A massive belief enhancing win saw Bar climb to the top of the Herts Premier League with a convincing and in truth, thoroughly deserved win over high flying Radlett.
Bar won the toss on the best looking pitch all season and skipper Luke Chapman had no hesitation in opting to bat first. However after just three balls James Scott gloved one through to visiting keeper Tom Jenkins and Bar were 1 down. Josh Matthews snicked off in the 4th over to second slip, to give Sanghera another wicket and Bar were in trouble at 22 for 2.
The game had a real energy about it and with a relatively short boundary on one side and a rapid outfield made for quick scoring and Reece Hussain and Steve Gale batted positively against some fine new ball bowling and the contest was one you couldn't keep your eyes off. The pair batted on and completed their 50 partnership in 63 balls as Bar were starting to get a firmer grip on things and the scoreboard look a little m ore healthy against a side that had won 6 out of 7 completed matches, with the one they lost by a solitary run.
The pair powered on and took advantage of anything off line as the visitors tried numerous combinations to get that extra breakthrough before the lunchbreak. The 100 arrived in the 26th over to a good reception around the ground. The introduction of Sanghera to try and get a wicket before th break saw a fine cover drive from Reece Hussain to bring up his 50 from 77 balls and when the penultimate ball before lunch was tickled to long on, Reece Hussain and Steve Gale were shaking hands on a 100 partnership and 122 for 2 from 30 overs was the score.
Second over after the break saw Reece Hussain gain more confidence by striking three boundaries in succession as Bar got off to a flier in the session and with a pull through midwicket saw Steve Gale complete his 50 in 97 balls and with it the 150 and Bar were looking at a large total to set the leaders.
Still the pair batted on and on, passing the 150 partnership and the 200 came up with a shade under 13 overs remaining as Radlett had the look about them that they were going to have to chase a big old total second up. Two boundaries in the returning Noah Cornwell over saw a maiden PBCC league hundred for Reece Hussain off 133 balls and two overs later the pair completed the 200 partnership and they soon surpassed the previous record of 203 set just 6 weeks prior for the third wicket.
Steve Gale brought up his 9th Potters Bar hundred off 153 balls with his fourteenth boundary but departed next ball for a fine 102 and left Bar 249 for 3 with 32 balls left.
Charlie Scott came in and played some blistering shots and he and Reece Hussain batted out time to end 298 for 3 putting on 49 in 32 balls. Reece Hussain ended unbeaten on a quite fantastic 140 from 168 balls, hitting 20 fours and a six. Charlie Scott finished with a run-a-ball 22.
The visitors were without their regular opening pair but got off to a steady start and with a fine surface to bat on and a quick outfield to their credit they weren't going to not have a go at it. Will Wright played some fine off drives as for the main part of the opening session with the ball it was either a boundary or a leave alone and at 47 for 0 after 13 overs it was a decent start.
Luke Chapman entered into the attack and struck first ball as he trapped Aum Patel, leg before for 12 and Dave Burnell came in and played positively up to the tea interval and Radlett went into it sat 64 for 1, needing 235 from 37 overs but with the cavalry sat waiting to come into bat.
Five balls after the break saw Will Wright chip one to cover for 44 and this brought Kabir Toor to the wicket, who seems to always score well against Bar. It was his partner Burnell who struck three boundaries in an over but then whacked one straight down deep backward square to go for 23 and Radlett were 3 for 87.
At the wicket now were Radlett's two big dogs. Nathan Smith made the ground look small as he effortlessly struck two big sixes and for 20 minutes both he and Toor put Bar to the sword. They put on 49 in 40 balls and looked set to take the game by the scruff of the neck but a double change saw Bar change the game with two stunning deliveries.
Jigar Mehta returned and bowled Smith with a wonderful delivery for a 21-ball 30 and Teddy Duke just 10 balls later produced a ball that crashed into the top of Kabir Toor's off stump to see him dismissed for 23 and at 140 for 5, Radlett were not going to win the game it was a case of whether they could save it.
Harvey Booth came in and looked positive but he snicked behind for 14 and when skipper Tom Jenkins was trapped leg before for a duck, Jigar Mehta had claimed 3 for 14 in 5 overs. Bar got home by bowling and catching well and when Randeep Sanghera skied to mid-on, Steve Gale took the catch and Bar were victors by 96 runs.
A deserved victory, against a fine, fine team, let us make no mistake on that. Yes, Radlett can say they were short of a few but so were Bar and those on show put on a hell of a days entertainment.
Next week sees the return fixtures of the first half of the season and Bar entertain Harpenden who like everyone in the division will be a hard old game but Bar go into it top of the table and well clear at the halfway stage of the summer.