Hemel Town Cricket Club registered important wins for their for their first and second teams on Saturday.
It was a good day all round for 1st XI against Kings Langley, with a record breaking partnership for the fifth wicket.
‘Old’ Hemel traditional names Jack Doodson, son of previous chairman and player Roger Doodson, and Matt Dale, son of Michael Dale, the third-highest league run scorer for the first XI in his day, were among the best performers.
In the side’s first league game of the season, Hemel 1sts established their place in the local pecking order’ with a 73 run win over Kings Langley at Heath Park.
Put into bat by Langley, Hemel lost two early wickets to ex-Hemel player Mark Brazier but recovered a bit to 90-4 after 20 overs with 42 from Lewis Hodgins and 28 from Manvir Chauhan.
Langley must have felt in command but they had not reckoned with Doodson (103 not out) and Dale (75 not out) who then put on an undefeated 178 for the fifth wicket to see Hemel up to 268-4.
This score was a record fifth-wicket stand for Hemel in league cricket, beating the previous 119 from 1998 when playing what were then Old Millhillians.
Hemel then had the bowling to lay hold of their winning total.
Two ten-over spells from Parth Mehta (1-37) and Nick Hodgins (2-36) took out a large portion of the 50 overs, and tight early spells from Duncan Howard (1-20) and Ed Langley (2-45) left the way for Lewis Hodgins to wrap things up with his own hat-trick, taking the last three wickets all caught and bowled as he held on to fiercely driven return balls.
While Hemel 1st XI were seeing off Kings Langley 1st XI at Heath Park, Kings Langley 2nd XI were proving too strong for Hemel 3rds XI/Development XI at the Common in Kings Langley.
Batting first, Hemel were pinned down by fine tight bowling from Tom Clark (3 - 20 from 9 overs) and Ed Smith (0 - 18 from 10 overs).
Hemel struggled to get their score moving with John Clulow top scoring on 36 not out from the number four batting position.
Kings took just 28.4 overs to see off the run chase to win by seven wickets.
Hemel’s 2nd XI , also having been put into bat, overcame the loss of early wickets to take advantage of a fifth-wicket stand to turn their innings around against Langleybury II.
At 80-4 after 24 overs, almost halfway through their 50 overs, Hemel II were not in the best of places.
Then a partnership of 133 between Tom Waterton (126) and Liam Jahn (47) saw Hemel on to their way of 245-8 from the 50 overs.
Tight bowling was the next requirement and Martyn Bell with figures of 10-6-11-1 did not disappoint.
Anjam Khan with 3-27 from nine overs and Adam Moulster (0-38 from ten) meant that the first three Hemel bowlers kept Langleybury in the constant chase for quick runs.
On 93-5 after 34 of the 50 overs, they were always chasing.
Suren Perera came on late to snaffle 3-13 from five overs to see off any Langleybury charge. Hemel II’s ended up winning by 72 runs.
A tight match was narrowly lost by 20 runs by Hemel IV XI when hosting Shenley Village III.
Shenley started well with top of the order runs but were then pinned back with some tight bowling fro Hemel IV.
Nic Benson managed figures of 4 - 22 from his 10 overs,
Rahul Kedia finished 2-30 from his 10.
A score of 180 for a win was always possible on the Heath Park nursery pitch but no batsman for Hemel really got in and mastered the chase.
Dan Turbutt was marooned on 36 not out. Contibutions of 25 from Jim Langley and 23 from Saleem Farooqi kept Hemel there but it was not enough.
Again tight Shenley bowling from Kevin Wood (0-14 from 10 overs) and Ciaran Woodcock (3-18 from 10 overs) did the same as the Hemel tight bowlers and held the Shenley total safe.
The Sunday XI had a home friendly against North Harrow, in a 40-over match.
Hemel batted first and were all out for 156.
Lewis Hodgins, captain for the day, top scored on 47,
Scott Radcliffe was the next best with 20.
North Harrow then made 157-8 with one ball to spare to win by two wickets.
In Hemel’s bowling attack, there were two wickets each for Matt Scears, Vinnie Liddar and Darryl Barnett.
Hemel 1sts are travelling to face Harpenden IIs this Saturday while the 2nds are hosting St Albans West Indian.
The 3rds are at home against Mill Hill Village while the 4ths are away at the same side’s 2nd team.
All games start at 1pm.
The Sunday side are at home again, entertaining the Otlaws at 2pm.