Thursday, 24 June 2021

Welwyn Garden City undone by skipper Mordt’s swing

HENLEY’S fine start to the new Home Counties Premier League Division 1 season continued last Saturday with an eight-wicket victory

HENLEY’S fine start to the new Home Counties Premier League Division 1 season continued last Saturday with an eight-wicket victory away at WELWYN GARDEN CITY.

On an overcast morning the only option was to bowl first and having won the toss, Henley skipper Bjorn Mordt wasted no time in doing just that.

Tahir Afridi, keen to make up for a nil return the previous week, was quickly into action removing opener Champion in the first over, Dave Allaway making no mistake at mid-on.

Afridi then had Scott caught behind in the third over before opener Baker and Southgate staged a mini-revival to take the score to 24. At this point Baker pulled Nugent to midwicket where the ball was caught one-handed by Fahim Qureshi who jumped and held on to the ball despite landing on his elbows.

Southgate, now joined by Chalker, ploughed on, but progress was slow with Welwyn on 44-3 after 16 overs.

Mordt replaced Afridi on a morning tailor made for his medium-paced swing bowling as Welwyn began to unravel.

Southgate spooned a Mordt delivery to Allaway at wide mid-off, Ashton Agar bowled Chalker and that was the effective end of any resistance on the part of Welwyn. Nolan was sharply caught at first slip by Michael Roberts, skipper Hewitt was out for a golden duck, lbw Mordt and Greenall became the third batsman to hole out to mid-off, this time caught by Agar, as the Henley skipper recorded figures of 4-24 off 10 overs.

Gurveer Singh and a returning Afridi cleaned up the tail and it was all over in the 34th over as Welwyn set the bar at just 75. A dispirited Welwyn side took the field and things got off to a bad start as Baker bowled four wides down leg side before the Henley openers had put bat to ball.

When Baker did find the range, Roberts cut him to the boundary and set the tone of an untroubled 33 that included six fours, including a run of four to close out the game.

Fellow opener David Barnes went to town on spinner Paul Barker who opened from the Monk’s Rise end and was duly dispatched to all parts.

There was a brief glimmer of hope for the home side as Southgate replaced Baker with spin from the pavilion end and served up a half-tracker to Barnes who went to smash it over long-off only to sky it back to the bowler.

Southgate followed that up to remove Qureshi with a first ball lbw, but that was the end of the revival as Roberts and Allaway closed things out in 16.3 overs.

The result leaves Henley joint top of the table with a 100 per cent record along with Slough and Tring.

WELWYN GARDEN CITY

G Baker, c F Qureshi, b T Nugent 11

L Champion, c D Allaway,

b T Afridi 0

J Scott, c T Ferguson, T Afridi 1

J Southgate, c D Allaway, b B Mordt 24

A Chalker, b A Agar 19

A Nolan, c M Roberts, b B Mordt 2

S Greenall, c A Agar, b B Mordt 0

J Hewitt, lbw, b B Mordt 0

P Barker, not out 8

L Mitchell, lbw, b G Singh 2

R Hodge, lbw, b T Afridi 0

Extras 8



TOTAL 75

Best bowling: B Mordt 4-24, T Afridi 3-20.



HENLEY

M Roberts, not out 33

D Barnes, c & b J Southgate 29

F Qureshi, lbw, b J Southgate 0

D Allaway, not out 6

Extras 8



TOTAL (2 wkts) 76

Best bowling: J Southgate 2-16.

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