Stevenage are the runners-up

PUBLISHED: 11:17 14 September 2006 | UPDATED: 10:51 06 May 2010

Anthony Pratt bowls

Anthony Pratt bowls

Stevenage are runners-up in the HCPL Division Two East this season. Their derby day victory over Knebworth Park at Ditchmore Lane consigned their near neighbours to relegation back to the Saracens Herts League Division One. Stevenage were denied the title

Ashley Bayes drives through the covers

Stevenage are runners-up in the HCPL Division Two East this season.

Their derby day victory over Knebworth Park at Ditchmore Lane consigned their near neighbours to relegation back to the Saracens Herts League Division One.

Stevenage were denied the title as champs Radlett scraped together enough bonus points in their defeat at Welwyn Garden City.

Knebworth, having won the toss, made an assured start on a slow wicket against the new ball.

David Lowe (21) and Adrian Holmes (19) shared a 51-run partnership from the first 13 overs.

Then a switch to spin caused the innings to crumble alarmingly.

Azhar Ali made the initial breakthrough by clean bowling Holmes around the legs of his ill-judged attempted sweep and wicket-keeper Dave Carr held on to a thick edge from Lowe off the bowling of Syed Ali Kazmi.

Kazmi soon struck again, deceiving Tony Skeggs with an arm ball to trap him leg before, and this wicket brought together essentially Knebworth's last recognised batsmen, stand-in skipper Tom Jenkins and their Aussie all-rounder Anthony Pratt.

The pair nudged the Knebworth total into the 70s before both were dismissed by Ali.

Pratt shouldered arms to Ali, whose delivery spun past his front pad into the off-stump, and trapped Jenkins in his next over with a faster ball yorker onto his boot to earn a leg before decision.

Ali picked up his fourth wicket in his next over, taking a straightforward caught and bowled chance as Shaun Robinson attempted an ambitious shot against the spin.

The off-spin of Ashley Bayes was introduced after the break and he continued on the wicket-taking theme.

Both his wickets were classic dismissals for Stevenage's young slow bowler. The first was a Carr stumping and the second needed no help from a fielder.

A third wicket for Kazmi (3-30) and Ali's fifth wicket - to finish with the incredible figures of 19-8-29-5 - ended the innings on 124.

Stevenage's reply got off to a smooth start as Gary Brown and Tanweer Sikandar put on 48.

Brown was trapped leg before by Pratt for 25 and there was a slight wobble when Sikandar (27) was caught and Kazmi nicked a wide one to the keeper Jenkins off Pratt.

A 41-run partnership between Nas Ahmed and Gareth Berg took Stevenage to the brink of victory.

Ahmed was stumped off the bowling of Graham Fisher to gift Park a fourth wicket.

Berg, who ended with an impressive 44no, then hit the winning boundary to see Stevenage home with 30 overs remaining.

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