A strangely subdued performance by the 1st XI this week but a winning one nonetheless. The highlight of the match was a sparkling 94 by Nir Shah
, which was more than double any other contribution in the match and was more than enough to help overhaul the total of 152 posted by Hatfield.
The match was not particularly memorable for any other reason, save for the tea interval sprint race between Andy Potter, Saahil Mehra
and Felix Charles
. The betting was surprisingly even for this first running of the Village maiden stakes. But the smart punters were on Sarsy, who pinned his ears back and won at a canter over the 1 furlong distance.
Back to the cricket. Hatfield were inserted on a dry track but one with inconsistent bounce, particularly at the Pavillion end. They struggled for both runs and survival and were deep in trouble at 33-4 after 20 overs and 56-5 after 30. The middle order came to the rescue though, with numbers 6 & 7 scoring 38 and 47 respectively. The Hatfield tail also played the conditions well and although scoring waas slow, wickets were treasured and the visitors managed to bat out their alloted 53 overs. This was first time that the 1s have been taken the full distance in a league game this season.
Wickets were taken by the usual suspects. Captain Overton with 4 for 48 in 19 overs across 3 spells. 2 for 26 in 14 overs by opening partner Saahil Mehra
and a wicket apiece for Nir Shah
and 1st XI league debutant Darshan Raval
Despite hAving been shown how to play the pitch and the conditions, a series of hapless Village top order batsmen perished to injudicious shots and batting errors. There was a small wobble when the score got to 91 for 5. But as long as Nir was batting there was very little cause for concern. Other than the 94 from 'Celine', Felix Charles
's patient 20 was the only other worthwhile contribution.
Felix scored intentionally slowly in an effort to help Nir reach his century landmark. However after batting so convincingly for most of the innings, Nir perished to a dobby slow bowler after dancing down the track and playing over a low bouncing delivery. He was duly stumped by the impressively tidy Hatfield keeper.
The work was done by then and victory was wrapped up in the 34th over.