Hoq provides spark in unlikely OEs victory
By James Heavey
K.Hoq 92 and 4-20
The 1s hosted Hertford 2s where a win for either side could see them go top of Division 2B.
As per normal, we lost the toss and Hertford elected to field in slightly overcast conditions looking to take advantage of any early life on what looked like a flat wicket. Their decision proved a good one as both Jimmy & debutant Hasan were removed in the opening two overs leaving the score 1-2.
Kazi & Shaikh (26) steadied the innings adding 58 for the third wicket with a mix of power & finesse. As with the opening two wickets, Shaikh & new man to the crease Charlie fell within three overs of each other to leave another rebuilding job at 80-4 in the 21st over.
No worries as vice-captain Paul came to the crease and immediately upped the run rate for the greater good, manoeuvring the the field and adding some momentum to our innings. Pablo’s 37 included one sumptuous lofted straight drive for 6 (expertly captured by Charlie Busby), as he & Kazi added 77 in 15 overs. Unfortunately, this partnership was ended when Paul was bowled in the 37th over with the score 157-5. The innings limped to a close as no-one else could reach double figures mainly due to the Hertford bowlers who kept a tight grip on the run-rate. The team’s and Kazi’s excellent innings of 92 came to a close in the 49th over with us feeling that we were 20 runs shy of par.
After another excellent tea, the Hertford innings got off to a strong start, clearly they were pleased and inspired by the specially imported jacket potatoes. Hertford reached 87 without loss after 19 overs but a ray of light for us came in the 20th over as Hasan had Leather (45) caught excellently off a cut shot by Scutt. Unfortunately for OEs, Hertford continued their chase as new man Joyce (24) scored freely taking the total to 120-1 in the 29th over. In the 30th over, Joyce had to retire following an injury sustained setting off for a run.
The delay halted Hertford’s momentum and opened the door for OEs, Abdullah (0-30) & Hasan (2-44) bowled tidily building some needed pressure. Kazi (4-20) & Umair (1-22) took over and crashed through the middle order like a road traffic collision in Sandford, as Hertford went from 136-1 to 160-6, effectively 7 given the retirement of Joyce. The innings came to a close as Busby came on to claim the final wicket and secure a 30-run victory for OEs.
The win was marred by the injury to Hertford’s Joyce and everyone at the club hopes he has a speedy recovery. Next week we look make it back to back wins with a local derby against Southgate Compton.