Preston secure a draw

Saracens Herts League Preston had to settle for a draw against a good Ampthill Town side in Division Two. They got off to the worst possible start as they lost the toss and were asked to bowl first, with many players still suffering from the excesses of a

Saracens Herts League

Preston had to settle for a draw against a good Ampthill Town side in Division Two.

They got off to the worst possible start as they lost the toss and were asked to bowl first, with many players still suffering from the excesses of a successful week's tour of Cheltenham.

Ampthill made an excellent start on what was a decent surface for batting reaching 135 without loss by the 34th over.

With wickets in hand, Ampthill attempted to up the run rate, resulting in Preston's bowlers picking up wickets at regular intervals.

The two most successful bowlers were Indika (15-3-57-4) and the evergreen Andy Riant (16-2-56-3) as Ampthill reached 223-9 from their allocated 53 overs.

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Preston soon found themselves in trouble at 64-4 largely due to an excellent spell of left-arm swing bowling from Degnan.

The majority of the top order all made starts but failed to go on, with Ashley Catlin (30) and Indika (24) having most success.

A seventh wicket partnership of 59 runs between Warren Hearne (48no) and Iain Williamson (14) helped Preston close on 171-7.

Baldock were beaten by six wickets at home by Luton Town and Indians 2nds in Division Five.

Batting first, Baldock found themselves 23-2 off 10 overs against a steady and accurate attack.

Graham Letford and Robert Peacock knuckled down and batted with sense and purpose to get Baldock to a competitive total of 176-5 off 53 overs.

Letford scored 63 and Peacock made a patient 56 in what was Baldock's highest total for a month.

The Luton reply was stuttering as the bowlers and fielders showed real commitment in their search for that elusive win. Alistair Jones took two early wickets and Tim Dean chipped in with one to leave Luton in trouble at 46-3 off 18 overs.

Luton began to get back into the game as Dalvi in particular started to find the boundary with a fine array of shots.

Runs then flowed quickly and Dalvi rushed Luton to a six-wicket victory off 41.5 overs by finishing unbeaten on 91. Jones took 2-59 off 17 and Dean 2-45 off 15 overs.

The seconds lost by three wickets to Luton Town and Indians 3rds.

Only two batsmen reached double figures as Baldock limped to 120 all out off 45 overs on a poor wicket.

Skipper Phil Lucy took 6-52 in 22 overs but two good partnerships saw the home side win by three wickets.

Ickleford Cricketers opted to bowl on an excellent track at Greenwood Park in Division Nine.

They bowled out the hosts for 160 with opener Dave Allen taking 4-45, spinner Richard Starkey 3-30 and all-rounder Jon Hare 2-34.

Although Cricketers began well with captain Dave Pursey making a good 30, they fell away against some tight bowling with only Johal (26) and Hare (22) resisting as they crumbled to 123 all out.

Bragbury remained at the top of Division 10 with a good win against Boxmoor 2nds.

Asked to bat first after losing the toss, Bragbury amassed a huge 282-5 off 50 overs.

Martin Fisher continued his fine season by getting his maiden century and he was finally out for 116.

He was assisted with good contributions from Paul Hitchcock (38), Graham Clarke (34), Steve Newman (31) and Mark Dobbs (26).

Boxmoor lost early wickets but following a couple of useful partnerships, the game was heading for a draw.

A late flurry of wickets from spinner Paul Titterington (5-38) saw Bragbury bowl out Boxmoor in the 43rd over and win by 127 runs.

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