Remarkable contest and final ball win sends Hitchin back to the top

Hitchin V Leverstock Green - Shaftab Khalid celebrates for Hitchin

Shaftab Khalid celebrates taking a wicket for Hitchin against Leverstock Green - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Hitchin returned to the top of the Herts Cricket League Division One table with a victory over Leverstock Green - although it could have been very, very different.

Having lost the toss on another sunny afternoon Hitchin were invited to bowl and the visitors got off to a steady start.

They did lose an early wicket to the bowling of Saftab Khalid but a second-wicket partnership of 62 and another 77 for the third left Leverstock in charge at 145-2 in the 33rd over.

To the credit though of the home attack, they kept plugging away and by the end had held the visitors to 223-9.

Shaftab Khalid bowling for Hitchin.

Shaftab Khalid bowling for Hitchin against Leverstock Green - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Kahlid finished on 3-29 while Luke Day took 3-29. Saad Waqas managed 2-39 with Sam Rippington getting one wicket.

Hitchin V Leverstock Green - Sam Rippington bowling for Hitchin.Picture: Karyn Haddon

Sam Rippington bowling for Hitchin. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

It was still a competitive total to chase and it was one which seemed would be well within Hitchin's grasp after a similarly strong opening.

Day (28) and Sanjay Chandarana made 74 for the first wicket with Chandarana and Khalid (39) putting on 46 for the second.

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It left them at 120-1 in the 31st over and in a strong position but then Chandarana went for a very fine 59 and Hitchin began to lose their way.

Hitchin V Leverstock Green

Hitchin in action against Leverstock Green. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

When Gurdeep Jandu was the seventh man out in the 42nd over Hitchin were still 55 runs short.

A busy partnership of 42 between Steven Flint and Rippington followed but when the latter was dismissed in the penultimate over, followed rapidly by Matt Holroyd, it meant the home side still needed 12 to win from the final six balls and with just one wicket in hand.

Hitchin V Leverstock Green - Hitchin celebrate.Picture: Karyn Haddon

Hitchin celebrate a wicket against Leverstock Green. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

But if any of the watching supporters felt the game was up, they reckoned without Steven Flint and Musa Ilyas.

The pair ran a single each in the first two balls and Flint then found the boundary.

Another single followed though and put Ilyas on strike with two balls to go. However, a mis-field allowed them to run three, putting Flint on strike for the last delivery and he edged the final ball of the match down to fine leg for a quite remarkable win.

Hitchin now travel to Sawbridgeworth on Saturday, the side 13 points behind them in second place.

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