Runners-up spot still a possibility

Stevenage still harbour realistic hopes of finishing runners-up in the HCPL Division Two (East). With Bishop s Stortford losing to league champs Potters Bar, Stevenage enter their last game of the season at home to West Herts this Saturday only five point

Stevenage still harbour realistic hopes of finishing runners-up in the HCPL Division Two (East).

With Bishop's Stortford losing to league champs Potters Bar, Stevenage enter their last game of the season at home to West Herts this Saturday only five points off a second place finish.

This follows a four-wicket win over mid-table North Mymms.

Mymms decided to bat on a wicket that was kept under wraps until right up to the toss and their openers Wynne (94) and Saxby (49) put on 105.


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Mymms were 109-1 at lunch after 38 overs and the one wicket to fall went to Azhar Ali who saw an edge from a Saxby cut shot well held above his head by Amit Dattani at slip.

Andy Hicks (27) joined Wynne and the pair showed more urgency in the second half of their partnership, Wynne in particular showing some interesting improvisation and running well.

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At 173, Hicks was stumped off Syed Ali Kazmi and with overs running out, it became a shot-a-ball for Mymms and it was Ashley Bayes who benefited most.

He kept his nerve and under pressure maintained good flight and control.

He prevented a Wynne century with Navin Seneviratne completing a well judged catching moving in from deep mid-wicket and then had their Indian superstar, Rawle, caught by Seneviratne at deep cover.

A further three wickets fell as Mymms passed 200. Ali Kazmi got one, with Gary Brown hanging on to a stinger at long-on and there was also a run out.

Bayes (3-50 in six overs) took the last wicket to fall, with Carr collecting his second stumping.

Stevenage needed 247 to win from 50 overs and the five an over run chase for Stevenage started well enough with Brown and Tanweer Sikandar sharing another fifty stand.

Brown made the most assured start, but ironically was the first to depart, caught by a juggling slip fielder off Rawle's bowling.

Sikandar, who had flirted with the slip cordon now and again in his first 30 runs, suddenly came into his own, dominating a 30-run stand with Bayes and unleashing an array of boundaries including a towering straight six.

With Bayes dismissed, Nas Ahmed came to the crease and set off in style, hitting his first ball for four and his third for a straight six.

His innings took a more sedate form as it progressed but the 79 runs he and Sikandar scored set Stevenage up nicely for the last 15 overs with 73 needed.

Sikandar was well caught behind the stumps by Black for 79 and Ali Kazmi contributed only five to cause a bit of a wobble but a brisk 13 from Seneviratne took the total to 200 and left the ball firmly in Stevenage's court.

Ali was promoted up the order in pinch-hitting mode and although Ahmed was leg before for 69, the pair had reduced the deficit to 29 needed and Stevenage did not falter.

The experienced and in-form Albert Sodhi came in at eight, the sort of luxury that few teams can afford, and he guided Stevenage home with nine balls to spare ending 12no alongside Ali on 18no.

* There is all to play for as three of Stevenage's other teams enter the final weekend in the Saracens Herts League.

Martin Nevill (26.5-5-87-7) put in a superb marathon bowling performance for the second team.

However visitors Totteridge Millhillians recovered from 74-6 and the seconds will have a duel with North Enfield this Saturday to determine relegation places.

The thirds rolled over league leaders Bentley Heath and still have an outside chance of promotion.

But the fourth team's batting failed against lowly Leverstock Green and they are out of an automatic promotion place. Phil Ashby took 5-59 while Terry Ashby and Simon Wood top scored with 29.

The fifths put in an excellent all-round batting performance.

Max Cooley (38) and skipper Richard Sullivan (40no) supported by top bowling from Liam Bailey, John Barton and Paul Brewer enabled them to complete their league programme with a win to finish mid-table in Division 13.

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