Preston enjoy superb debut in Championship with good win

PUBLISHED: 06:23 22 July 2020

James Stevens took 3-15 as Preston beat Shenley Village. Picture: KARYN HADDON

James Stevens took 3-15 as Preston beat Shenley Village. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Archant

Preston’s debut in the second tier of the Herts Cricket League couldn’t have gone much better as they strolled to a 71-run win at Shenley Village.

The hosts had been in the thick of the promotion race last time out before falling away in the latter stages.

Preston’s second place had lifted them to the Championship for the first time but they showed little signs of nerves, and instead revelled in the delayed start to a truncated league campaign.

Batting first Pete Gooden (29) and James Stevens (21) set about their work in tidy fashion as they reached 52-0 from 15 overs.

Leg spinner Nikhil Borkhatria took 4-14 to put the brakes on the innings but Will Gallimore (23) and Jack Morecroft (47*) brought the desperately required platform needed and a quickfire 17 off 15 balls for Henry Morecroft meant Preston got to 196 from their allotted 45 overs.

The thought was it was a solid if under-par score but Henry Morecroft and Stevens provided the perfect start, removing both openers in consecutive overs.

Stevens proved to be the pick of the bowlers, finishing on 3-15, but all of the attack kept took wickets, leaving Shenley 87-8 at one point.

Tim Collins, Pete Murrell and Max Anderson all got two wickets each as Preston closed out the game with one ball more than 10 overs remaining.

The seconds almost pulled off a comeback win against Radlett.

Set 237 as their target, Casey Walker and James Battersby got them close before Mark Waters smashed 27 in 17 balls.

However, he lost his wicket with four balls left and 10 runs needed.

Iain Williamson’s half century led the thirds to a seven-wicket win over Bushey but the fourths lost to Northampton Exiles.

And a second successive century from 16-year-old Ollie Catlin in a friendly against Breachwood Green on Sunday gave Preston a nine-wicket win.


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