Magnificent seven for Park all-rounder
A brilliant seven-wicket haul by Anthony Pratt led Knebworth Park to victory against Sawbridgeworth. Sawbo were dismissed for their lowest total – 69 – in more than 20 years by the Park in 2001. And for Chris Brook in particular Sawbo have been fruitful a
A brilliant seven-wicket haul by Anthony Pratt led Knebworth Park to victory against Sawbridgeworth.
Sawbo were dismissed for their lowest total - 69 - in more than 20 years by the Park in 2001. And for Chris Brook in particular Sawbo have been fruitful as last season he took 15 wickets over the two matches.
This recent history and the return of club captain Ryan Skeggs from injury meant spirits were high.
Sawbo won the toss and their captain Danny Wilson elected to bat and history seemed to be repeating itself after half an hour. Brook dismissed Danny Wilson (six) and fellow opener Daniel Hull (12) with only 18 runs on the board.
Then came the time for Pratt to add his name to the saga with three wickets. At the drinks break, one hour into the match, Sawbo were 30-5. A sixth wicket partnership between Joe Rudkin (36) and Kieran Morgan (51) edged them towards a more competitive score but Pratt's second spell of bowling finished them off.
Pratt's 15 overs gave him figures of 7-62, and despite a late flurry from Ryan Cunningham (20), Sawbo were all out for 140.
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Sawbo's attack was again spearheaded by left-arm spinner Cunningham, last season's divisional leading wicket taker, but some average fielding did not help.
With openers Adrian Holmes and Ben Lewis falling cheaply and Pratt being dismissed for a rare duck by former Jamaica man Cunningham, the Park were under some pressure at 43-3.
Herts wicketkeeper Tom Jenkins offered a couple of chances to the slip fielders plus a couple of run out chances before he fell leg before to Cunningham for 47.
Knebworth's reply was guided past the winning total by fellow county player Tony Skeggs, offering no chances to the field, with an unbeaten 60. Park won the match by six wickets, Cunningham taking all four wickets for 36 runs in his 23 overs.
* Jarrod Turner led from the front with a brilliant 95 as the seconds had the best of a draw with Ampthill in Saracens Herts League Division Two.
His innings was backed up by Stuart Burford (37) and Adam Sergeant (30) in a useful total of 237-8.
The Park's slow bowlers had the visitors in trouble at 30-4 with Turner taking 2-47, Terry Morton 2-38 and Phil Simpson 1-10 until he dislocated his shoulder in his fifth over.
Their pace and seam bowlers were less successful as the visitors recovered to end on 203-7.
* The third team rose to second in Division Five with an impressive and thrilling win over Sandridge.
* A dour innings of 32 by club chairman Chris Johnson, promoted at the last minute from the sixth team, held the fourth team's batting together as they struggled early on in compiling an impressive total of 190-8 against Botany Bay 2nds in Division Eight.
Backed up by Mark Klimek and Ed Wright (26 apiece), they had to work hard for runs on a wicket of indifferent pace and with a slow outfield.
From 107-6 there was then a superb stand as the bowlers tired of 77 by Haydon Bartlett-Tasker (32no) and Tommy Hull 39.
The young pace attack proved too much for the home side with Hull, Nick Simpson and Michael Fisher all outstanding.
Leg spinner Bret Painter took 3-5 in three overs to reduce the Bay to 139-7.
Interestingly all 11 players, including veterans Johnson and Klimek, were products of the club's youth system and eight of the team were 21 or less.
* A fantastic spell of bowling by ex-colt Robbie Woodburn (4-21 in 19 overs) almost plucked victory out of the bag as the fifths saw visitors Luton Town and Indians win by three wickets in reply to the Park's 146 all out.
Skipper John Inman (35) and groundsman Mark Folwell (37) led the way with the bat but failure to bat the full 53 overs proved costly as Luton had ample time to chase down the total. Woodburn was backed up by another promising spell of bowling by leggie Connor Alderman.