Hertford I vs. Broxbourne I match report
Thrilling season opener ends in a tie
The first team warmed up for the new league season with the second tie in three years in the traditional pre-season fixture against Broxbourne.
After losing the toss and being asked to bat first, Hertford made a solid start to the innings. Openers Elliot King and Benji Cowell built a solid platform for the rest of the batting line up, adopting a patient approach and capitalising on any loose deliveries.
After spending some time at the crease, both adjusted to the slow pace of the wicket and showed more attacking intent. This was to be the downfall of Cowell (32), who was caught at deep mid-wicket shortly following the introduction of spin to the Broxbourne attack. King followed shortly after for 34, bowled behind his legs by a googly from the opposition's South African overseas.
Stuart Barker (44) played his naturally attacking game and took the attack to the Broxbourne spinners. He was briefly supported by James Leather (25), before both fell in quick succession. After an encouraging start to the innings, Hertford were in danger of not capitalising on their strong position as both Folland and Carlson departed for single figures.
However, some clean striking from Brad Dawson (44*), in partnership with Rich Linney (18*), helped take the score up to 220-7, which was a competitive total on a slow and low Broxbourne wicket.
Broxbourne's reply started positively as the top order took the attack to Hertford new boy Ben Orchard and captain Leather. Leather (2-40) settled into a good rhythm and removed Robinson and the dangerous van Rensburg with 2 quick deliveries.
Dawson and Elliot bowled with good discipline in the middle overs and brought the Broxbourne scoring back under control. Carlson (4-42) picked up important wickets as Hertford pegged back the home side.
However, a composed 60* took Broxbourne closer to the victory target and despite a strong penultimate over from Orchard, the returning Leather could not produce the dot balls required to secure victory. Broxbourne required 3 from the final ball to win the game and managed to scamper back for the second run as the ball was hit out to deep mid-wicket.
The game provided valuable match practice for the Hertford side and whilst there were encouraging signs, it showed there was plenty to work on before the first league game.
See the scorecard here - https://hertford.play-cricket.com/website/results/2872847