Stunning fightback sees Preston claim glory

Saracens Herts League cricket round-up A stunning fightback from Preston saw them take victory off the final ball of the game against promotion chasing Dunstable at Lancot Park on Saturday. Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Preston made an excel

Saracens Herts League cricket round-up

A stunning fightback from Preston saw them take victory off the final ball of the game against promotion chasing Dunstable at Lancot Park on Saturday.

Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Preston made an excellent start reaching 52-1 by the tenth over, with skipper Ashley Catlin again leading from the front.

On a wicket that was dry and slow Dunstable brought their spin attack into the game which saw them stem the flow of runs and take wickets at regular intervals.

Bedfordshire spinner Steve Watts showed his class picking up the fine figures of 5-28 from his 14 overs.

Catlin batted excellently for a well made 89 falling in the 50th over, as Preston were dismissed for 180 in the last over.

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Preston opted to take the old ball and opened with two spinners, but this soon backfired on them as Dunstable raced to 73 without loss by the nineteeth over.

With the introduction of Mark Waters into the attack Preston were soon back in the game, with Waters picking up a wicket with his fourth ball. Preston didn't pick up their second wicket until Dunstable were well placed on 104 and requiring 77 runs for victory with eight wickets in hand.

With Catlin (10-2-34-3) and Waters working in tandem wickets began to fall at a regular rate, whereby Dunstable lost their remaining eight wickets for just 53 runs.

Man of the Match Mark Waters again bowled superbly picking up 7-38 from 15 overs, bowling Hopkin last ball of the game to secure victory for Preston and to spark wild celebrations.

Baldock Town finally got the victory they have been striving for in a nail biter against Hatch End.

On winning the toss Hatch End decided to bat and on a steamy and hot day they set about building an opening partnership putting on 40 without loss before Andrew Taylor nipped out the left hander Richardson for a painful 17.

Within the next five overs Baldock took two more wickets as Taylor got rid of the dangerous looking Norjaria for a big hitting 42 and Alistair Jones bowled the No.3 to leave the visitors on 70-3.

There was a brief recovery until Tim Dean poached two wickets in quick succession and things were looking rosy for Baldock.

But Hatch End's lower middle order batted sensibly and made their way to a highly competitive 213 all out off 49.3 overs. Tim Dean took 3-41, Jones 2-61, Letford 2-62 and Taylor 2-23.

Baldock's reply was solid enough as the Peacock brothers put on 27 and when James Peacock and Andrew Taylor took the score to 81 the game looked in Baldock's control.

But as ever there was a little wobble as the hosts found themselves 85-3 and in need of some repair work. This came in the form of an 81 run partnership between Graham Letford and skipper Rob Cant.

The pair batted with care and precision and ran well to take Baldock to a position of real strength at 166-4 with 9 overs left and wickets in hand.

The wicket of Cant for 36 led to a small collapse taking the score to 186-7 and when Letford was run out for a well constructed 59, Baldock had some work to do with 15 needed off two overs.

When another wicket fell the nerves began to show and the last pair scrambled some runs and took the game to the last over.

With five balls left Logan Newman smashed a four to bring the scores level. He then waited till the last ball to sneak the winning run and send his awaiting team mates into raptures of delight as Baldock ran out winners by one wicket.

The win has lifted spirits after such a barren spell and Baldock go to Sandridge this weekend with renewed confidence.

Preston IIs entertained Radlett IV in Division Six and were on the receiving end of a colossal 273-3.

Preston's bowlers were fruitless as the visitors took command on a motorway of a wicket, and a fast flying outfield in scorching temperatures.

In reply a well grafted 106 not out from Matt Burleigh set the scene backed up by 40 from John Garnham and 27 from Dave Saunders as Preston finished on 217-7, leaving Radlett to regret batting for so long in a match that ended in a draw.

Baldock IIs secured a comfortable victory against Clifton II. Losing the toss, Baldock were asked to field, and it was not long before two wickets by Phil Lucy put Clifton under pressure.

However, an excellent 82 by Boorman ensured that Clifton were heading towards a respectable total, and it wasn't until a superb spell by Ben Diplock that Baldock were able to dominate Clifton.

Clifton's innings ended on 162 all out, with Diplock taking a superb 6-23, ably supported by Phil Lucy with 2-28.

Baldock's reply got off to a superb start, with a partnership of 72 between Andy Diplock and Richie Waters. Victory was never in doubt, and Baldock raced past the required total, scoring 165 for 4 with 13 overs to spare, Andy Diplock scoring 49, Richie Waters 28 and Mark Lewis 42 not out.