Lill gets his Phil as Reed salvage Championship draw

James Heslam

James Heslam - Credit: Archant

Reed’s Phil Lill struck a half century and took five wickets as they and Langleybury played out an entertaining draw in the Saracens Herts League Championship on Saturday.

The visitors won the toss, choosing to bat and at 156-4, it looked a very wise decision. Chetan Depala was in particularly fine fettle, claiming 91* with no.3 Nahim Amin backing up his team-mate with 67 before being bowled by Sean Tidey.

With Langleybury cruising, Lill then skittled the away tail in quick fashion, accounting for the wickets of Rhys Williams (1), Richard Oxley (15), Ross Channer (2), Daniel O’Connell (0) and Khalid Manzoor (2).

Reed then started their reply well. Captain James Heslam (56) and Alex Mutucumarana (21) put them well on the way to catching their mid-table opponents’ score.

However, a collapse was just around the corner and with Reed teetering on 153-8, Lill (50) and Toby Fynn (32) sought about batting out the final overs of the day for a share of the points and avoid their third league defeat of the season.

The 2nds notched up another victory at Cockfosters, winning by four wickets.

Set 156, Richard Johnson scored 71 in Reed’s run-chase after Jack Caine and Alex Kelly had taken three wickets apiece in the first innings. Reed are now in second place and only two points behind Division 5B leaders Old Cholmeleians, who they play next week.

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Hertford scored 200-8 against the 3rds, who in this match format managed a draw by reaching 157-8 in reply.

Meanwhile, the unbeaten 4ths claimed a cracking win at Freman College to remain top of the table.

Jack Childs had taken three of Stevenage’s wickets in the visitors’ 222-8.

Replying with the bat, Stevenage and their fielders were unfamiliar with the quick-paced outfield at the Freman Oval, and thus were unable to stop Bill Mansfield hitting 80 not out as he led a match-winning charge.

The home side won with four wickets and six overs to spare.

Lill rounded-off a good personal weekend by hitting 80 in the Sunday friendly at home to Guilden Morden. Unfortunately, Reed managed only 166 in total and fell 45 runs short.