Sat 23
1st X1
West Herts CC


By Mark Shepherd
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Potters Bar 302 for 5 dec in 58.3 overs beat West Herts 279 all out in 55.4 overs

Potters Bar kept their winning run going and their 27 point lead at the head of the Saracens Herts Premier. Cricket League at the weekend but man alive for the last hour it was a close run thing.

Skipper Luke Chapman won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on another good Walk pitch and with an outfield like glass. The visitors were without their skipper and opening bowler, Bill Gage and Bar went on the offensive from nigh on ball one.

Opening batters Josh Matthews and James Seward found the fence regularly and other than the odd ball getting big the pair celebrated their 50 partnership in 61 balls as another large total loomed on the horizon. However the visitors introduced ex-Sri Lankan allrounder Priyamal Perrera into the attack and once he found the length to bowl, he found the edge of James Seward's bat and was gobbled up at slip. Seward gone for 33 and 60 for 1.

Josh Matthews was playing nicely and joined by the leagues leading run scorer Reece Hussain and the pair made batting look pretty easy but Matthews went in a carbon copy fashion to that of James Seward and he was walking back to the pavilion for 43 and at 95 for 2 this saw Bar's in form pair at the wicket.

Both Reece Hussain and Steve Gale are batting so well at the moment they made batting look easy and Hussain brought up his 50 in 76 balls and in doing so the 150 arrived and the pairs 50 partnership in just 66 balls. Lunch arrived with Bar sat pretty on 169 for 2 and the only thing going for West Herts was their excellent over rate which saw them average 19 an hour before alterations.

After lunch, the game returned to its state and Gale and Hussain completed another 100 partnership in 147 balls. The 200 arrived with 13 overs remaining as the innings and it was almost waiting for the carnage to start but to West Herts credit, they kept at it and got their rewards. Firstly Lewis Koch bowled Reece Hussain with a pearler for 89. Charlie Scott came in and blasted the ball to all points on the compass as he and Steve Gale reached a 50-stand in just 30 balls and with that Steve Gale completed his 50 in 79 balls.

Steve Gale was leg before for 71 and 9 balls later Charlie Scott was bowled by Perrera for 32 and Luke Chapman came in and hit a six and two boundaries in three balls to get Bar over 300 and with that saw a declaration, some 9 balls early.

So Bar had around 140 minutes plus a minimum 16 overs in the last hour to get the 10 wickets and in the third over Jigar Mehta had Alastair Lewis leg before for 0. Herts keeper Cole Seggery joined Gregg Sumpter and they plodded on as the game was kind of drifting like a boat down the Thames on a Sunday afternoon. The pair quietly accumulated and punched gloves on a 50 partnership in 89 balls. However 20 minutes before the tea break and in his second over Anmol Maheshram had Sumpter caught at long on by Jigar Mehta.

Overseas man Priyamal Perrera came in and he and Seggery saw it through to tea sat 93 for 2, still needing 210 in 45 minutes plus the last hour for the win.

Two overs after tea Jigar Mehta found the edge of Cole Seggery's bat and Josh Matthews took a good slip catch. Arjun Patel was bowled round his legs by Anmol Maheshram for a 5-ball duck and two overs later he had Lewis Koch who chipped to Luke Chapman at short extra cover. When Simon Walker was leg before in Ashish Padki's first over the visitors were 6 for 150.

Standing in their way was Perrera who had already reached 50 at slightly better than a run a ball and still needing 153 to win entering the last hour and 6 wickets down - it looked more like when rather than if Bar would claim the 30 points. Then came the counter attack.

The little Sri Lankan went on an astounding assault of Bar's bowlers as he hit 3 sixes and 4 boundaries and along with Toqeer Hussain who struck 5 of his own the target was now 84 in 34 minutes. The win was still a mile away and it was further away when Hossain held out to Charlie Scott for 28, West Herts were 7 down for 219. Evergreen Craig Sanders came in and hit 2 boundaries but Maheshram picked up his 5th (his first 5 wicket haul for the club) and at 235 for 8 it was start the car time.

However Perrera then blasted the ball into orbit as he reached his 100 in 82 balls and then hit 33 in 10 balls as Bar started to panic but then the champagne moment of the day. Jigar Mehta came onto bowl and Perrera flicked him effortlessly round to deep square leg where young Ashish Padki ran 10 yards, slid on his knees and held a stunning catch. Perrera was out for 134 from 93 balls, having struck 18 fours and 6 sixes.

Three balls later Jigar Mehta took the final wicket as he bowled Mane for 4 and Bar had snuck home by 32 runs and with 10 minutes left to play. This leaves Bar 27 points clear and next week they look to avenge one of their only defeats this season as Welwyn Garden City roll into town.

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Match date

Sat 23, Jul 2022