Hertford’s innings started with 17 off the first two overs as Steve Page (back from long term injury) and Nick Horton tucked into some short bowling, the Hatfield bowlers quickly adjusted and then with a combination of “green top bounces” and 50:50 LBW decisions going in oppos favour Hertford found themselves 4 wickets down with only 40 odd on the board. Raj just finished off his round in time to get his pads on in time and with Dave Spring to rebuild the innings. They we both restricted in the face of some excellent tight bowling from the Hatfield spinners (accuracy rarely found at this level) but took the innings to 35 overs with 90 on the board.
That left the U14s represented by Jakub, George, Isaac and Matt to finish the innings off. All showed a positive attitude, ran well between the wickets and considering batting was not easy, all timed the ball very well. They used up the remaining overs and the Hertford innings finished on 114 for 8 off 45 overs.
The Hatfield reply, as with last week, was marked with a Matt Ahl wicket in the first over, this week clean bowled. Yet again our opening bowling partnership of Flynn Ruskin and Matt bowled good opening spells and are beginning to build a partnership and understanding on how to bowl together. They were replaced with George Gardener and Ravi Francis on debut. George started off a bit short but like the Hatfield bowlers showed maturity to quickly adjust and pitch the ball up. Ravi showed his potential with a ripping leg-spinner second ball to clean bowl a Hatfield’s No.3, who has clearly played cricket at a higher level. Always pleasing to hit top of off after beating a forward defensive. He combined some unplayable deliveries with prodigious spin with some slightly looser deliveries, which is to be expected from an U13 leg-sinner but clearly has raw talent to spare.
Hertford’s team contained 6 U14s (which is a sign of the future bench strength of the club) and despite never really being “in the game” they all displayed a very positive can do mentality and supported each other well. Hatfield ran out winners by 8 wickets in the end which is a fair reflection of the relative strength and experience of the two teams but plenty for Hertford to be positive about for the future.