixth wicket, bowling Louis Champion.

With the score on 229-8, Turner declared the innings two overs short feeling he may need the extra deliveries to claim the maximum 30 points.

The first delivery of the Totteridge reply saw Somerville with the bat in his hand; he hit Brook for a straight four, and a five-minute hunt to recover the ball.

The fourth delivery of the innings met with the same fate, but then the rest of the match became the 'Brook show'.

Delivery number five trapped Somerville leg before.

Slade, running up the hill bowling at the other end, watched as his attacking partner started to take wickets in each over.

Brook's fourth over proved wicketless but he made up for it in his fifth, dismissing Hodgson caught by Turner and Bikki Sandhu caught by keeper Champion.

Totteridge were 31-5, with Brook having taken five wickets for 18 runs in five overs.

In his seventh over, Brook increased his haul with his first hat-trick.

Phil Simpson made excellent ground to catch Doug Pyrke taking the ball low in front of him, while Pablo Martin and Rizwan Siddiqui offered no resistance to Brook's control.

At 55-8, and with all eight to Brook, the Knebworth team were hoping for a cricketing milestone - all 10 wickets in an innings.

Immediately after the hat-trick over, Slade was given a rest from running up the hill, and Cambridge Blue Tom Hemingway was introduced into the attack.

Hemingway's second delivery put a dampener on the party when he had Andy Blincoe caught by Ryan Skeggs.

But that was the only wicket Brook let get away as last man Paul Mason lasted three deliveries before being clean bowled to wrap up the innings.

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