Hemel topple league leaders

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

Hemel Hempstead Town beat Championship league leaders Shenley Village on Saturday to move up to fourth in the table.

The triumph for the first XI, combined with a big victory for the 3rds and Friday night’s win in the Heath Park Cup (see column, right), made it a fun two-day spell for the club.

Hemel’s first team had secured two winning draws over the last two Saturdays, when they were unable to bowl the opposition out.

They got back to definitive winning ways by trouncing the then-leaders Shenley Village on the road by seven wickets.

Shenley had Northamptonshire squad member Charles Thurston opening the batting and he went on to score 98 from 123 balls.

But he had no answer to Parth Mehta, who had him caught behind by Tom Elborn.

The next nearest scorer for Shenley was Kris Nissen with 21, run out by Shidhu Kanade.

Parth (4-52) and Lewis Hodgins (3-39) spun through the home side to bowl them out for 206.

In the reply, Hemel’s openers Hemish Ilangaratne (46) and Hodgins set about chasing down the total. They put on 141 for the first wicket to put Hemel well on their way.

Hodgins was out having scored 88 from 83 balls and although Ilangaratne went with the score on 154, Brett Penny came to the wicket at number three to hit an undefeated 48 to guide Hemel to an emphatic victory.

Hemel moved up to fourth in the Herts Saracens Championship standings, while Shenley slipped from first to third.

Next up for Hemel are second-placed Reed at home this Saturday.

The reverse fixture on May 18 saw Reed win by six wickets.

Hemel will have to beat them to close the 33-point gap between the two sides and muscle into the promotion race.

There was a second home defeat on the trot for Hemel’s second XI as they succumbed to Chipperfield/Clarendon for the second time this season.

It pushed Chipperfield into second place in Division 3B, supplanting Hemel, as the latter slipped down to fourth.

The visitors kept their scoreboard ticking along at about five runs an over until the end, when they scored 32 off the last two overs to boost their total to 237-7 with Chris May on an unbeaten 39 (three fours, three sixes).

Earlier, opener Fred Hampson had scored 47, while overseas Kiwi Lachie Stove struck 45.

Hemel’s top order capitulated in the chase and after 12 overs were reduced to 53-5.

Stove also performed well with the ball-in-hand to take 5-33, with the only Hemel resistance coming at the foot of the order from Ross Chapman ( 24) and Rory Fraser (11) as they put on 27 for the ninth wicket.

There was a second crunching win in a row for Hemel’s third XI as they overpowered Cockfosters II at home.

Skipper-for-the-day Bryan Davies has previously hit a century in Hemel’s first game at Chalk Lane and he improved on it here with an undefeated 129 at Heath Park on Saturday.

Hemel had not been setting the world alight with their batting, but Davies and Sam Wheeler (43) put on 140 for the seventh wicket in just 15 overs to turn the game in Hemel’s favour.

In reply, the visitors had no answer to the joint Hemel attack of seamers Mark Beard (3-26) and John Peppett (2-32), mixed with the spin of Alfie Bordoley (3-30) and Davies (2-28).

Hemel dismissed Cockfosters for just 140 to win by 124 runs and maintain second spot in Division 6A.

They are just six points behind leaders Mill Hill Village ahead of their clash away at sixth-placed Preston II this Saturday.

The fourth team lost on the road to Division 9A table-toppers Old Minchendenians on Saturday, as the hosts avenged a reverse from the opening match of the season.

Hemel narrowly beat Old M’s in that clash when Sam Wheeler – now promoted to the third team – took 5-32.

The hosts got their own back here to maintain their hold on the league summit.

Put in after losing the toss, Hemel’s top three batters all scored runs but there was not a lot of support to follow.

Mike Samuels scored 24, Jim Langley 21 and Darryl Barnett top-scored with 46, but it drifted away after that.

Old M’s had time after skittling Hemel for 149 to reach 153 five wickets down in 23 overs.