Park's Brook routs Dunstable
Chris Brook took a five-wicket haul to set Knebworth Park on their way to their second successive win by eight wickets. At a ground that in the past has not been a happy hunting ground, they looked set to dominate from the moment that Tony Skeggs won the
Chris Brook took a five-wicket haul to set Knebworth Park on their way to their second successive win by eight wickets.
At a ground that in the past has not been a happy hunting ground, they looked set to dominate from the moment that Tony Skeggs won the toss and asked Dunstable to bat.
Even though Paul Slade's first over went for eight runs, each shot from Naeem Khan was lofted with little control, just out of reach of the fielders, and it was only a matter of time before the chances would be taken.
Park did not have to wait long, Khan edging again, in the fourth over to Jarrod Turner at slip, giving Brook his first of what turned out to be another five-wicket haul.
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Sam Cherry tried to ride his luck offering at least three chances, all put down, during his one hour at the crease, before Brook cut out relying on his team mates and clean bowled him.
At this point in the 20th over Dunstable were 31-5 and the sixth wicket partnership was their most productive, adding 21 runs.
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Andy Boocock and captain Steve Watts were Brook's victims four and five for the afternoon, Boocock (10) caught sharply behind and Watts (21) spectacularly caught at gully by Adrian Holmes.
The Dunstable tail was cleaned up by the other Park bowlers - Slade (2-33), Turner (1-4) and rookie Charlie Randall, again impressing with 2-15 - but it was the evergreen Brook with 5-32 in 18 overs who was man of the match.
In contrast the Knebworth reply was controlled and steady, before the dismissal of Steve Gregory (31) provided Dunstable with their first point with the score on 55, caught by wicketkeeper Rob Simpkins during a tidy spell of bowling from Khan.
With Park needing only two more to win, opening bat Ryan Skeggs (38) gave Dunstable their only other point for the match falling leg before to Cherry.
This allowed Holmes to come in and finish the match with one hit for four.
* The Jekyll and Hyde displays of the Knebworth second team continued. After their glorious win of the previous week, they crashed to their second defeat of the season against lowly Northwood Town.
Park won the toss and elected to bowl, hoping to make the most of favourable bowling conditions.
A few missed chances turned the game in favour of the away team, who surged on to make a competitive 174 off their 53 overs.
Colin Letford provided the only real resistance in reply as he struggled to 24.
The lower order stuck around in the hope of the draw, but the task proved too great and the Park were eventually bowled out for a paltry 65.
Superb efforts from the Leather brothers, Richard (71) and James (25), gave the thirds a fighting chance of victory before ending with a draw in their match at St Albans West Indians.
Park closed on 159-7 after skipper Steve Holmes snatched 3-13 in a total of 195-7.
Skipper Bret Painter (17) was the only Park batsman to reach double figures as the fourths slumped to a disappointing 60 all out to go down by eight wickets to Cheshunt.
Dave Mantle was the matchwinner in an epic thriller for the fifths at home to Radlett fifths.
His slow medium in-swing bowling took 7-35 as Radlett succumbed to 61 all out.
Russell Tompkins (19) gave the Park's reply a useful start but wickets fell rapidly.
In a nerve-jangling climax, Mantle and fellow bowler Richard Evans saw the Park over the finish line by one wicket.
The Park fielded a sixth team for the first time this season and Eddie Large's side romped home to a 143-run win.
Openers Graham Rose (74) and Ian Murrill (29) added 114 for the first wicket and Stuart Dempsey (36no) marked his comeback with a useful knock to take the score on to 183-8.
Dempsey took (3-5) and Matt Briars (4-10) in cleaning up hosts Hockerill fourths for only 40.