Preston defeat the old boys

An excellent all-round performance from Preston saw them come away from Old Finchleians with an impressive 21-run victory in the Saracens Herts League Division Two. Losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Preston really struggled to find any rhythm

An excellent all-round performance from Preston saw them come away from Old Finchleians with an impressive 21-run victory in the Saracens Herts League Division Two.

Losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Preston really struggled to find any rhythm on a wicket that had been affected by the midweek rain.

They reached the 20-over mark at 32-2, with the old boys bowling excellent lines and lengths.

The turning point of the game was the 63-run sixth wicket partnership between Richard Gatehouse (43) and Adam Shelley (41).


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The pair came together with Preston in real trouble at 54-5 by the 30th over. They both displayed excellent shot selection and concentration to bring Preston back into the game.

Some late order hitting from Indika Samaraweera allowed Preston to finish their innings on 158-7.

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Preston started well with the ball with the returning Mark Waters bowling his usual excellent lines.

However it was fellow opening bowler Srini Nanjundan who picked up the first two wickets to fall.

The old boys played in typically flamboyant style as they reached the 30-over mark well placed on 97-3, requiring a further 61 runs from 17 overs to win the game.

The game turned in Preston's favour with the introduction of spinner Andy Riant (9-1-16-4) and bowling in partnership with Samaraweera (12.5-1-36-3), they reduced their hosts to 117-7 by the 40th over.

It was left to Samaraweera to clean bowl the old boys number 11 to secure Preston their third win of the season.

* The seconds made it three wins on the trot when they entertained Hemel Hempstead thirds.

On winning the toss, Preston decided to bat and were soon in trouble on a difficult wicket at 40-4 with the only notable contribution coming from Paul Constantinipidi's 25.

A fifth wicket partnership between the rapidly improving pair of Ben Hill and Louis Harrington-Smooth saw Preston pass the 100 mark but with Harrington-Smooth departing for 24, the Preston tail folded leaving Hill 64no in a total of 136 all out.

Batting appeared no easier after tea as Hemel were quickly reduced to 27-7 and then 60-9.

However, the last wicket partnership proved awkward and Hemel slowly edged towards their target, but with only eight required, Casey Walker took the final wicket much to the relief of his team-mates.

Walker finished with 4-41 and Dave Allen 5-37.

The thirds entertained Shenley fourths and invited the visitors to take first knock.

An opening partnership of 50 meant the introduction of spin was needed to stem the flow of runs.

Astonishingly all 10 wickets that then fell came from the father and son spin combination of Ian and Peter Murrell, Ian taking 4-44 and junior taking 6-31, Shenley all out for 127.

Preston chased down the runs in 28.3 overs for the loss of four wickets. Skipper Dave Saunders top scored with a hard-hit 54 backed up by Joe Warburton's undefeated 45.

The fourths were invited to bat first on a sticky wicket against Hatfield Crusaders and a disappointing total of 51 was the outcome, Dylan Wright top scoring with 15.

Preston did not go down without a fight as Crusaders got home by five wickets, four taken by new signing from Hitchin, Savo Balac.

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