There was to be no double over Luton Town & Indians in the Herts League Championship as Hemel slid to a 101 run loss at Wardown Park on Saturday.
Winning the toss, the top order of Luton posted the with opener Asif Hassan scoring 62 and number three Akash Shah playing through for 75*. Nobody else contributed much as Lewis Hodgins, 3-50 from 18 overs, and Parth Mehta, 2-75 from 20 overs, bowled long spells. Luton ended on 225-8 from 57 overs.
Hemel were 56 for the loss of one wicket after 20 overs. It all fell apart in the next 14 overs as they subsided to 84-7. Stuck amongst this were initially Hem Ilangaratne (28) at the top of the order and Lewis Hodgins (34) batting at five. But around them the innings fell and Hemel were all out for 124, two overs into the last hour
In Division Two B bottom (Hemel), versus top (St Albans), went to form but the result was not as straightforward as might have been expected.
Hemel won the toss and put St Albans in to bat. After 25 overs they had St Albans at 66-5 with Tony Lynch (4-31) and Suren Perera (3-62) taking out their top order batsmen. Only defiant batting from Max Capaldi (86) and Phil Caley (64) putting on 93 for the sixth wicket and 83 for the seventh wicket dug St Albans out of the hole to get to 248-8.
Suren Perera then opened the Hemel batting and went off like a train scoring 51 in the first six overs. The innings then stalled a bit as wickets fell. The other opener, Josh Graves, usually no slouch with the bat, was out for 63 with the score at 168. Only skipper Grahan Clark (26) was able to add significant runs but Hemel fell away to 187 all out to lose by 61 runs .
Having done the hard work in keeping Reed II to 239-8 on the Heath Park Nursery pitch, Hemel IIIs’ batting proved not up to the mark in chasing down the total, losing by 104 runs. Skipper Anjam Khan took 3-40 and leggy Stan Hayden 2-31 as Hemel produced some controlled bowling . But in reply the best Hemel III could offer was 29 from Saleem Farooqi and 27 from John Clulow. Nobody else made it into the 20s as 5-49 from George Garrott and 3-26 from Marcus Martin diddled the Hemel batsmen out.
At least Hemel IVs managed to avoid defeat. Key to this were Dawood Iqbal (11) and Avarind Kumar (20*) who came together as batsmen 9 and 10 with the Hemel score at 150-8.
They then batted out the next nine overs, to only score 32 runs, but more crucially to play out the overs. Dawood was, unfortunately, out in the penultimate over but Lewis Boughton was able to come in at number 11 to secure the draw.
Earlier Mike Samuels had scored 48, Tony Linfoot 27 and Nick Benson 25. But none had stayed and it was left to the tail. Chasing 291-2 that Little Berko Sahibs had posted, 118* by opener Matt Shore , 100 by Trevor Allum and 64 by Adam Blaby really proved too much for Hemel IV, but they held on in there.
On Sunday in the Chess Valley League Chesham took advantage of batting first on a fine afternoon to post an handy score of 257-8 from their 45 overs.
The left arm twist of Liam Jahn (4-50) took out the top of the Chesham batting but number five G Rance held the innings together to finish on 76*.
Hemel set about their chase with 47 from Craig Weston and 42 from Ed Langley. But wickets around them fell and whilstMatt Dale followed the number fivetradition of the match by remaining undefeated, he only managed 39* as Hemel subsided to a 57 run defeat.