Ickleford off and running with vital contributions at vital times at Holtwhites
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Ickleford made light of the opening day of the Herts Cricket League season by picking up a 67-run win at Holtwhites Trinibis.
They were soon in trouble though after winning the toss, with their batsmen showing signs of rust.
The first three fell for a mere 23 runs but right when it was needed, a ship-steadying and hugely impressive partnership between Matt Baxter and Jack Edwards changed the outlook.
They put on 124 together with Baxter making 64 and Edwards adding 63.
The tail weren’t as productive, only Matt Marsden made any real contribution, and there were still six overs remaining when Ickleford were all out but they set a target of 181.
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In reply the hosts’ openers set off in a hurry and Salman Khan (40) and Alex Burgess (22) posted 50 in just five overs.
But again, right on cue, the initiative was wrestled back.
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Eswar Krishnamurthy was the man to do it, removing the pair, as he went on to finish with 4-29.
The Marsden brothers then further tightened the screw, Luke taking 1-16 in his nine overs and older brother Matt conceding runs in just one of his six overs, with final figures of 3-11.
Ickleford’s fielding was again of a very high standard with Baxter taking two difficult catches in the deep and Edwards picking up another spectacular effort.
It meant Holtwhites crumbled from their promising start and were all out for 113.
The third team joined them on the winners’ podium, picking up a comfortable win against Stevenage fifths.
They batted first and made 205-6 in their 40 overs, Ben Mason (66) and Mark Howard (38) adding 102 together.
And in reply Stevenage were dismissed for 104, 101 runs short. Nick Webb and Leo Mason were the main threats, with 3-23 and 2-29 respectively but Russell Dermont also got two wickets for the loss of no runs.
Only the seconds tasted defeat, by five wickets to Frogmore.
They also batted first and after a frantic opening saw the score get to 80-2 in 15 overs, they slumped to 96-6 before being all out for 170.
There were good contributions from Andy Chalmers (44) and James Dermont (36) at the top and a late rally from Richard Brown (20) and Richard Peareth (14*) but the Frogmore reply was measured and they cruised home despite two wickets from Rob Day.