Skipper leads the charge as Ickleford land historic victory over Hitchin

Victorious Ickleford captain Matt Marsden leaving the field. Picture: Greg Covington

Victorious Ickleford captain Matt Marsden leaving the field. Picture: Greg Covington - Credit: Archant

Ickleford held their nerve to land a historic win over Hitchin in HSCL Division 2A.

Historic because this was the first time the neighbours had played each other in a league game, and it turned out to be a thoroughly absorbing game of cricket with fortunes fluctuating before Ickleford clinched a victory that saw them remain top of the table.

Hitchin batted first and good bowling kept their scoring rate in check. As ever Ickleford skipper Matt Marsden led from the front and his 10 overs saw him bowl six maidens for 4-19.

His brother Luke only conceded 27 runs in his 10 overs while Dan Watson (2-43) and Axel Morris (2-48) also bowled well to restrict Hitchin to 186, with opener Shaftab Khalid (61) top scorer.

It was probably a below-par total but Ickleford opener Jack Edwards and no.3 Eswar Krisnamurthy were quickly dismissed as Hitchin’s bowlers made it difficult for the Ickleford batsmen and at 11-2 Ickleford were in trouble.

Dillon Smit (22) and Jon Hilliard began to repair the damage, the latter playing well before he ran himself out after a poor call having made 37.

Matt Baxter (28) and Adam Nunn dug in with Hitchin on top, Baxter going with Ickleford 111-5, and the asking rate was up to five per over as Matt Marsden joined Nunn.

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To complete a man-of-the-match performance Marsden batted brilliantly. Nunn went for 36 but Marsden was able to dominate the bowling with an unbeaten 43 to see Ickleford home in the company of Sam Howard with four wickets and four overs to spare.

Ickleford 2nds had a nail-biting win at Old Cholmeleians. Ickleford made 242-9 with Sam Draper continuing his excellent form with 74 and Tom Reilly giving good support with 50.

In the Old Cholmeleians reply 20 were needed off the last two overs with Ickleford winning by just nine runs. Duncan Jenner took 4-64 and Scot Crouch 3-25.

The 3rds lost to Holtwhites 3rds. Ickleford made 173 with Ben Whelan scoring 38 but Holtwhites won by nine wickets.

On Sunday the 1sts gained their first Beds League victory of the season. They amassed 310-8 from their 45 overs with Sam Howard scoring a brilliant 82 and a late cameo of 55* from Axel Morris. Cople could only make 203 in reply with Matt Marsden taking 3-25 and George Crouch 3-43.