A fine victory for Abbots against previously unbeaten foes
Abbots Langley grabbed their third win of the season in Herts League Division 2A on Saturday when hosting second-placed Hitchin, who were previously unbeaten.
Abbots won the toss and elected to bowl. Opener Shaftab Khalid battled his way to 50 before Anish Khiroya had him trapped LBW in the eighth over with the score on 60.
Luke Day and Farroukh Chodhury battled on for 68 minutes, but for only 38 runs, when Day was caught on 26.
Hashif Nazami came in but Sam Bailey, on his first outing as a bowler this term, took the wicket of Chodhury, caught behind on 34.
With Nick Gurney and Scott Nixon bowling in tandem, the runs tapered off. Gurney was bowled by Nizami for 36, followed by three more quick wickets to take 4-18, while Nixon snagged 1-19 in taking his maiden first-team wicket.
Matt Parkins came on for his last two overs and took his first wicket, with the score on 197, but the persistence of number 11 Rasad Chandarama pushed Hitchin t0 221 all out after 48 overs.
After tea, David Cleary opened with keeper Jack Bishop, but Bishop was caught napping on a duck after only three balls.
Gurney and captain Michael Burgess were no luckier as they were out for 8 and 11 respectively.
At the halfway stage Abbots were 66 behind the run rate but Cleary quietly continued to plug away with batsmen coming and going.
Parkins (52) came in at number five to put on 97 with Cleary, hitting six fours and a six before being stumped.
George Agius hit a quick-fire 14 with Abbots needing 23 runs off the last three overs.
In came Will Graves, and with Cleary, put on a superb display of batting and running.
A total of 16 runs were needed off the last over. Graves hit a duo of boundaries and a pair of twos, and with four byes, Abbots took the game by five wickets, reaching 222-5.