Reed somehow left defeated despite fine performance and Heslam’s heroics

William Heslam's magnificent 111 wasn't enough as Reed lost narrowly to Welwyn Garden City. Picture:

William Heslam's magnificent 111 wasn't enough as Reed lost narrowly to Welwyn Garden City. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Archant

Reed will be wondering how on earth they didn’t leave Welwyn Garden City with a victory – after losing in the last over.

The visitors to Digswell Park had been on top for the majority of the Herts Cricket League Premier Division contest before seeing it slip away from them in the final stages.

Reed won the toss and put Welwyn in and they never gave the hosts a moments peace throughout the innings.

Jack Tidey gave them the perfect start, trapping former England international Owais Shah in the second over, before Louis Champion (25) and Aron Nijjar (29) put on a 53-run partnership.

With both gone and skipper Dan Blacktopp out for 20, the home side were 118-4 and with only 17 overs remaining.

Further wickets saw WGC in more trouble at 161-7 but fortunately they still had Mo Rizvi at the crease and his mature batting held the innings together.

He made 64 in 65 balls, allowing them to reach 227 all out, Shay Emerton out for 24 to the last ball.

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Robert Lankester (3-13) and Toby Fynn (3-30) were the pick of the bowlers and needing a little more than five an over Reed were given a good start by Ed Wharton and William Heslam.

The former departed for 29 with Reed on 47 and they had increased that to 88 by the time Lankester, James Heslam and Jack Caine had joined him back in the pavilion.

That said Reed were always up with the run rate with Welwyn’s main problem, opener Heslam, continuing to stack up the runs.

A 47-run partnership with Stuart Smith, a 36 one with Tom Greaves and 28 with Tidey meant Reed were still favourites despite the falling of wickets and the form of Nijjar, bowling 40 dot balls out of 54.

However, they still needed 19 off the final over, which reduced to nine from the last two balls after a six and a four.

And after a superb 111 from 146 deliveries Heslam perished to the penultimate delivery, well caught on the boundary by Nijjar off the nerveless Shah.

Elsewhere Ashwell scored a comprehensive 115-run win over Bassingbourn thanks to a superb spell from Alex Griffin.

He took 6-31 and when he was done 15 overs in, Bass were in tatters at 45-7.

They were eventually all out for 54, nowhere near Ashwell’s 169-9 despite Oscar Ayliffe’s 3-25.