Hitchin defeat St Albans to get season back on track

Chris Maylin batting against St Albans. Picture: Simon Jenkins

Chris Maylin batting against St Albans. Picture: Simon Jenkins - Credit: Archant

Hitchin got their season back on track with an emphatic 72-run win against St Albans.

After a number of weeks of poor batting displays it was seemingly the return of Chris Maylin to the top of the order that was the catalyst for a much improved display.

Although Hitchin lost Sanjay Chandarana (seven) early Maylin batted with great patience and skill on a tricky pitch and with the hard-hitting support of Salim Hussain (48) added 80 in a superb second-wicket partnership.

When Hussain was caught at long on Jonny Harris joined Maylin and the pair put Hitchin in a great position at just over 100-2 after 30 overs.

After Maylin was eventually dismissed lbw for 40 Hitchin suffered a wobble as two more wickets fell in quick succession and there were a few nerves on show with the score on 114-5.

Finally though the middle order came to the party with Harris (54) batting brilliantly and in partnership with Steve Flint (29) the pair accumulated runs at an even rate knowing that to try to score too quickly on that pitch against a decent St Albans attack would have been difficult.

This partnership saw Hitchin finish on exactly 200-8 from their 53 overs.

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With St Albans having fielded in the extreme heat for three hours it was imperative Hitchin put them under immediate pressure and that’s exactly what happened as after 16 overs some tremendous bowling and fielding had St Albans in tatters at 46-6.

Rishy Chandarana made an early break through, Shaftab Khalid took two wickets in two balls, one courtesy of an amazing slip catch by Salim Hussain, while Jonny Harris sent stumps cartwheeling and Sandeep Singh settled into a great rhythm with two wickets of his own.

Victory was however not certain as with the experienced Phil Caley and Mark Capaldi at the crease there was a period of consolidation from the St Albans pair and it was eventually two tremendous catches that dismissed the pair.

Firstly Caley was well caught by wicket-keeper Saad Waqas during an excellent spell of bowling from Asif Mahmood and when Capaldi tried taking the attack to the bowlers Luke Day held on to an outstanding diving effort at deep wicket.

After that the tail was swept away with some nine overs remaining.