Hemel Hempstead CC were overjoyed to make it to the semi-finals of the Readers Herts Trophy after a win over Shenley Village I at Heath Park on Sunday.
Hemel managed to pull the win out of the bag in an epic quarter-final win – or more accurately Sunday skipper Jack Doodson did with a monumental undefeated innings of 93 from 110 balls.
Shenley won the toss and batted. They accumulated 188 from just 45 of their alloted 50 overs. Captain Jack led the way with 3-25 and there were two wickets each for Ed Langley, Lewis Hodgins and Parth Mehta.
Shenley’s Australian Kris Nissen then tore into the Hemel batters and took 5-37 from his 10 overs, bowling straight through. Hemel at the halfway stage of 25 overs were 63-6 and in a bit of trouble. But Doodson was still there and Richard Morton joined him for an hour. Together they put on 72 for the seventh wicket with Morton contributing 17. His wicket fell in the 41st over with Hemel still needing 56 for victory. Langley came in and together with Doodson they scored the runs for victory with seven balls left.
The semi-final is away at Knebworth Park on August 13 after Knebworth beat Abbots Langley in their quarter-final on the same Sunday.
Hemel Saturday 1st XI did not have the start they wanted to a of a crucial three-week set of fixtures against their league rivals at the top of Division One. They were held to a draw in their first big game against third-placed Harpenden II.
The rain-affected game was hit by a light drizzle which took four overs off each side. Hemel batted first and were down to 90-4 after 24 overs.
Then came a sparkling 115 partnership between Josh Graves (89) and Doodson (76 not out) which turned the game in Hemels favour. Graves hit seven fours and five sixes while Doodson hit eight and one respectively in his run-a-ball knock.
Hemel started with Shidhu Kanade (2-41) and Duncan Howard (1-12) taking out the first three Harpenden batsmen in eight overs for just 26 runs. Added with a Brett Penny runout in the next over, Harpo were 31-4 in the first nine overs of their reply.
That was the signal to put up the barriers and they proceeded to block out the rest of their innings. Hemel used eight different bowlers and Brett Penny (1-19) and Nick Hodgins (1-4) managed to pick up a wicket each but Harpo were determined to hold out. Hemel earned 16 points to Harpo’s five.
This Saturday they visit Old Owens.
The positive side of Hemel II’s result was that they bowled out St Albans West Indians for their lowest league score of the season. The problem was Hemel joining the other two sides that have been bowled out for fewer than 100 runs in league games by WI so far this year. Star of the bowling for Hemel was Richard Morton with a return of 5-30 from 15 overs. Unfortunately for Hemel they ran into WI skipper Devon Weekes who took 6-23 from his 12.4 overs.
Valance Morris with 4-10 from the other end was no great comfort either. Ryan Bell opened and top scored for Hemel with 13, skipper Dave Jenkins came in at 10 and scored 12. No other batsman made double figures.
Batting first didn’t come to favour Hemel III as the went down by eight wickets to Mill Hill Village I. Skipper for the day Graham Clark top scored with 39 and fellow veteran Andy Turbutt closely followed with 35. Plunging down the age bracket Hemel next had U15 Ed Grayson scoring 23 as part of their 187-9.
Danny Potter opened for Mill Hill and hit 102 while Jay Nandha scored 48 as they put on 150 for the first wicket.
A couple of late wickets for Alfie Bordoley (1-38) and Tony Beamish (1-35) was all they had to show for it.
A tightly-fought game saw Mill Hill Village II come out on top by two wickets against Hemel IV. Another 20 runs for Hemel and it may have been different.
Raval proved to be the main man for Hill, top scoring with 65, the main scorer in their side. For Hemel IV Sunny Clark top scored with 41, closely followed with 38 from Dan Turbutt.
Further down the order Rahul Kedia chipped in with 23 before running himself out but 166 just looked a little short. Not that Vinnie Liddar thought that the case as he steamed in with 4-40. Wickets for Nic Benson, Harisse Khan and Darryl Barnett followed but Mill Hill just held out to win the game by two wickets at the end.
There was enough people available for skipper Nic Benson to get together a Sunday 2nd XI for Hemel to play a 40-over friendly against Old Elizabethan Sunday XI over at their ground in Barnet.
It resulted in a Hemel victory in one of their infrequent outings. OE’s batted first and put together 165-9 in their 40 overs. Captain Benson led the way for Hemel with 3-26, while Darryl Barnett had 2-16 and Matt Scears, Adam Locke and Balinder Walia also took wickets.
Hemel started off disastrously in their chase, and after 13 overs were 31-5 courtesy of OE’s opening bowlers Lodge and Whitebread.
That brought Sunny Clark (52 not out) and Benson (79 not out) to the crease who proceeded to score an undefeated 137 runs to win the game for Hemel II.