It’s a soggy county derby
Three days of acute frustration at Hertford ended with Hertfordshire drawing with Bedfordshire in their first Minor Counties Championship match on Tuesday evening. The heavy rain throughout May in general, and the persistent downpour on Saturday, caused t
Three days of acute frustration at Hertford ended with Hertfordshire drawing with Bedfordshire in their first Minor Counties Championship match on Tuesday evening.
The heavy rain throughout May in general, and the persistent downpour on Saturday, caused the problems.
The two teams turned up on Sunday morning and saw a saturated field and knew they faced a difficult three days in which much time would be spent in the pavilion waiting for conditions to become playable.
Play was called off for the first day at 2pm on Sunday afternoon, largely because the bowlers' run-ups were dangerously boggy.
Things had barely improved by Monday morning but the teams kept hoping they would be able to make a start, finally conceding defeat and calling it a day at 4.30pm.
And so to Tuesday, when the conditions were finally deemed playable for an 11am start.
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Both captains forfeited their first innings and it became a one-innings match with a minimum of 102 overs available.
Beds won the toss and put Herts in to bat, which put the onus on Herts to set a total and then try and bowl Beds out, which was always an unlikely task on a mellow, easy paced pitch.
David Ward was again in magnificent form, and together with the West Herts opener Spencer Fan, got Herts off to a smooth start.
The pair put on 77 untroubled runs by the 27th over when Fan had an uncharacteristic nibble outside off stump to be caught behind for 32.
Rob Marshall, of Sawbridgeworth, joined Ward but fell just before lunch. Ward and captain Andy Lewis then set about building the sort of total that would both entice and challenge Beds.
Ward was in stunning form, hitting eight sixes and 14 fours in a blistering 133 and Lewis joined in the fun against some declaration bowling, hitting three sixes in a breezy 49 as Herts galloped to 260-4 in 55.2 overs, leaving Beds a minimum of 43 overs to make the runs.
Aaron Laraman, the Welwyn GC all-rounder, and Hitchin's David Moore struck telling early blows with the new ball to leave Beds struggling at 35-3.
Crucially to Herts' chances of forcing a win, three hard chances were missed.
And another blow was a knee injury to West Herts captain Matt Smith, whose off-spin could have played a major role.
Beds struck several lusty blows to put themselves in the hunt but the odds were always against either side being able to force a victory.
The game finally petered out with Beds on 173-5 off 48 overs with another six left to be bowled. Laraman finished with 2-31 off 14 overs and Moore 2-36 from 13.
Herts are in action this Sunday in their final group game of the One-Day Trophy when they play Bucks at North Mymms.
Sunday, June 4 (MCCA Knockout group match against Bucks) North Mymms CCC, 11am start: AS Lewis (North Mymms, captain), SG Cordingley (Hertford), SD Fan (West Herts), AW Laraman (Welwyn GC), BF Frazer (Welwyn GC), SP White (Welwyn GC), DP Moore (Hitchin), TE Jenkins (Knebworth Park), SJ Lowe (Radlett), ME Smith (West Herts), AE Skeggs (Knebworth Park).