Hitchin take the bragging rights with a hard-fought derby win over Ickleford
- Credit: GREGORY OWAIN
The rain threatened to bring a premature end to the much-anticipated derby between Ickleford and Hitchin but in the end they got to a finish - with visitors Hitchin taking the win.
The Herts Cricket League Division One game was reduced to 46 overs per side and started with Ickleford being put into bat.
The overcast conditions and damp field seem perfect for bowlers and so it proved as the hosts were reduced to just 14-2 after seven overs, new Hitchin paceman Sam Rippington claiming both wickets.
The third-wicket partnership between Kishnamurthy and Hilliard gave them some hope but Hitchin kept taking wickets with all their bowlers contributing.
Luke Day would end up with three wickets, Saad Waqas two, with one each for Musa Ilyas and Shaftab Khalid.
At one at stage, with the score on 83-7, Ickleford faced being bowled out for under 100, however the tail wagged and an excellent 36 not out by young number nine Thomas Brown saw them reach a respectable 143.
The thought was that this was never going to be an easy target as the rain once again came in at tea.
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The Hitchin chase was amended to 131 from 42 overs and a solid start saw Sanjay Chandrana and Day put on 27 for the first wicket.
They lost Khalid, man of the match against Broxbourne seven days earlier, for one but a slow and steady partnership between Chandrana and Kalid Nizami guided them to 68-2 from 24 overs.
That was below the required run rate and with further rain in the offing the over immediately after tea, Chandrana took the bull by the horns and slapped 18 quick runs to push them back into the driving seat.
He was eventually run out for a very solid 59 but Kashif Nizami (29*) and Saad Waqas (10*) saw Hitchin home to their second victory, this one by six wickets.
Brown was once again Ickleford's star as a very good spell of bowling left him with figures of 2-23.
Ickleford's seconds also lost, going down to Old Camdenians.
Luke Dodd was the pick of the bowlers with 4-29 but two injuries picked up in the field meant their batting line-up was just nine strong.
The third and fourth team games were cancelled.