Stevenage secure draw

Stevenage shared a hard-fought and rain-affected draw with Sawbridgeworth. Gloomy skies and light drizzle greeted Stevenage s visitors, which had been preceded by heavy overnight rain, so the covered wicket was out of bounds until after the early lunch br

Stevenage shared a hard-fought and rain-affected draw with Sawbridgeworth.

Gloomy skies and light drizzle greeted Stevenage's visitors, which had been preceded by heavy overnight rain, so the covered wicket was out of bounds until after the early lunch break.

As soon as the rain stopped and thanks to half an hour of hard graft by the groundsman, play was possible at 1.50pm on an excellent surface.

The loss of 80 minutes of play resulted in a shortened game, which gave Sawbo, who won the toss, 43 overs to set a target.

Their innings got off to a steady start, with Dan Wilson (40) dominating a 61-run partnership despite a couple of close shaves.

Amit Dattani truck the first blow for Stevenage clean bowling Runciman for 25 and the innings lost its way for a period as Dattani (2-73 in 18) and Azhar Ali (4-55 in 15) teamed up to good effect.

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Ali trapped Wilson leg before and Birch edged a Dattani delivery to David Carr to leave Sawbo struggling on 75-3.

A fightback was instigated by West Indian Richardson (30) and Marshall who in contrasting styles put on 49 runs before Ali shifted them both.

A brisk and cleanly hit 36 from Rudkin proved an essential fillip to the innings which with wickets clattering as the overs ran out would otherwise have ran out of steam too early.

Stevenage required 178 from 37 overs and they had to bat through a tricky 30-minute period before tea.

Despite losing Tanweer Sikandar, they scored at a more than healthy rate racking up 40 from the first seven overs.

The tea break heralded another rain stoppage and the restart was delayed long enough for Stevenage to lose four overs, which gave Sawbo a little boost increasing Stevenage's run rate with 136 needed from 26 overs.

Gary Brown continued where he had left off before the break plundering runs off both Hurst and Richardson, the latter of whom he hooked into the neighbouring park for six.

He found solid support in Ashley Bayes at number three, an area where Stevenage have historically struggled.

Unfortunately Brown was well caught when on 46, Bayes was run out for 18 and Ali Kazmi was leg before without scoring to reduce Stevenage to 85-4.

Navin Seneviratne joined Nas Ahmed and the pair looked untroubled until Seneviratne (10) chose to take on the pick of Sawbo's bowlers Cunningham and came up short, caught by Hurst.

Carr also fell to Cunningham his defence breached by the left-arm spinner, but Stevenage continued to push for victory.

Further wickets, including Ahmed (41), meant it was necessary to shut up shop and settle for a draw.

This was no easy feat as the skies darkened and a rapid Richardson steamed in and, with Ali bowled for five, it was left to Albert Sodhi and Dattani to keep out three overs to ensure that Stevenage earned a deserved draw.

* The seconds lost by eight wickets to Bishop's Stortford in the Saracens Herts League Division Three.

Stevenage posted 110 all out in 44.4 overs, Russell Hann (29) top scoring, and Stortford got home inside 22 overs with eight wickets to spare.

A fantastic all-round performance from John Mould (63 runs and three wickets) led the thirds to victory over Hatch End seconds (220-8, to 173 all out).

The fourths posted 226-8 against Hitchin thirds as Neil Hockey (44) and Vijay Marri (53) put on a sixth wicket stand of 82, Suman Iranganti weighing in with 45no.

Skipper Phil Ashby ripped through the home side's middle order to finish with 7-32 out of 188 all out.

A solid batting performance by the fifths saw them total 172-8 but unfortunately home side Sawbridgeworth fifths failed to chase the runs and closed on 125-6.

Only 15-year-old Owen Bowser with 30 adapted to the wet conditions as the young sixths were well beaten by Hatfield Hyde thirds, all out for 89 and seeing their opponents knock off the runs in 11 overs with eight wickets intact.

* It is now five wins from five for Stevenage in the Millman Sunday League.

Ashley Bayes (5-25) helped bowl out Luton Saracens for 100 and Dave Carr (69no) ensured Stevenage won without losing a wicket.

There was a comfortable eight-wicket win for Stevenage Academy against weak home side Wormley who were dismissed for 42.

County Hall seconds (221-5 off 40 overs) beat the Sunday thirds (152 all out off 38.3 overs) by 69 runs.

Simon Wood (45 runs and a wicket) and 15-year-old Andrew Lorimer (3-21 in 10 overs) were the main performers.

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