Hitchin give leaders a fright, but Ickleford disappoint

A cricket ball lies in the outfield

A cricket ball lies in the outfield - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

A weakened Hitchin side put up a fight in their defeat at table-topping Old Owens.

Having lost the toss, they made early inroads into the home batting to leave them 56-4 in the 23rd over.

But a stubborn partnership of 101 between Jack Timms and Brad Lane saw OO’s get to 157 before Timms fell for an obdurate 52 off 161 balls.

The lack of first-choice players then started to bite Hitchin and, while they continued to take wickets, runs started to come freely and OO’s eventually closed on 230-8 from 60 overs.

Hitchin's reply didn’t start well as  makeshift opener Sam Rippington was bowled for a duck in the second over and they were soon 30-3.

Hope was restored with a partnership of 47 between Shaftab Khalid and Gurdeep Jandu, but when Jandu was out soon after tea for 21, Hitchin were 95-8.

OO’s needed only one wicket to close out the game, with Hitchin having lost Steven Flint to a ruptured Achilles but Khalid was batting beautifully and 17-year-old Ben Bayley gave support from for an hour and a half to take the visitors to within 10 minutes of achieving an unlikely draw.

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Khalid reached his century, but was left stranded on 109 not out when Bayley fell late on and Hitchin's loss was confirmed

Shaftab Khalid hit a century for Hitchin against Old Owens

Shaftab Khalid hit a century for Hitchin against Old Owens - Credit: Archant

There was better news for the Hitchin third and fourth teams, who managed to gain maximum points.

Standout performances included 55 for Nicholas Richardson, guiding the fourth team to a large total of 228-7, while third-teamer Andy Beaton tore the opposition apart to claim four wickets for just five runs in an outstanding bowling performance.

Hitchin ladies managed a comfortable win against Olney on Sunday, after posting a competitive 139-7 from 30 overs with contributions throughout the order. 

The bowling attack really fired as Olney’s top order was blown away and they were finally dismissed for 71.

Yasmin King finished with four wickets, as Megan Brown claimed three in a fantastic all-round display.

*Ickleford suffered a disappointing 49-run loss to Hoddesdon seconds in their latest outing.

The Hoddesdon top order rode their luck, with Eswar Krishnamurthy unlucky to finish wicketless as his 10-over spell cost just nine runs.

Thomas Brown took 2-59, having been edged for several boundaries, and Sam Draper (2-72) also nabbed a brace while Luke Marsden, Duncan Jenner and Fakhar Islam had a wicket apiece as Hoddesdon posted 237-7.

Krishnamurthy (70) continued his fine form in reply, with Jak Phillips (30) giving good support, but once they fell only a late rally from Adam Ross (23) lifted Ickleford to 188 all out.

The seconds reached 217-8 against Old Albanians, as Adam Brocket hit a brilliant unbeaten 74.

And Scot Crouch took three wickets as all bowlers performed well to ensure OAs did not get close to their target and earn a 30-point haul.

The thirds had a very good win over Harpenden fifths, despite suffering three early ducks as they collapsed to 5-3.

A magnificent unbeaten 215-run stand between Mark Nunneley, whose unbeaten 127 with five sixes and 15 fours was his maiden century, and Dave Pursey (79 not out) transformed the game as Harpenden were 183-8 when rain stopped play.

Ickleford claimed victory on faster run rate, as captain James Kench (4-17) took three wickets in four balls thanks to a ha-trick of catches by Charlie Wren.