Serg sets up seventh win
A battling 84 from skipper Adam Sergeant and a strong 59 from the returning Ryan Skeggs saw Knebworth record a seventh victory of the season at home to Radlett on Saturday.
Inserting the opposition on another excellent batting wicket, Sergeant continued his policy of backing his bowlers to make early inroads and restrict the opposition to a chaseable total.
However, having bowled excellently all year, Charlie Randall and Ramesh Subasinghe didn't quite hit their straps in the opening overs, and it was only a fortuitous deflection on to the stumps at the non strikers end that saw Knebworth register their first breakthrough.
With little margin for error for the bowlers on the flat deck, the Radlett batsmen capitalised with captain Jones (59) and Brand (65) taking the Radlett to 133-2 in only 25 overs.
After a regroup at the drinks interval however, and the introduction of accurate seam pairing of Shaun Robinson (4-62) and Guy Warman (0-42), who bowled 28 overs between them, Knebworth slowly turned the tables and gradually stemmed the flow of runs.
Another returnee, Alex Axon, took two superb stumpings, the first a one handed grab of a ball hit into in the ground and deflecting off batsman's Brand's foot. This was a decisive turning point as the Radlett middle order lacked fire power and could only, on the whole, muster ones and twos to see them post a middle off the road 223-8 from the full allocation of 53 overs. At the half way, Knebworth would feel that they were ahead on points.
The Knebworth innings started poorly however with Phil Simpson bowled by Lederman for just 2. Sergeant should have soon followed him back to the pavilion, edging behind second ball from left armer Paice, but wicketkeeper Charles couldn't hold a regulation chance.
Sergeant rode his luck to survive more chances before reaching 20, but once established alongside Skeggs, the two settled in and look solid in recording a 100 partnership in the 25th over. Skeggs worked the ball around the park intelligently and was unlucky to go for a crucial 59 when feathering an edge behind from off spinner, Arumngam.
Randall came and went soon after to leave Knebworth 133-3 and the game in the balance. But, determined to capitalise on his fortune, Sergeant took the attack to Radlett and once having reached 50, proceeded to dominant a tiring attack to bludgeon a further 34 from just 12 deliveries before departed to a top edge for an excellent 84, leaving Knebworth just shy of 50 to make it home.
As several times before this season, the Knebworth middle order responded and saw their side home with few alarms thanks to quick contributions from Alex Richmond (11), Earl Lee (29) and young starlet Harry Jerome, 17*, who ended proceedings with a classy lofted drive fromn the first ball of the final over.
It was another gutsy performance from a confident Park, who now move 77 points clear of St Albans on third spot, but still 26 behind leaders Chorleywood. With seven games to go, the promotion race is still on.