Gary bags maiden first XI century

PUBLISHED: 10:53 29 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:23 06 May 2010

Gary Brown

Gary Brown

Stevenage s decision to field first paid off on the batting paradise at Hoddesdon. They won by four wickets after dismissing the home side for 209. Gareth Berg and Tanweer Sikandar shared the new ball and both bowled with spirit. Two catches went down off

Stevenage's decision to field first paid off on the batting paradise at Hoddesdon.

They won by four wickets after dismissing the home side for 209.

Gareth Berg and Tanweer Sikandar shared the new ball and both bowled with spirit.

Two catches went down off Berg before Coutts, who had crashed a huge hundred for Hoddesdon the week before, edged through to wicketkeeper Dave Carr.

This was Berg's only success of the day as he returned the unflattering figures of 1-52 in 12 overs.

A hundred run second wicket partnership, that was dominated by Harris (96), threatened to take the game away from Stevenage.

The bowlers stuck to their task and when the breakthrough was made by Azhar Ali, trapping Wynne leg before for 41, the Stevenage fielders raised their game.

With the score on 169-2, Hoddesdon were still well set.

A couple of sharp pieces of wicketkeeping by Carr saw the back of Coleman (26), stumped off the bowling of Ali, and then Harris who got a big edge on an attempted cut shot off Syed Ali Kazmi.

It was from this point onwards that Stevenage took charge as both Ali Kazmi (4-53 off 17) and Ali (5-77 in 23.3) caused all sorts of problems for the middle and lower order.

Gandon, batting at five, was the last batsman into double figures and when he fell to a high catch by Ian Gane off the bowling of Ali, the innings collapsed in alarming fashion.

Carr completed a further two stumpings, leaving him with a hand in five of the 10 dismissals.

But he holed out on the boundary within the first two overs of the Stevenage reply.

Opening partner Gary Brown was rewarded with his second matchwinning innings in a row after a bad start.

At 19-3, with Ali Kazmi and Nas Ahmed both gone with eight runs between them, there was a bit of a rush on in the changing room.

An outstanding 120-run partnership between Berg (58) and Brown at more than five runs an over calmed the nerves and put Stevenage back in charge.

Berg and Brown were harsh on all of the bowlers, firstly hitting the spinners out of the attack and then dismantling their seam attack when the new ball was taken.

Brown reached his second consecutive fifty and it was only a lapse in judgement from Berg, who was caught behind for 58, that allowed Hoddesdon a slight hope.

With Sikandar dismissed by a sucker punch that was a slow full toss and Ashley Bayes by a decent ball it was left to Zubair Afzal and Brown to knock off the remaining 35 runs.

Afzal hit five boundaries in his unbeaten 24 and Brown cruised to his maiden first team century, bringing up victory with a sweep shot for a boundary four to finish on 105no.

Stevenage host joint league leaders Potters Bar at their Ditchmore Lane ground this Saturday (11.30am start).

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