Thrilling victory sparks hopes of play-off charge for Hitchin

PUBLISHED: 09:57 25 July 2019 | UPDATED: 09:57 25 July 2019

Knebworth Park V Hitchin - Sanjay Chandarana batting for Hitchin.


Picture: Karyn Haddon

Knebworth Park V Hitchin - Sanjay Chandarana batting for Hitchin. Picture: Karyn Haddon

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Hitchin narrowly beat Harpenden by 15 runs in a thrilling Herts Cricket League Division One clash on Saturday.

Batting first, Hitchin fired 224-9 from their 50 overs, thanks in part to Sanjay Chandarana who top scored with 56.

In response, 91 from opener Bryn Luffman gave the away side real hope, but they fell just short of the winning total, finishing 209 all out.

The hosts put on 32 for the first wicket, before Shaftab Khalid went for 18 after being bowled by Billy May.

Chandarana and Kashif Nizami fired a partnership of 81, to get the innings back on track before the former went for 56 to leave them 113-2.

Saad Waqas came to the crease next, but he was back in the pavilion not long after with a score of just seven.

Nizami pushed the score to 150 before he was removed for 40.

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Luke Day added a useful 38, but the rest of the batsman failed to add any significant runs as Hitchin finished 224-9.

May finished as Harpenden's best bowler with figures of 3-38.

The home side took some crucial early wickets as Nick Reeves (10) and Joel Stewart (11) went to leave their opponents 56-2.

While the batting order crumbled, all going for low double figure scores, Luffman battled on in a one-man mission to secure an away victory.

But, Khalid got the key wicket when he removed Luffman just short of his century, bowling him for 91.

On 177-7, Harpenden still needed more than 30 runs to win, and the tailend couldn't get the job done as they fell to 209 all out, giving Hitchin an important victory.

Khalid finished as the home side's best bowler on 4-28.

Hitchin now sit fifth in Division One igniting their play-off hope, but they face a tough test on Saturday when they play rivals and table toppers Preston.

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