Back-to-back wins are followed by a draw as Moor 1st team are held in check by a treacle-slow wicket

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Boxmoor 1st XI saw out a frustrating draw against a struggling Hatfield & Crusaders II on a slow wicket.

After losing yet another toss, skipper Richard Crowther was happy to see a couple of early wickets for Dave Young and the returning Jamie Vincent-Jones as the opposition were reduced to 77-5. Adam Hills (2-54) and spinner Ross Bargent (2-57) applied the pressure in the middle overs. Stan Williamson produced the ideal pace for the wicket, reducing Hatfield to 159-9 with a spell of 3-38, a low target with extra overs looked on the cards.

Alas, a last-wicket stand of 80 put paid to the notion, as their tail wagged strongly. Vincent-Jones (2-47) grabbed the last wicket as Hatfield were all out for 239 in their final over.

With a large outfield, Boxmoor remained positive chasing the target. But tight bowling from the opening pair, meant the run rate struggled to get above two an over in the first 20 overs. Aidan Pimm (21) was his usual watchful self and with Crowther (65) and Alex Dukes (43) rattling along nicely for the fourth wicket, the target seemed reachable despite 100 needed off the last 10 overs. A few quick wickets put paid to any chance of victory as Boxmoor batted out for the draw with few scares – apart from Williamson almost playing on in the penultimate over with the ball hitting the stumps without dislodging the bails. Crowther’s team, now in seventh, host sixth- placed Letchworh Garden City II at the Moor this Saturday.

Boxmoor II welcomed Rickmansworth III to The Moor, looking to consolidate second spot in Division 10A. As is the norm, the captain lost the toss and the visitors decided to bat. They got off to a flyer and were going at seven-an-over at one point. Lloyd Larkins (2-32) made the breakthrough, with Amit Mahajan (3-40) and Jai Nandwani (3-24) running through the middle order. There then followed a good seventh-wicket partnership which was frustrating the hosts. It took an absolute superb catch from Dan Smith to break it. The batsman middled a shot that went like a tracer bullet until a diving Smith stuck a hand out, to snaffle it. The Rickmansworth No8 completed his 50 before he fell to Anum Hamdani (2-5) and the visitors were bowled out for 170.

The Moor innings started quickly, as Nick Cottrell (99 not out) reached 30 before his opening partner Cameron Brooks (18) had even faced a ball. Cottrell continued his fine form and reached 50 inside 10 overs. Despite losing a few partners, Nick’s chanceless innings continued, ably supported by Anum Hamdani (28 not out). Unfortunately Cottrell finished one shy of the ton, but the team wrapped up ta good win inside 26 overs.

Looking to end a run of three fairly defeats, Boxmoor III hosted Rickmansworth IV at Warners End. On his return to leading the side, skipper Dan Webb lost the toss and was asked to bat. It was a choice that backfired as Boxmoor fulfilled its deep batting line-up potential by scoring, an above par 182-6 from the allotted 40 overs. It was anchored by opener Keith Hammond, who carried his bat for a well-deserved 64. This allowed Ben Mannering (22), Dan Webb (18), Rohit Patel (21), and Naran Jagatia (17) to play attacking cameos.

Skipper Webb opened the bowling alongside Saair Hamdani (0-25). Webb proved to be too much for the Rickmansworth batsman, claiming the wickets of four of the top five batsman, along with a run-out of the fifth, for final figures of 8-1-17-4. John Scott (5.2-1-12-3) and Naran Jagatia (6-5-3-2) proved to be extremely hard to put away and backed by solid fielding, Rickmansworth crumbled to 62 all out.

This strong return to winning ways takes them to third in the table.

Looking to follow up on last week’s win against, Boxmoor Sunday 1sts chose to bat first against a strong side from The Lee. A slow start including the loss of in-form Luke Flynn (6) and Sam Pimm (0), leaving Phil Lovell (35) and Dan Webb (35) to rebuild as the innings closed on 130.

The Lee openers were in good nick and proceeded to add 50 for the first wicket in no time. Saair Hamdani, Aaron Hinton and Freddie Hockin, on his Sunday 1sts debut, picked up wickets.

Unfortunately this brought Jonty Swain to the crease who proceeded to win the match with a brutal 41 off 18 balls.