Park prevail despite calamitous collapse

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Southill Park kept their hopes of a Bedfordshire League title alive despite a calamitous collapse at the SPCG on Sunday.

Visiting Luton Town & Indians won the toss and decided to bat. George Darlow (1-15) bowled his usual miserly nine overs with seamer Chris Watt (2-33).

Evergreen, wily spinner Mehul Adatia (3-19) maintained the momentum and specialist death bowler Kieran Brasier (1-5) rounded off the innings with a well directed six over spell restricting the visitors to 120-9 in 45 overs. Specialist cover fielder Rani Thiarra secured two run outs combining with the quick hands of keeper Tom Dryden who completed the dismisssals.

Park raced to 38 without loss before Dryden (10) and the powerful Ajay Momi (19) were dismissed. This was the catalyst for a catstrophic collapse to 41-6.

However this brought the reliable and laid back Dominic Chatfield (52 not out from 68 balls) and super sensible and mature Phil Johnson (7 not out of 68 balls) to the crease to guide Southill home.

The victory keeps Park top of the league by just one point over Lutonian with one game to play, on Sunday at home to Dunstable. Lutonian have two to play and Southill need them to drop points to stand any chance of winning the title.

At Offley and Stopsley Park IIs skipper Sam Rose won the toss and elected to bat. Rose (25) and Ed Lamb (21) got Southill off to a flier. The in-form Adam Prescott (108) then smashed his third century of the season supported by Bhavik Talsania (29) as Park amassed a very healthy 235-6 from 40 overs.

Southill then dismissed Offley & Stopsley for 99 in the 38th over. The wickets fell to Shaid Ali (2-14), Jeremy Graves (2-11), Farook Yunas (1-13) and the pick of the bowlers with a 5fer with his mesmerising spin was Khaneal Statham (5-12). The win keeps Park fourth in Division Four with promotion a distinct possibility.

On Saturday the firsts took another step towards promotion or a play-off place by executing a professional defeat of second placed Newborough.

The Park bowlers exploited the conditions keeping the run rate down with seamers Jack Good (1-28), Kieran Brasier (2-23) and Hammad Nasir (3-27) bowling tight, accurate lines. Veteran spinner Najam Sheraz (4-22) joined the attack to sweep up the tail to restrict Newborough to 155 all out.

Southill embarked on a well paced response with an excellent, mature, innings by Good who hit 63 not out from a 122 balls and fittingly struck the winning runs with a glorious on-drive boundary.

He was supported in a partnership of 39 by Sheraz (19), and by Bhavik Talsania (33) for the fifth wicket with the pair putting on 56. Hani Thiarra then smashed a rapid 23 from 15 balls to support the outstanding Good in securing a five wicket win.

Sunday’s final Beds County League Premier game has been designated as 1990 Champions Day where former players are invited to watch the match and take tea with current players.

Former players should advise Martin Darlow on 07760 171467 if they are attending, for catering purposes.