Knebworth Park 2s came out on the worse side of a draw having won a toss that was more preferable to lose. Winning the toss meant Park, with a weakened side in holiday season, were left with no real choice other than to insert Northwood on a drying deck meaning that it was win or bust. The start was delayed by 50 minutes meaning a 46/40 over game was to be competed.
The new ball was taken by Gareth Jones
and Michael Fisher
and Fisher picked up the two opening batsman within the first 10 overs but the run rate was flying high. The introduction of Ben Orchard
to the frame did little to slow the run rate down but he picked up 2 wickets in an over to put Park in a promising position. Fisher then was replaced by Parth Patel after 16 overs who struggled to find rhythm but was able to slow the run rate. The returning James Leather
had a go from the other end after Jones had returned and picked up a wicket. Leather found his feet in his first bowl in a game since 2011 after numerous operations on his crippled ankle and managed to pick up a wicket in a 7 over spell. With the over rate struggling, Fisher was brought back on off a (even) shorter run up and managed to pick up two more wickets, before Patel finally got a wicket in the last of his 15 over spell and the last of Northwoods overs. Northwood constantly kept the run rate high, despite losing wickets and posted a score of 202.
In reply, Knebworth had hoped to build a decent foundation to allow the run rate to be increased towards the total but this never came. Patel, promoted up to the opening position he's begged for all year, was caught behind for a 15 ball duck while Dean Thomas
at the other end slowly found his feet. Stuart Burford
hit 3 fours before returning to the pavilion bringing Josh Roseberry
to the crease who got himself in before regretting playing a defensive shot as he was caught behind for a well constructed 24. At the other end, Thomas was slowly ticking the scorecard along among the chaos at the other end as Haydon Bartlett-Tasker
, Ed Wright
and James Leather
all fell trying to push the run rate up to the required 8 an over. Thomas reached his second 50 in as many weeks off 99 balls before mistiming a whip a couple of balls later. After losing that 7th wicket on 137, Knebworth decided that the aim was to reach 155 for the batting points but not to gift anymore points to Northwood. Fisher and Orchard saw off the final 7 overs with few problems reaching 158.
The result leaves Park joint bottom of the table with a huge mountain to climb with 5 league games left for the season.