Positives for Park despite loss to league leaders Preston

PUBLISHED: 10:07 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:07 18 June 2019

Knebworth's Charlie Randall batting in the match between Knebworth Park and Shenley Village. Picture: DANNY LOO

Knebworth's Charlie Randall batting in the match between Knebworth Park and Shenley Village. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Herts Cricket League Division One bottom side Knebworth Park came agonisingly close to picking up their first win of the season, losing by 15 runs to top of the table Preston.

Having bowled the visitors out for 161, Charlie Randall led the Knebworth charge, hitting 53 not out, but they fell just short of the total needed for their first victory in six games.

The Park struck an early blow against the leaders, with Randall removing Lewis Balcombe in his first over, before Ali Khan got James Stevens.

The second Stevens brother, Jack, drove the total up with a fine score of 67, and at 101 for 3 with 20 overs to go Preston seemed on their way to a big score.

Their mid-order slumped to 136 for 7 though, but a few dropped catches later in the innings saw them reach 161 all out, with off spinner Mo Asif - playing despite his fractured wrist - posting figures of 4-36, while fellow spinner Khawar Iqbal got 1-27.

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Knebworth's run chase started slowly, with Jono Evetts and Louis Clayton scoring 13 and 15 before both being caught out.

The injured Asif battled to 18 runs to push Knebworth to 82 for 7, but victory seemed impossible as James Stevens took 3-32 and Pete Morrell finished on 3-26.

Hope was lost until captain Randall arrived at the crease, as with the supported of the tailend batsman he hit 53, including 11 off one over from Max Anderson.

But, when he took a single in that very same over, he left Graham Fisher to face the last two balls as the fielders moved in.

On the second ball, he lunged forward trying to play the shot, only managing to edge the ball to a diving Jack Morecroft at short leg, leaving Knebworth 15 runs short of their first Division One win of the season.

Park have plenty of positives to take though after pushing the league leaders all the way and impressing with the ball.

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