This week set up for a tight encounter against 3rd place and newly promoted Southgate Compton. Riddle got back to his winning ways with the toss and chose to bat on what looked like a nice track with nothing but blue skies around.
Out stepped Pavey (yours truly) and skipper Riddle ready to re-ignite that solid opening partnership that has struggled since the third game. Yes, you’ve guessed it…. Pavey was sent walking on the 3rd ball of the innings (and when I say walking, I actually walked this week) after giving 1st slip catching practice. It was then time for the young Max Lawrence to shine after being newly promoted to the number 3 spot. After 10 overs of settling the nerves and getting use to the slow wicket, Lawrence unfortunately played down the wrong line and was caught behind on 6. Fortunately for the team Riddle was looking determined and putting away the bad balls at ease (22-2). Linney was the next victim (bowled – 2) followed by Chandler (bowled – 10). At this point in time Riddle was witnessing the rest of his top 5 sunbathing on the boundary and has informed the author that the next time he wins the toss on a scorching day he will field first……
The next 2 victims of Hertford’s middle order (Stevenson and H. Cavener) were both out going back to a spinner getting stung in front LBW. This was all after Riddle had politely told them to “not go back” on this track (2 and 3 respectively). Hertford were now 74-6 and Riddle really needed someone to stay with him so Hertford could at least post a score. Out stepped that man, Mr. Bradley Dawson. Now Bradley listened to his skipper after he heatedly told him to “NOT GO F***ING BACK*. He took the singles to get Riddle on strike and once he got use to the wicket started dancing down the track and hitting the bowlers all over the field. Dawson helped Riddle get his 50 and then unfortunately got carried away trying to hit a forth 6 getting caught on the boundary (39 – 143/7). Undoubtedly the best number nine in the county came out to bat next, Cliff Cavener. Riddle didn’t need to tell anything to Cliff and if anything, Cliff was telling the skip what to do. With 7 overs left the fireworks started and Riddle reached his second ton of the season with a trademark 6. These two put on 87 in the last 7 overs and managed to get Hertford to an unimaginable 230-7 with Riddle hitting 3 enormous sixes off the last over. Cavener finishing on 40* and Riddle holding his bat for an unbeaten 123*. I must say that this is one of the finest innings I have ever witnessed from a player and was a shame I could only contribute 3 balls to the skippers innings.
Now it was time for the bowlers to do their job and conditions were not helping with the wind constantly changing direction. Dawson struggled to find his rhythm and Rhodes was trying to run in to wind with a pulled glute muscle. Compton raced to 80 before losing their first wicket in the 12th over to the veteran Thompson, who has done nothing but impress with the ball all season. The spin sisters came in to the attack and H. Cavener was ready to make up for not listening to skip whilst batting. He was bowling some unplayable balls and then had Raja plumb lbw (64). After witnessing the success of his better half Lawrence wanted to get in on the action and clean bowled Delbridge (20).
The game was still in the control of Compton as they were on 150-3 with 20 overs to play. However this soon changed when Sayers who was batting extremely well turned for a second and Linney from the boundary fired the ball in to Pavey who took the bails off (40). The Compton players were obviously already getting that barbecue ready…… At this point we all knew we were in for a tight finish and even more so when Linney picked up the wicket of Heaney (8) caught by Thompson. 150-3 soon turned in to 165-5.
H. Cavener was still going at the other end and picked up a further 4 wickets, 3 full tosses that the Compton players missed out on hitting the straight to Chandler and Thompson. There we were, somehow in the 47th and last over with Compton needing 5 runs to win and Hertford 1 wicket with Mr. Consistent Thompson having the honors. Compton’s captain (Frame) was at the crease and bizarrely decided to leave the first ball, miss the second, and take a single off the 3rd. Now it was down to brother Frame who missed the 4th and took a single off the 5th. Pressure was now back on the skipper who now needed 3 to win off the last ball and instead nearly got run out running a single. If only yours truly could aim for the stumps with gloves on.
Overall, this was a great game of cricket with Hertford staring at defeat for most of the game. Once again well batted to our Captain Riddle, Dawson and C. Cavener that was backed up with some fine bowling by C. Thompson and H. Cavener with a well deserved 5 wicket haul.