Twos delay day of reckoning as firsts lose
Herts League match reports 31-8-13
Preston first XI’s inability to bat their allocated overs ultimately saw them lose out by 2 wickets against relegation threatened Leverstock Green in Saracens Herts League Div 2.
Put into bat, Preston could only muster a below par 150 all out with some 15 overs left in their innings. In the end they had number 9 Max Anderson to thank for a hard hitting 40, with the next highest score being that of number 11 Andy Riant (14).
Leverstock Green set off in pursuit of victory with ease, reaching 99 without loss as Preston struggled to bowl with much consistently and control.
With victory seemingly inevitable the introduction of slow bowler David Fleckney (4 for 24 from 15 overs), in conjunction with fellow spinner Andy Riant (2 for 37), inexplicably saw Green hit the panic button, resulting in 8 wickets being lost for just 41 runs, aided by Preston taking some outstanding catches in the deep. However the hosts scraped home to victory in the 54th over with 2 wickets in hand, leaving Preston wondering what might have been have they batted their overs.
Preston seconds could only draw with relegation rivals Parkfield & Headstone in their Div 5 clash. Parkfield won the toss and elected to bat, but soon lost two wickets to excellent slip catches by John Garnham from the bowling of Finlay Connah. However, Parkfield’s batsmen then dug in, assisted by some ragged fielding, and seemed well set at 85 for 2. Casey Walker then took a stunning catch and executed a run out from the outfield and although wickets fell at regular intervals thereafter, Parkfield still accumlated a challenging total of 188 for 9 from their 53 overs, Pete Murrell finishing with 4 wickets.
Preston’s batsmen were soon feeling the pressure as excellent tight bowling on an increasingly slow pitch inhibited scoring opportunities. John Garnham and Richard Gatehouse tried to accelerate the run rate, but after their dismissals to sharply turning balls it was clear that a draw was Preston’s best option. Despite skipper Matt Burleigh’s needless run out for 39, Pete Murrell and Iain Williamson batted out time at 111 for 4 to leave Preston one point above Parkfield and the relegation zone. Preston now require an outright victory at home to Welwyn GC thirds next week to ensure survival.