Rain ruins Ahmed’s century
RAIN ruined Stevenage s clash with Hertford for the second time this season on Saturday. The game was a run feast with loads of impressive batting But it provided little chance of a positive result particularly when a 90minute rain delay at the half way p
RAIN ruined Stevenage's clash with Hertford for the second time this season on Saturday.
The game was a run feast with loads of impressive batting
But it provided little chance of a positive result particularly when a 90minute rain delay at the half way point of the game reduced the match by 12 overs.
Having won the toss Stevenage elected to bat first hoping the pitch might deteriorate or the heat and humidity would wear down Hertford and make wickets easier to come by when Hertford batted later in the day.
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Stevenage lost two wickets to the new ball, but a rapid scoring rate took the score into the 50s, allowing Gary Brown and Nas Ahmed to settle in to build the foundations of an imposing total.
Brown, with 48, and Ahmed accumulated an 85 run partnership, before Brown launched Canagasaby down the ground only to be caught on the boundary a couple short of what would have been another 50.
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Ahmed wasn't phased by this loss and proceeded to run the Hertford fielders ragged, placing the ball with accuracy and timing in one gap in the field after another as fast as one scoring area was blocked off by the Hertford skipper.
The third wicket partnership with Gareth Berg amassed 112 runs and included Ahmed's century and Berg's half century.
Ahmed was eventually dismissed for 115 with the total on 249-4.
With a big score now guaranteed the only issue taxing Stevenage captain David Carr was when or if to declare, particularly as Berg was approaching his century and with Ashley Bayes maintaining a healthy run rate.
As it turned out the weather conspired to make any declaration decision a straight forward one because with Bayes just caught out for 23, Berg on 89 no, the total on 315-5 and the 55th over part completed, the rain came down.
With the innings declared, a theoretical 55 overs were available to Hertford, but the rain, heavy for more than half an hour, hung around stubbornly for a further hour causing a reduction in the overs available for Hertford to 43 with no adjustment to the 316 runs to win.
This basically removed any hope Hertford had of chasing the total down and left Stevenage with long odds of forcing a victory, short of some exceptional bowling or terrible batting.
A solid opening partnership of 60 broken by Sikandar dismissing Ruskin for 28, ensured Hertford didn't suffer any scares and at that stage the game could have died a death as a spectacle for the watching crowd.
However, the spectators on the boundary were kept on their toes and were well entertained by Carlson who came in at number three and unleashed an array of shots including a couple of huge sixes over midwicket, one of which cleared the tree lined boundary of the ground and the security fence surrounding the housing development on the other side of the road.
An intrepid, some might venture, foolhardy, Hertford player scaled the security fence and ignored the danger guard dog signs plastered all over it to retrieve the ball.
But with a softer, older spare ball in use Carlson (59) hit one too many shots high into the deep and was well caught by Sikandar off the bowling of Azahr Ali.
Ali picked up the only other wicket to fall in the game by clean bowling Cordingley for 43.
But a sensible unbeaten 30 run fourth wicket partnership took the game to an end with Hertford 179-3.
Stevenage picked up a useful 11 bonus points but with the three teams around them at the top of the table winning it was a weekend of lost ground in the challenge for the league.