Little Berkhamsted, Herts Sunday 3 August 2014
A week after sharing 480 runs at Winchmore Hill, the Tigers were involved in another runfest at the picturesque village ground of Little Berkhamsted in rural Hertfordshire, 475 being scored for the loss of only eight wickets on the day, the visitors finishing second once again after posting what appeared to be an imposing total, built around a record third-wicket partnership of 155 between Mike Herlihy (batting through the innings for 74 not out) and Barnaby Pinfield (96), then reducing the home side to 15-3. However, the Tigers were upstaged by a mammoth fourth-wicket collaboration of 184 between Bowers (93) and J Smith (97), and despite four wickets from Matt Webster the Sahibs won comfortably with four overs of the last twenty in hand.
It certainly is a good time to be a batsman at the moment, the hot, dry weather producing great batting tracks to go with fast outfields, although the excellent wicket here also gave some assistance to seam and spin. Three batsmen being dismissed in the nineties is highly unusual in Sunday cricket and it was a pity none of the trio could go the extra yards to a ton. Barnaby once again had a mixed day, messing up his travel connection by confusing Woodford in east London with Woodside Park in north London, then being informed by an ATM that he was penniless. But his fortunes changed on the field with a superb innings that deserved his maiden Tiger hundred, following this with a great display behind the wickets, including a superb low catch down the leg side.
Mike Herlihy is back to prime form, rotating the strike perfectly throughout the Tiger innings, criticisms of him having only one gear seeming somewhat incongruous. Barnaby looked primed for a century until slicing the ball high on the off side, a similar dismissal to Mike Delanian’s earlier in the day. Richard Burgess had also looked to be on for a big score until slapping a full toss straight to cover.
LBS are a Hertfordshire league side, which has more divisions than the House of Commons, and their Sunday side was the usual blend of classy league players, veterans and colts, although they looked in some peril as Webster bagged three victims in his first three overs. Bowers and Smith then slowly reasserted control, finding the gaps in the field perfectly as the stand built, depite some good work in the outfield from Ian Daffern and a recovered Jimmy Carter. It was certainly not a day to be a bowler, with only Matt and Chris Wright (24 from 9 overs) showing a decent return. Chris Dane and Steve Bignell took some tap, though the Bignell/Pinfield combination finally winkled out Bowers and the returning Webster bowled Smith in a rare maiden over. But it was all too little too late, although there was briefly a tense couple of overs until Newman bagged the winning runs.
An excellent fixture which hopefully will be repeated.