Preston take the derby spoils after tough battle with Hitchin
PUBLISHED: 09:38 30 May 2019
Preston have the early season bragging rights after a 74-run victory over neighbours Hitchin in Hertfordshire Cricket League Division One.
A solid opening partnership of 82 between Lewis Balcombe and James Stevens did the damage for them as from that point there both sides enjoyed spells of supremacy.
Balcombe was the first to go on 37, caught smartly in the slips by Shaftab Khalid, while Stevens got to 51 off 54 balls.
Both wickets were the result of balls from Danny Fair and he would go onto collect a well-deserved 5-39 as slowly the Hitchin bowlers slowed the momentum.
Jack Morecroft (37) and debutant Will Mercer (26) steadied the ship with a patient stand of 54 but they would be the last two, other than Warren Hearne, to reach double figures.
Kashif Nizami and Wasim Khalid helped themselves to a pair of wickets each.
The total of 207 was 50 short of where Preston would have liked to have been and in almost a mirror image of the Preston innings, Hitchin too started really well.
Shaftab Khalid (31) and Sanjay Chandarana (27) put on 61 for the first wicket but once the former was caught off the bowling of Mark Waters, the runs started to dry up and the wickets fall.
The next four scalps fell before the total got to 100 and brief resistance from Nizami, Luke Day and Wasim Khalid was nowhere near enough as Preston won easily.
Peter Murrell finished with 3-23 while Jack and James Stevens plus Max Anderson got two each.
The good weekend continued for Preston as they made the regional final of the National Village Cup with a win over Northchurch.
Batting first they made 193-8 thanks to a half century by George Biggs, backed up by 40s from Ben Hill and Callum Blair.
Murrell claimed 5-14 as Northchurch finished up 106 runs short.
Preston will now play Reed.