Easy winners

PUBLISHED: 11:02 22 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:20 06 May 2010

Stevenage blitzed visitors Hemel Hempstead to pick up their second win of the season. Hemel chose to bat first and with the score into the 30s with only one scare, it was looking like a long day of toil for the Stevenage boys. Then Tanweer Sikandar was re

Stevenage blitzed visitors Hemel Hempstead to pick up their second win of the season.

Hemel chose to bat first and with the score into the 30s with only one scare, it was looking like a long day of toil for the Stevenage boys.

Then Tanweer Sikandar was rewarded for some fine swing bowling by an edge to wicketkeeper David Carr.

This wicket heralded a double change, with the continually unlucky Gareth Berg replaced by Syed Ali Kazmi and Sikandar by Azhar Ali.

It resulted in a collapse of some scale as seven wickets fell for 47 runs.

Kazmi and Ali worked in tandem for the best part of 20 overs, bowling with good control and sufficient variation to keep the steady supply of batsmen guessing.

Ali claimed 4-30 from 11 overs and Kazmi 3-34 from 16 overs.

The highlights of their spells both came from Ali, who produced the best delivery of the game with one that turned and bounced from leg stump to clip the outside edge of the Hemel opener's bat and fly to Nas Ahmed at first slip.

Ali then benefited from an exceptional piece of fielding by Barret Ganji in at silly mid-off as Hodgkins middled a drive only to see it thud into Ganji's chest and the rebound be plucked from air just before it reached the safety of the ground.

Hemel hung on gamely against the spinners and the score made it over the 100 mark thanks to a few lusty blows but Berg, who finished with 2-33 from 11 overs, sorted out the tail with some fast and thoughtful bowling.

Stevenage's chase was a straightforward but rapid affair, only lasting 21 overs.

Despite the loss of Dave Carr for two runs in the first over, Ali Kazmi batting at number three took a few minutes to acclimatise himself and then set about the Hemel bowlers with gay abandon racing to 44 before one big drive too many saw an edge fly through to the waiting wicketkeeper.

His positive approach was picked up by Ahmed (32no) and also by Gary Brown who played an array of free-flowing shots off both the seam and spin bowlers.

Brown, who has made a solid start to the season at the top of the order, had the honour of sealing victory.

He did so in some style with a huge six, a shot that also bought up his maiden first XI half century, leaving him unbeaten on 51.

* A strong MCC XI were given a tough work out by Stevenage on Sunday.

Both sides bowled well on a good batting wicket and the difference between the sides was the lower order.

MCC were captained by former Stevenage stalwart and first XI captain Rob Austin.

Austin batted at number eight and hammered 51 before being the last of Mark Sinclair's four victims.

There was also good bowling from Martin Nevill (2-34) and Rhys Stewart (2-38) as MCC reached 240 all out in 51.4 overs.

Despite losing Gary Brown early, Stevenage's reply got off to a good start with a fine 48 from Dave Carr.

But the innings flattered with several batsmen reaching double figures and not going on. Sinclair hammered 38 but the tail folded weakly as Stevenage made 148 all out.

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