Reed keep slim promotion hopes alive

Will Heslam bats for Reed

Will Heslam bats for Reed - Credit: Archant

Reed secured an important 31-run win over West Herts on Saturday to keep their slim promotion hopes alive.

Given the torrential rain on Thursday night, it was no surprise when West Herts elected to bowl first.

Reed got off to a slow, but reasonably solid, start of 22-0 off nine overs before James Heslam went for just seven.

However, this brought Alex Mutucumarana to the crease, who immediately added impetus along with Will Heslam (32), who started to find the boundary, taking Reed to 70-1 off 25 overs.

Although Heslam then fell, stumped, and Chris Jackson went in unfortunate circumstances for nine, Stuart Smith and Mutucumarana who hit two towering sixes, Reed were 124-3 off 42 overs in a good position to accelerate.

Unfortunately, Mutucumarana went shortly after for an excellent 60 and Reed needed more runs.

This came in the form of Sean (18) and Jack Tidey (27), who with a combination of hitting into gaps and some lusty blows, batted well with Smith (23) who had taken up the important anchor role. Reed innings came to a close at 196 all out in the 59th over.

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West Herts had 56 overs to chase down the runs and Reed knew they would need to bowl and field extremely well.

That is exactly what they did as the returning Jack Tidey (1-48) and Toby Fynn (3-41) both bowled with pace and direction.

Tidey was extremely unlucky not to have more wickets as the West Herts top order couldn’t live with both Reed openers and were reduced to 60-4 off 29 overs just after tea.

However, a partnership did begin to develop between the dangerous Sanders and Marshall, and at 90-4, the game was in the balance.

At this point Heslam turned to the introduction of spinners Phil Lill and 16-year-old Reece Fitzgerald who turned the game again in Reed’s favour.

Both bowled beautifully and, with Reed playing with determination and intensity in the field, the home side eventually subsided to 164 all out in the 53rd over with Reed picking up the crucial final wicket with a shell-shocked West Herts seemingly about to begin to play for the draw.

Lill recorded superb figures of 10-3-5-28 and Fitzgerald 11-1-42 bowling with skill and maturity well beyond his years.