Cricket season is off with league and friendly action

Stevenage enjoyed a winning start to life in the Millman Sunday One. They won by 16 runs at Cambridge Granta in the 45-over game. Stevenage won the toss and batted first and after the loss of Gary Brown, made steady progress. Russell Hann (22) and David C

Stevenage enjoyed a winning start to life in the Millman Sunday One.

They won by 16 runs at Cambridge Granta in the 45-over game.

Stevenage won the toss and batted first and after the loss of Gary Brown, made steady progress.

Russell Hann (22) and David Carr (39) shared a second wicket partnership of 64.

Adil Zargar's impressive fifty in combination with a belligerent 25 from Ashley Bayes and a well-paced 22 from skipper Albert Sodhi pushed the total to 190 all out.

Whereas Granta chose pace as a means of attack, Stevenage shared the bowling between their two medium pacers and three spinners.

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Medium pacer Martin Nevill accounted for both the Granta openers as the home side slumped to 30-3.

Off-spinner Amit Dattani picked up 2-36 from his 10 overs before a seventh wicket partnership threatened to take the game away from Stevenage.

Zargar's 2-26 in a six-over spell held Granta in check and their tail-enders decided to take a chance against Bayes' off-spin (2-40 off 9.5 overs).

The home side fell 16 runs short with the last two batters holing out to Dave Carr on the deep midwicket boundary.

P Hitchin won their first friendly at home to Tring Park on Sunday by 10 runs.

In a 40-over match, new Hitchin skipper Craig Millwood won the toss and elected to bat first.

They reached 236-4 with Jimmy Lewis top scoring on 71no and there were also useful contributions from Millwood (42), Dave Moore (28), Oliver Hammond (28) and Will Pugh (27no).

In reply, Tring Park were all out off the last ball of the game for 226, with Moore and new recruit Paul Smith taking three wickets apiece.

This weekend sees both first and second teams take on Flitwick in friendlies on Saturday and then the first team play the first round of the ECB National Cockspur Cup against Aztecs at home this Sunday.

P Ickleford beat Baldock by just five runs as the Broadview Windows North Herts League Division One started.

Hosts Ickleford amassed 206-4 from their 40 overs as Mark Schumann scored a cultured 56 and Duncan Jenner 49.

Baldock lost two early wickets in reply but rallied well firstly through Mark Lafferty (29) and then Ranjit Rayat and Rob Cant. Rayat was at his wristy best in scoring 49 and Cant 34.

Tim Dean almost got Baldock home with a hard-hit 33 but Tom Walker bowled him in the final over to see Ickleford home.

P Knebworth Park continue their warm-up for the season this weekend with two local fixtures against Letchworth and Stevenage.

Park face Letchworth in four fixtures on Saturday while, on Sunday, the first team host Stevenage in the Cockspur National Cup.

This follows a warm-up club trial match and a friendly with Preston over the weekend.

Under new leadership from Herts county players Tony Skeggs and David Lowe, there has been outstanding attendance in purposeful training over the last fortnight.

Skeggs has taken over as captain from brother Ryan who stood down after three years and has Lowe as his vice-captain. Also new at the helm is playing chairman Paul Slade.

Tony Skeggs said: "There's been first-class enthusiasm and effort in training which, once the league season gets going very soon, we have to translate into success on the field."

A key addition to the Park is the arrival of Queensland batsman Nathan Reardon who was at the club three years ago and has since been a regular in the Queensland Bulls' one-day side.

Leading the second team again is another Aussie, Jarrod Turner, who will also play a key role in club coaching and youth player development.

Supporting him in the coaching team will be Graham Rose, a coach from New South Wales, who has been at the club for the previous two years.

Youth training started on Sunday with a record attendance of more than 100 for the first week helped by the addition of several new qualified coaches.

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