Hitchin hold on against the Park

Knebworth Park took the lion s share of the points in dominating their drawn match against near neighbours Hitchin in the Saracens Herts League Division One. The game got off to a late start due to the morning s constant drizzle, and the 30-minute delay t

Knebworth Park took the lion's share of the points in dominating their drawn match against near neighbours Hitchin in the Saracens Herts League Division One.

The game got off to a late start due to the morning's constant drizzle, and the 30-minute delay took eight overs out of the game.

Park captain Tony Skeggs won the toss and had no hesitation in deciding to bat, with a new-look batting order. Club coach Jarrod Turner moved up to open with Steve Gregory and they soon posted a season high opening partnership of 63.

Turner dominated the strike, facing 64 of the first 90 deliveries, before falling leg before to former Letchworth player Ian Bowyer for 51.

Gregory was joined by skipper Skeggs, adding another 40 between them before they both fell with the score on 103, Skeggs (15) again to Bowyer, and in the next over Gregory (26) edging to wicketkeeper Oliver Hammond off Atul Ranade.

The early batsmen had laid the foundation and all of the rest of the order were able to make decent contributions to post a useful total.

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The bowling of Hitchin captain David Moore dominated the latter part of the innings.

His first spell of 10 overs did not take a wicket and conceded 40 runs, however, his second spell started with a successful leg before appeal against Adrian Holmes (22), followed by two further leg befores, and he clean bowled both Sam McCrow and Harry McCue.

Park were all out for 221 in the last of the allotted 49 overs, Moore finishing with 5-73 in 16.4 overs.

The new-look Park batting line-up did not extend to the bowling attack - Chris Brook and Paul Slade continued opening the bowling as they have done for every league fixture this season.

Brook made the first breakthrough, forcing Ranade (13) to edge to slip, Gregory, with the score on 31.

Brook was also involved in the next wicket to fall, this time adding to the list of spectacular catches taken by the Park this season, when he grasped a well-hit drive by Simon Mayes (17) off Charlie Randall's bowling.

Craig Millwood tried to anchor their innings, but when he fell for fifty with the score on 106-4, it only prompted the visitors to dig in for the draw. The bowling of Turner and Skeggs gave Knebworth a smell of victory, each taking three wickets.

But 18-year-old Aaron Mullings, stood fast for more than 40 minutes, for four runs, and along with Gavin Bidgood, 11 runs in nearly half an hour, held on for the draw.

Hitchin ended on 135-8 in 43 overs, Skeggs taking an impressive 3-7 in seven overs and Turner (3-31 in 15 overs) the prominent wicket takers.

* Hitchin lost to Ickenham in the Chess Valley League on Sunday in a very high-scoring affair.

Hitchin batted first and scored 260-1 thanks to an amazing 163no from their overseas player Atul Ranade and 55no from Ian Bowyer. But Ickenham reached their target for the loss of only three wickets.

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