Preston take the derby spoils after tough battle with Hitchin

PUBLISHED: 09:38 30 May 2019

Hitchin in the field in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

Hitchin in the field in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2019 Archant

Preston have the early season bragging rights after a 74-run victory over neighbours Hitchin in Hertfordshire Cricket League Division One.

Hitchin in the field in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOHitchin in the field in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Hitchin's captain Shaftab Khalid bolws in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOHitchin's captain Shaftab Khalid bolws in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

Balcombe was the first to go on 37, caught smartly in the slips by Shaftab Khalid, while Stevens got to 51 off 54 balls.

Hitchin in the field in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOHitchin in the field in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Hitchin's captain Shaftab Khalid bolws in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOHitchin's captain Shaftab Khalid bolws in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Hitchin's captain Shaftab Khalid bolws in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOHitchin's captain Shaftab Khalid bolws in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

Kashif Nizami and Wasim Khalid helped themselves to a pair of wickets each.

Preston's Warren Hearne bats in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOPreston's Warren Hearne bats in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Hitchin's Kashif Nazami bowls in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOHitchin's Kashif Nazami bowls in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Hitchin's Kashif Nazami bowls in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOHitchin's Kashif Nazami bowls in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

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.

Hitchin's Kashif Nazami bowls in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOHitchin's Kashif Nazami bowls in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

Peter Murrell finished with 3-23 while Jack and James Stevens plus Max Anderson got two each.

Preston's Warren Hearne bats in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOPreston's Warren Hearne bats in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

The good weekend continued for Preston as they made the regional final of the National Village Cup with a win over Northchurch.

Preston's Jack Morecroft in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOPreston's Jack Morecroft in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

Batting first they made 193-8 thanks to a half century by George Biggs, backed up by 40s from Ben Hill and Callum Blair.

Hitchin's captain Shaftab Khalid in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOOHitchin's captain Shaftab Khalid in the match between Hitchin and Preston. Picture: DANNY LOO

Murrell claimed 5-14 as Northchurch finished up 106 runs short.

Preston will now play Reed.

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