Defeats for Reed and Bassingbourn but Royston claim a victory

Jack Tidey took five wickets for Reed against Potters Bar. Picture: HARRY HUBBARD

Jack Tidey took five wickets for Reed against Potters Bar. Picture: HARRY HUBBARD - Credit: Archant

Reed came up just short in their hunt for an opening win in the delayed Herts Cricket League Premier Division season – and against reigning champions Potters Bar no less.

Fielding first, Reed had the champions in all sorts of trouble at 89-6, with Jack Tidey ripping through the top order.

He finished with figures of 5-37 and had the home fans dreaming of a big scalp.

However, by this time Bar’s overseas player Miguel Machado was at the crease and he changed the whole game with a wonderful 105 in just 83 balls.

He was last man out with the visitors on 242 and was harsh on Tidey and the rest of the squad whose fielding was superb throughout.

Reed began their reply with two lofty blows by Ed Wharton before he was caught at point and then brother Richard and skipper Robert Lankester batted sensibly, bringing up the 50 partnership in 82 balls.

Lankester eventually fell for 31 and Wharton on 56 which left Reed at 143-6 but behind the run rate.

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Mitchell Cooper’s 27 in 25 balls and 33 for Sean Tidey in just 21 balls took Reed over 200 and although they lost by 28 runs, the performance was one that came full of credit.

Bassingbourn were meanwhile delighted to be back playing, even if that was sometimes said through gritted teeth during their 81-run loss at Rickling Ramblers.

A greasy ball owing to the newly-introduced hygiene breaks was not used as way of explanation but even if it had been, it wouldn’t have excused all of the good opportunities that went begging as Rickling made 213-7 in the first innings.

Two drops came in the opening over from the luckless Hugh Myers. although he did claim the first wicket of the season by clean bowling Alex Emsden.

Oscar Ayliffe claimed two scalps in two balls, the second removing Rickling’s captain Billy Phillips-Diggons, who was the beneficiary of being dropped four times.

That was part of three wickets in four balls, Neil Smith picked up a deserved wicket, but as Bass discovered at the same ground last year, Rickling bat deep.

While none of the batsmen made it past 33, they all chipped in with seven batsmen scoring at least 16.

It meant a very useful total and again like last year, four wickets fell early.

That left them 34-4 and meant the result was somewhat inevitable.

Nigel Sirett and Quintus Harmer still put together a good partnership to provide some damage limitation and Myers looked in good touch, though his innings was cut short by a lack of partners.

But in a final similarity to the 2019 match, the clear highlight of the game was a six struck by one of the Bassingbourn lower-order batsmen.

In 2019, Steve Holt picked Joe Templeman’s slower ball and smashed it into the hedge on the far side of the ground. In 2020 it was Ayliffe.

It still wasn’t enough as the 10 men finished on 132 all out.

Royston did win though, by three wickets at Cambourne in group B of the reduced Cambs & Hunts Premier League.

Pete Merrell, Robert Greenwood and Navod Punchihewa all took two wickets each as the hosts were bowled out for 181 and 71 not out from Bonham Harper, plus 34 for Rob Gill, got them across the line with nine balls remaining.