Washout hits Stevenage's title hopes

PUBLISHED: 12:27 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 16:26 05 May 2010

A washout at Bishop s Stortford dented the HCPL Division Two East title hopes of Stevenage. They are now 50 points behind the league leaders Potters Bar with only four matches to play. Stevenage fielded first at Stortford and play was possible until the l

A washout at Bishop's Stortford dented the HCPL Division Two East title hopes of Stevenage.

They are now 50 points behind the league leaders Potters Bar with only four matches to play.

Stevenage fielded first at Stortford and play was possible until the lunch break, before the persistent drizzle turned heavier that left the square under rain-soaked covers for the rest of the day.

In the play that was possible, Stevenage returned to fielding form and led by a superb spell of seam bowling from Tanweer Sikandar would have had Stortford in considerable bother had it not been for a fifty from their skipper Hughes.

Sikandar (3-30 in 16 overs) took the first wicket with Navin Seneviratne hanging on to a flashing cut shot at point and then took no time in sorting out Ballard who had his off stump uprooted.

The all-rounder was swinging the ball away and getting some in-seam throughout his spell and had Hughes tied in knots for much of the time.

In one over, he cut the ball back through his defences three times only to see all of them sailing just over the middle stump and avoiding the inside edge.

Azhar Ali (1-39 in 11 overs) bowled well in unfavourable conditions for a spinner and got some reward with an inside edge on to pad caught by Seneviratne in close at silly mid-off.

The last bit of notable action of the day presented Sikandar with a deserved third wicket. He tempted Hughes to back foot drive an away swinger and a thick edge was well held above his head by Amit Dattani at second slip.

Stortford were 94-4 off 32 overs when play was halted for the day.

* Sunday's President's day match went ahead despite the wet conditions.

Ian Baker (88) rolled back the years with some delightful strokeplay as the President's XI totalled 164-9 in their 38 overs.

But the youthful club XI proved much too strong and finished easy winners by three wickets with 11 overs to spare.

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