Reed IIs left frustrated for second week running

Saracens Herts League Division Six

Reed IIs 242-5 (47 overs)

Hoddesdon IIs 169-9 (51 overs)

Match drawn

REED IIs fell one wicket short of victory for the second week running on Saturday as they were forced to settle for a draw at home to Hoddesdon IIs.

After winning the toss Baz Curtis decided to bat first. Curtis opened with the in-form Matt Bowles and the pair put on 71 for the first ticket and neither batsman seemed in much trouble.

Curtis misjudged a drive off the leg spin of Chandracant and was caught at midwicket for 39. The run-rate slowed as Mitchell Cooper and Bowles got back on track.

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Bowles continued to put the bad ball away with some fine drives and he had reached 49 before being unexpectedly bowled.

Richard Johnson had no answer to the leg spin and was bowled around his legs for a duck. Suddenly it was 108-3 which soon became 110-4 and Hoddesdon looked back in the match.

Phil Freney was joined by Roddi Liebenberg and the pair began to rebuild. Freney played a fine supporting role, pushing the ball around and picking up the odd boundary when the bad ball came along. Liebenberg’s first six scoring shots were all fours and the pair were soon on top as a score of 200 looked possible.

Freney went for 25 when he became Chandracant’s forth victim and Will Dobson came in to bat and along with Liebenberg moved Reed from 162-5 to 242-5 from 47 overs.

Liebenberg raced to his 50 and was left 81*when Curtis decided to declare giving the visitors 51 overs to chase victory.

Opening bowlers Mitchell Cooper and Peter Tidey bowled tight opening spells and Tidey struck when the score had only reached five. Hoddesdon’s skipper Nick Gandon came in and played a solid innings and but he was fortunate on three occasions when dropped catches enabled his stay at the crease.

Hoddeson never really looked in the hunt for victory, but Gandon and Stilroy took a lot of overs out of the game. Reed struggled to find a way through, but Marcus Martin removed Stilroy for 19. Neither side were really making much progress on a flat wicket despite the rain shower at tea.

Keiran Wheeler joined the attack and was finding it hard to get some real turn. He managed to tempt Gandon into a rash shot and wicketkeeper Baker took a sharp catch.

Overs were running out and a draw looked nailed on. Reed didn’t give up, though, and a run-out which saw both batsmen at the same end gave Reed a sniff of a chance.

Cooper returned and struck to leave the visitors 164-7. Wheeler hit twice in quick succession and with two overs remaining Reed needed just one wicket to claim victory.

Tidey took the last over with all the fielders around the bat. The chance came with two balls to go, but like the week before it was a tough one and the chance we missed.

Another 19 points gained for Reed, but only at the end of the season will they know how vital these are.