Knebworth Park 1st XI slipped to its second consecutive defeat after having fought hard to get the game on despite the terrible weather conditions of the previous week.
Chasing 202 against Old Finchelians, Park slipped to 148 all out after consistently loosing wickets and failing to overcome the challenges of a slow and sticky wicket.
The match at Knebworth was the only surviving Division One fixture, and huge credit must go to curator Richard Jerome for his efforts, as well as a small number of players who were at the ground from 9am on Saturday doing what they could to improve the playing area.
Winning the toss and choosing to bowl first, Skipper Adam Sergeant
had high hopes of running through an opposition who were yet to register more than 135 this season. However, the Knebworth bowlers again struggled to offer enough discipline and regularly served up loose balls that were well punished by opener Chetan Depala, who registered a superb hundred, seeing his side to 201 from the full 53 overs. Earl Lee
was the pick of the bowlers recording figures of 4-70.
In reply, the Finchelians attack bowled with greater discipline, maintaining a simple wicket to wicket line, which in the conditions, proved very effective. Missing prolific opener, Phil Simpson
, who was injured, Richard Leather
opened with Ryan Skeggs
and they put on an untroubled 30 for the first wicket.
Skeggs was first to go, caught at mid-on after mistiming a lofted drive, but Sergeant, who scored an aggressive 56 from 70 deliveries, including two sixes, joined Leather and together they pushed the score beyond 70 for the second wicket, providing a good platform for the final 20 overs. However, once Leather (17) departed, only Harry Jerome, 25*, showed any real resistance as a mounting rate encouraged a slew of rash shots that the Park could not recover from.
Next up is a local derby with Hitchin, where Knebworth will be hoping they can learn from the mistakes of the last fortnight.