Hemel just miss out in T20 preliminary final as club gets ready to start their league campaign

The latest local cricket news.
The latest local cricket news.

Hemel Hempstead Town won a semi-final in the Herts Premier T20 Cup regional round on Saturday before narrowly losing out in the final.

Hemel were hosting the regional round D of the competition at their Heath Park home, which was hampered by poor weather conditions at times.

The cold and occasional rainy spells made an impact, restricting overs in some of the games.

The hosts won their opening match against the Potters Bar-based Old Owens in what was effectively a semi-final in the preliminary rounds of the T20 cup competition.

Winning the toss and batting first, Hemel reached 131-7 from just 18 overs due to a couple of rain interruptions.

Jack Doodson hit 36 from 39 balls and Gareth James, who was returning after a few years travelling, made 33 from just 16 balls.

Hemel got to the 50-run mark in only eight overs and 100 in the 14th. The partnership of Doodson and James put on 50 in 27 balls for the fourth wicket.

In the reply, Brett Penny removed one of the Old Owens openers with the second ball of their innings and they were always slightly behind the run-rate. Their first 50 runs came off seven-and-a-half overs and their 100 off 16.

Ralph Lane was the Owens danger man with his 50 coming off 27 balls, but James snared him in his single over as Hemel took control.

Old Owens finished on 113-9 to give Hemel the victory by 18 runs to reach the preliminary round final later that day.

In the other semi-final, Hertford beat Levy Green in a match that started at the early time of 10.30am. Leverstock were put into bat and made 122-8 from their allocation.

In the reply, Hertford reached 123-6 after 18.3 overs to get over the winning line and reach the final.

Hemel lost out in the final to Hertford so will miss out on the T20 finals event on July 14 and also means they will not get to host next year’s preliminary-round jamboree.

With the rain interfering in the timing of the match, the final ended up being 18 overs per side.

Winning the toss again, Hemel decided to bat first and openers Hemish Ilangaratne (39) and Lewis Hodgins (64) set Hemel on their way, putting on a quick 99 runs for the first wicket in 12 overs and 46 minutes.

Hodgins ended up with 64, which included three boundaries and five big sixes.

Penny added an unbeaten 13 as Hemel’s innings ended on 127-4 from their 18 overs.

At the same point that Hemel were 99-0 after 12 overs, Hertford were on 83-4.

But with the game on a knife edge, one solitary loose over from Hemel probably turned the momentum of the final as Hertford just got over the line to win the game with a total of 128-7 with just three balls to spare.

Hemel bowler Shidhu Kanade returned with impressive figures of 3-19 from his four overs but Hertford just got enough to reach the finals in July at a venue to be decided. They will also get to host one of the preliminary rounds in 2020.

The next day Hemel’s Sunday first XI got the club back on the winning trail in a pre-season that has been filled with triumphs for both the Saturday and Sunday first teams.

They notched a comfortable 62-run triumph when hosting North Harrow in the last warm-up game before the league starts next weekend.

Batting first in an agreed 40-over friendly, Hemel started off strongly and then tailed off a bit towards the end of their innings.

Skipper Aaron Wilson (23), wicket keeper Ryan Wilson (36) and second XI skipper Tom Waterton (37) surrounded Charlie Hoskins’ 50.

They helped Hemel reach 161-4 in the first 35 overs, before the tail scrapped it up to 181-9.

After the North Harrow openers had put on 47 for the first wicket, Hemel’s bowlers chipped away and took the next nine wickets for only 72 runs.

Will Hodgins led the way with 3-15, while Vinnie Liddar took 2-17. Daryll Barnett (2-12) and Charlie Hoskins (2-2) saw off the tail to ensure the win.

Hemel’s first XI host Shenely Village this Saturday in the Herts Championship season opener, while the next day the Sunday 1sts visit Ealing Hanwellians in the Lords Chess Valley League.