New records for Jack Stevens & Terry Neale
Match reports for August 1/2 2015.
Three wins out of four for the club in the Herts League on Saturday, topped by new club records for Jack Stevens in the firsts and Terry Neale in the fourths.
Preston 1st XI v Northchurch, SHCL Div 2A
Jack Stevens followed up his record league century last week with another three figure knock on Saturday, becoming the first Preston 1st XI player to record back-to-back 100s in the Saracens Herts League, and only the 3rd batsman to achieve the feat in the club’s 133 year history (after John Reid and Dave Saunders apparently – Ed.).
Preston took first knock on an excellent looking wicket at Northchurch, and the opening partnership of Will Gallimore and Warren Hearne soon started to build the runs. Gallimore fell after a promising start but Hearne went on to make a classy 54 before being caught and bowled by Northchurch’s Barry.
But the Preston innings was dominated by another sensational innings from Jack Stevens, who made a century before being caught on 121. Stevens showed tremendous shot selection with powerful hitting when needed but a deft finesse, particularly with shots behind the wicket. His superb individual innings gave the rest of the Preston batsman the chance to create crucial partnerships.
With sensible supporting knocks from Pete Murrell and Ben Hill, Preston declared on 280 for 7 off 50 overs with all the Northchurch bowlers being on the receiving end of Steven’s fast scoring.
Northchurch’s response to that total was swift, opener Barry taking a liking to Sam Crea with some impressive cover drives and front foot hitting. Northchurch got to 81 before the loss of the first wicket when Barry was, a little predictably, caught well in the deep by Preston captain David Fleckney, who managed to cling on without losing his balance right on the boundary line.
Mark Waters bowled with control and was unlucky not to pick up a wicket off his 14 overs, but he stifled the flow of runs at one end to record miserly figures of 14 overs 0 for 44. Once again the introduction of slow left arm spinner Max Anderson (4 for 23 from 9.5 overs) turned the game Preston’s way, as his skill and control chipped away at the Northchurch innings. Anderson was also involved with a rare run-out at the bowler’s end to see the non-striker on his way back to the pavilion.
Off spinner Tom Murrell took over from Waters at the other end and two quick wickets put Northchurch under the cosh, including the dangerous Northchurch captain Hobley for 20 with a great return catch.
With the Northchurch danger men gone, Sam Crea returned and his pace proved too much for the inexperienced lower order. Crea finished the innings with 3 for 53 from 9 overs and Preston achieved a well deserved maximum 30 points.
The applause though was all for Jack Stevens with another sensational and consecutive century for Preston CC, having now amassed 261 runs in two innings over the last two weeks. Congratulations Jack…
For many of Preston’s players this was the first chance in a while to visit Northchurch’s ground, which was a real picture and although a highly competitive game it was certainly played in the right spirit.
Preston look forward to welcoming Holtwhite Trinibis next weekend.
Preston 2nd XI v Hemel Hempstead 3rd XI, SHCL Div 5A
Preston 2nd XI lifted themselves off the bottom of Div 5A with a thumping win at home against Hemel Hempstead 3rds.
Opting to bat first on a good looking track, Preston got off to a fast start with openers Chris Cole (29) and Matt Burleigh regularly finding the boundary. After both fell to loose shots, Ashley Catlin (32) and Adam Shelley (45) rattled along at 5 an over as Preston passed 100 in only the 18th over. But after Catlin and Shelley were both adjudged LBW, the innings stumbled to a halt as Hemel’s bowlers tighted their line and length. It took patience and common sense from first Glenn Thomson (22) and then Mandeep Kurana to rescue the Preston innings. Kurana managed just 4 from his first 36 balls, before unleashing some big hits to make 35 from his next 29 deliveries. Together with Andy Riant’s 27 from 17 balls, this lifted Preston’s final total to a competitive 210 for 9.
Hemel’s reply never really got going as Preston’s bowlers showed great discipline to deny the batsmen many scoring opportunities. Mandeep Kurana’s fine day was completed with a catch and an opportunistic wicket with his occassional leg spin, but it was Andy Riant’s four wickets that ultimately brought home a much needed win, as Hemel fell to just 89 all out.
Having come close to victory in the previous couple of weeks, the Twos can look forward with a little more confidence to the rest of the season, starting with a crucial “60 pointer” against struggling Flamstead next Saturday.
Preston 3rd XI v Redbourn 3rd XI, SHCL Div 10B
A weaker 3rd team than in recent weeks was unlucky to come up against two Redbourn players in top form and probably playing well below their real level. Redbourn made 255 for 6, with Bhav taking 4 wickets. Preston’s reply petered out to 142 all out.
Preston 4th XI v Knebworth Park 5ths, SHCL Regional Div B East
Terry Neale was once again the 4th XI’s star player, taking a team record 8 for 14 as Knebworth Park 5ths crashed to 66 all out at Hitchin Boys’ School. Neale’s spell included a Hat-trick, and he narrowly missed a 2nd Hat-trick too. All of his 8 victims were bowled, leaving the home side 61 overs to get 67. Preston, who only had 10 men, were nervous but got home by 3 wkts with 4 batsman getting into double figures: Pomeroy, Saunders, Newell and Flymo doing enough to gain a much needed win!
Preston Sunday 1st XI v Abbots Langley, Chess Valley League Div 3
Preston’s batsmen let the side down on Sunday as once again we showed the old club weakness of not having the composure to chase down a getable total.
The bowlers did their jobs to restrict a strong Abbots Langley side to 182 in 44.5 overs. A couple of tour games had obviously done Mark Smith the power of good, as he showed commendable accuracy with his slow Cobras. Bowling to his field, Smudger never let the batsmen get away. He was well supported by the other spinners: Pete, Max and Louis, although it was Ollie Gallimore who had provided the crucial early wicket of AL’s Aussie. Reputed to have a Sunday average of over 100, Ollie had him well caught behind by Ben Hill, who was standing up to the wicket, for just 5. Sam Crea also provided good back-up in three short spells of pace and cutters.
Preston got their innings off to a poor start as AL’s Aussie cleaned up Muzza and Will Mercer with quick in-swinging deliveries. Pete Skeels played him for a lovely straight drive for 4, before succombing LBW at the other end. Matt Burleigh (20) and Sam Crea (18) seemed to be digging Preston out of trouble, but Crea was done for flight and chipped a simple catch to cover, and Bomber was given caught behind down the leg side, much to his disgruntlement. Ben Hill gave his wicket away, well caught one-handed by mid-on, and although Max Anderson smashed AL’s young mystery spinner for 20 in two overs, a rush of blood saw the Aussie demolish his stumps with plenty of time left in the match. Louis H-S was left to try and salvage something, but although he made 25 there was no support (or more correctly, no batsman left for Louis to support) and Preston were all out for 147.