We were simply beaten by an exceptional performance by one of the opposition that defied our combined efforts.
Charles Dower justified Hertford’s decision to bowl first and got Hertford off to the perfect start as he took a wicket second ball (first ball was a waft as well). Hertford made good progress through Hatfield’s batting with Charles and George Giblett’s opening spell backed up well by Dave Benham and Andre Rideout. With 4 wickets down Herford’s tails were up but it became very apparent that the oppos number six was an accomplished bat. We threw everything at him, the swing and seam of Dave, the pace of Charles and the guile of leg-spinner Ravi but he batted a chanceless innings and was out in last over for 78 runs with Hatfield scoring 203.
A long season was beginning take toll on the team with Nick realising he has only 5 fielders with full mobility and Steve Page did not even make it on the pitch so it was to our credit that we bowled them out with 1 ball to spare, including a remarkable last over from Andre that contained 4 wickets.
By now the wicket had dried and the outfield was faster, and consensus in the changing room was that 203 was very chaseable. Dave Spring got a bullet with his name on it and said oppo player took a very sharp catch around his ears at second slip. His next catch might have been the difference between the teams, Nick middled down on a short wide one only for same player to take a low one handed (left) at gully with his knuckles on the ground. The opps and Nick’s surprise was matched only by the catchers. An outstanding catch at most levels of amateur cricket. Hatfield dropped nothing and left Hertford struggling at 95-5. Yet again the 4s spirit came to the fore and George Rideout and Dave Benham came together to score 42 and 28 respectively and took the score to 173, with only 5 an over required, the game was still winnable but after the run out of Charles Dower Hertford ran out of batsmen and we ended up 28 runs short.
It was desperately close but as I said at the beginning nothing left on the field, good effort to get so close and one player was the difference between the teams.