Hertford 4th XI Beat Sandridge with All-Round Display
By Will Ray
The traditional “good luck” from the 1s changing room was replaced with an alternative “peace n love” from Adam Carlson, to the amusement of all.
Nick Horton took that Karma up to the top ground for the toss and that must have influenced the opposition captain, who decided to bat on an uncovered green top. A somewhat surprising decision that even “mystic Dave Benham” could not come up with a rationale for (see Langlebury III report for his fabled predictions).
The first over saw Dave Spring take a skier at backward square leg off Matt Ahl. Springy reminded Nick of his pre-match comments about square leg being a “snooze”. It was later discovered that said batsmen had scored centuries in his last two innings. Both Matt and Flynn Ruskin both had good opening spells, removing both openers, with the latter being ridiculously unlucky not to take a wicket; seemingly beating the bat at will and a couple went over the top of middle, still he came back and bowled an excellent death spell and got his deserved wicket then.
The 4s metronome, Dave Benham, again bowled with accuracy and control to return phenomenal figures of 4 for 10 off 9 overs, backed up with some very sharp catches in the gully by Rob McCarroll. Combined with Angus Kildare, who also bowled with great control, Hertford squeezed the game in the middle 15 overs to reduce Sandridge to 102 for 7 off 32 overs. The death bowling was taken on by Alex Bartlam and Flynn Ruskin who left “peace n love” at the boundary and bowled bouncers to Sandridge’s last batsmen on the last ball of the over to keep him off strike. Smart tactics. This was backed up by some excellent fielding (Alex’s catch at mid-off sticks in the memory) to ensure that only 43 runs were taken off last 13 overs for the loss of 1 more wicket leaving Sandridge innings finishing on 145 for 8 off 45 overs. Lastly it was noted that the bowlers were talking to each other around tactics for each batsmen, bowling “in pairs” is such an essential to the success of a team… long may that continue.
Hertford’s reply started in bizarre fashion when the action seemed to be inspired by events at Roland-Garros. Sandridge’s first ball was so short that Spring’s attempt to hit it looked like a second serve which was dropped by the ball boy at square leg. He then settled down into the much needed role of anchor to the innings as Rob McCarroll took up the mantle of knocking off the runs with a well composed 69. He mixed respect to good balls with aggression to anything in the slot. The first wicket put on 64 runs, then Matt Bartlam came in at 3 and finished off the innings with 32 not out. He was particularly brutal on anything slightly short pulling to the leg side boundary with an ease that no other batsman on both teams managed.
There was time for George Gardener to play a pleasing innings of 13 containing 3 boundaries from excellent shots (to great support from the spectators), demonstrating potential for the future and lastly a mention to George Rideout who polished off the innings with the flattest of flat sixes to finish off the day’s action as Hertford won by 7 wickets.
Peace’n love: Nick Horton and 4s