Disappointing end to title challenge for Preston with loss to rivals Langleybury

PUBLISHED: 06:44 11 September 2019

Wicket keeper Ben Hill was one of the few Preston players to shine against Langleybury. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Wicket keeper Ben Hill was one of the few Preston players to shine against Langleybury. Picture: KARYN HADDON

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Preston's Herts Cricket League Division One title hopes disappeared with a bang as they suffered a nine-wicket loss to only challengers Langleybury.

After last week's loss dramatic loss to Ickleford, this game became a winner-takes-all battle at Hunton Bridge.

But in truth the expected tooth and nail fight never materialised.

A mediocre total of 146 was never going to be enough and the home side proved that to be true as they clinched the win and the title in the 39th over.

Preston were inserted after the Langleybury skipper won the toss and it didn't take long for that decision to appear a shrewd one as Preston slumped to 12-3.

A slow wicket made it tough to score against tight bowling although there was a minor middle-order comeback as Jack Morecroft (33) and Ben Hill (50) looked to provide a semblance of a score for Preston.

However, as wickets continued to fall at frustratingly regular intervals 146 was all the side could muster.

Khalid Manzoor took 4-20 while there was 3-31 for Yuvresh Malhotra.

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Going into the second innings Preston required some quick wickets to put pressure on Langleybury from the outset.

When the first and, as it turned out, only wicket fell, there were already 46 runs on the board and the game was moving firmly away from the visitors.

They were unfortunate to not claim any more scalps before the close with a couple of catches going to ground but Tom Carson (56*) and Angus Bell (56*) both scored well to grab a deserved win for Langleybury.

A spokesman for Preston said: "A sorry end to the year but the whole team can be very proud of their efforts throughout the year in successfully winning promotion to the Championship.

"With two games against Langleybury again next year the side will be looking to avenge their losses from this season."

n Hitchin's season ended with a fine 46-run win at Old Albanian.

They made 230 in their innings thanks to Saad Waqas (85) and Sanjay Chandarana (49).

And they kept a lid on any attacking thoughts the home side had, holding them to 184-9 in their 50 overs.

Shaftab Khalid and Musa iLyas both took three wickets.

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