Wells done to the Datchworth skipper

Datchworth continued their climb up Division Five of the Saracens Herts League thanks to inspired captaincy and bowling from John Wells. This is after a 47-run win against league leaders Langleybury seconds. Batting first, the home side found scoring diff

Datchworth continued their climb up Division Five of the Saracens Herts League thanks to inspired captaincy and bowling from John Wells.

This is after a 47-run win against league leaders Langleybury seconds.

Batting first, the home side found scoring difficult but all the top order batsmen applied themselves well and made useful contributions.

Darren Croucher (29) and Matt Budd (30) gave them a solid start with 64 runs in 22 overs.

Tom Bennett (15), Nick Webb (14) and debutant Richard Archer (24) all chipped in and with Steve Groves clubbing his way to a run-a-ball 32, they posted a challenging 160-6 at tea.

Tight bowling from Steve Nash and Alex Akers ensured Langleybury soon fell behind the rate but it was the introduction of Wells into the attack that changed the course of the game as the visitors tried to up the tempo.

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Wells served up a mixture of full tosses and long hops and the Langleybury batsmen duly obliged by hitting them straight into the safe hands of the Datchworth fielders, strategically placed all round the boundary.

He finished with figures of 6-30, all caught, as Langleybury were dismissed for 113.

This win leaves them just 25 points behind the new league leaders Holtwhites Trinibis.

The thirds lost by 61 runs to their Preston counterparts.

A dismal batting display from Datchworth saw them shot out for 71.

Only Dave Edwards (12) and Danny Hattam (16) reached double figures for Datchworth.

Graham Byford bagged 5-19, Tom Salusbury chipped in with 3-19 and Nigel Biggs 2-14.

Biggs had top scored with 48 as Preston posted 132-8, supported well by Joe Warburton's cameo innings of 23.

Only Reece Pybus (3-19) and Ian Little (2-21) showed any control, although captain Neil Saunders picked up three wickets.

* Preston lost by two wickets in a tight finish against Potters Bar seconds in Division Two.

The seconds performed better by beating local rivals Hitchin seconds.

Batting first on a damp wicket, Preston were soon in trouble with the loss of both their openers with only single figures on the board.

Rebuilding work began with a partnership between Casey Walker and Paul Constantinopolis. Constantinopolis eventually fell, but Walker continued his innings forming useful partnerships with the middle order. Preston eventually totalled 205-6 with Walker finishing 82no.

Hitchin began their reply steadily but once the new ball was taken after eight overs, opening bowler Srini Nanjunden began finding some movement.

He put together a matchwinning 20-over spell finishing with 7-63 to give Preston a 73-run victory.

The thirds beat their Datchworth counterparts, while the fourths lost by five wickets to Broxbourne fourths.

A final total of 131 all out was headed by Rob Clarke's 38 and the East Herts side then passed the total with five wickets down.

* Baldock managed to get 18 points from a drawn game against Luton Town and Indians seconds.

They soon found themselves 10-2 before a recovery of sorts to 88-5 thanks to some brief cameos from the middle order supported the returning James Peacock.

Peacock, who was now in full flow, found more support in the guise of Ranjit Rayat who battled hard for 29 in a great stand of 90 with Peacock.

Baldock pushed on in the late overs to get 206-8 with Peacock scoring a typically fluent 98 - cruelly denied by a tired stroke.

The Luton reply was quite solid and despite losing wickets fairly regularly, Patel attacked with panache to keep them in it.

When he was dismissed by Logan Newman for a hard-hit 51, it seemed Baldock would wrap the game up but Luton kept coming with some audacious shots to all parts.

At 113-4, Luton were looking to press on further but Tim Dean (4-49) put an end to their push for victory with three quick wickets and the visitors played out for a draw reaching 152-8 off 47 overs.

The seconds drew against North Mymms thirds in a game that they probably should have won.

Batting first, Baldock got 168 all out with Richard Waters scoring 41 and Kal Rayat 31 in a welcome return to form.

Baldock pushed hard for the win but could not quite manage it as Mymms got to 156-9 to secure the draw. Phil Lucy took another five-wicket haul and Abu Monsur took 3-57.

The thirds suffered another heavy defeat to Harpenden fifths who got 185-9 with 15-year-old Richard Young taking three wickets.

However in reply, Baldock's woeful batting form continued being bowled out for 49 in 29.3 overs. Only under-14 player Harry Williams got to double figures (11).

* Ickleford seconds had a comfortable six-wicket win against Old Camdenians seconds.

They bowled the old boys out for 92 with Roy Izzard claiming 4-26 in 12.3 overs and Martin McCulley 2-12 in 11 overs. Kevin Shinner (22) and Dave Pursey (24) ensured few alarms for Ickleford.

The thirds lost by eight wickets to Parkfield and Headstone thirds after mustering just 61. The match was notable for 12-year-old Adam Ross dismissing a 76-year-old opponent!

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