Sun 6 June Hertford Won by 113 runs
We 250/2 in 32.4 overs (Jai Singh 131*, Praveen Lekhraj 95, Matthew Ahl 1/36)
They 137/10 in 34.1 overs (Steve Page 51, Peter Amos 42, Hammad Rishad 4/56, Adam Sumner 3/24, Neeraj Nayar 2/36)
Hampstead unfortunately had to cancel our planned fixture on the eve of the season because of their league schedule, which meant we played our first match against Hertford on what is one of the nicest grounds we have played at in recent years.
Unaware of the overall team strength, the Hertford CC skipper offered us the chance to bat first in what was originally a 40 over match, much to the chagrin of the former skipper whose opinion of limited overs Sunday cricket was “it’s complete bollocks”.
After Jai and Praveen had rather effortlessly taken us to 75 off the first 10 overs, Tim had a quiet word with the Hertford skipper and suggested we revert back to a timed game which was agreed with a welcome smile. The aforementioned former skipper wasn’t happy though “You can’t change the format after the game has started”. I digress.
Jai and Praveen continued on their merry way, with each Hertford bowler suffering the same fate as the last. The strokeplay was impeccable, and the boundaries flowed for each batsman. Jai reached his 100 in just 83 balls and kindly offered to retire to alleviate Preetinder of his uncomfortable pad burn on the sidelines, but with a record partnership in the offing that was declined by Tim. On the cusp of what would have been his maiden KCC century Praveen finally succumbed to a false stroke and was bowled for 95. The 223-run opening stand set a new KCC record, the previous first wicket record of 197 had stood for 22 years. The innings was declared soon after, an imposing 250 runs on the board with plenty of overs to come.
Hertford were never in the chase in what was an outstanding team bowling performance. Adam and Neeraj broke through the top order, and Hammad, back for his first game in 6 years, skittled through the middle and lower order with 4 valuable wickets (even if the line and length was a little erratic!). With not a single catch put down to match the bowling output, Hertford were dismissed for just 137 with 6 overs to spare.