CRICKET: Hemel's first team enjoy return to winning ways

Hemel Hempstead Town’s under-1 4 team finished as runners-up in the County CupHemel Hempstead Town’s under-1 4 team finished as runners-up in the County Cup
Hemel Hempstead Town’s under-1 4 team finished as runners-up in the County Cup
Hemel Hempstead Town saw off Letchworth in comfortable fashion

Hemel Hempstead Town’s first team enjoyed a welcome return to winning ways as they beat Letchworth by 56 runs in the Herts League Championship.

Having bowled 20 overs whilst becoming the club’s highest first-team wicket taker last week, captain Nick Hodgins gave himself a weekend off from bowling as he welcomed Mukesh Bhatt back into the side following his exploits with Hemel in 2018 and 2019.

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And Bhatt delivered as he claimed 6-52 while Parth Mehta took 3-45 as they helped bowl Letchworth out for 128.

Earlier, Hem Ilangaratne opened and held the innings together with 82 while Matt Dale (27) and Hodgins (23no) also chipped in as Hemel were dismissed for 184.

Hemel remain in third place but are 57 points behind second-placed Bishops Stortford with six games to go.

Hemel 2nd suffered another defeat as they slipped down to sixth in Division 3B.

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Batting first, Hemel were dismissed for 189 with Tom Waterton hitting 50 while newcomer Shafi Uddin introduced himself with 34.

Unfortunately, the only other score over 20 was 23 from skipper Rory Fraser down at number nine.

Opponents Sandridge eventually sealed a four-wicket victory on 193-6, despite the efforts of youngster Freddie Lowe (3-49).

Hemel 3rd slipped to a 44-run defeat to Northwood 2nd in Division 6A.

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Having put their opponents in, Hemel found themselves chasing a big total as an unbeaten 103 from Pranav Tari led Northwood to 265-6 with Ajay Savania (2-21) being the pick of the bowlers.

Phil Smith (48) and Lewis Boughton (25) put on 90 for the first wicket but they were unable to keep up with the rate and were bowled out for 221.

Having won last weekend, the fourths were brought back down to earth with a bump against Bentley Heath 2nd in Division 9A.

Hemel were bowled out for just 49 with Jim Langley (21) being the only batsman to make an impact.

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Callum Humphreys did take a wicket in reply but Bentley Heath needed just six overs to reach the target.

Hemel Hempstead Town’s Under-14 team had to settle for the runners-up spot in the County Cup final at Kings Langley.

They continued their excellent form by winning their semi-final by 51 runs with Krish Bhatt (32) and Maxwell Clark (3-11) being the stand out performers to set up a final against the defending champions Radlett.

Hemel ran them close but, despite an excellent 45 not out from Freddie Lowe, Radlett eventually ran out winners by 19 runs and retained their trophy for the sixth consecutive year.

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