8th July 2017
Northchurch II 161-8 (47)
A masterful 75 from Captain Chris Kent was not enough as Greenwood Park drew their second game in as many weeks.
Kent demonstrated strong resilience to post his highest score of the season but Northchurch II’s stubborn late order resistance stopped Park picking up a maximum 30 points.
The home side eventually collected 18 points, consolidating their position in third, but a potential spot in the promotion places is now out of Park’s hands.
After losing the toss, Kent’s side were put into bat and got off to a solid, if unspectacular start.
Atique Ahmed scored a counter-attacking 20 before being removed by the impressive David Vila – who would eventually finish with 5-40 from 13.
With opener Ed Gray then gone for seven, Kent was joined at the crease by Aman Talha. The pair combined well and put on a battling 61 for the third wicket in a crucial rebuilding period.
Kent started to stamp his authority on the innings and contributions from Shafaat Hussain and Mubarak Zeb helped propel Park’s total above the 200 mark.
The captain was eventually run-out for 75 but some late order hitting from Ajmal Hussain took his side to 261-9, as the home team picked up maximum batting points.
In response, Northchurch got off to a rapid start – Jimmy Smart scoring 22 from as many balls as the visitors looked to chase down the imposing total.
A resolute third-wicket partnership, 43, between Theo Gayton and Jack Randall threatened to make the game close but when Randall fell to Arslan Khan Greenwood took complete control.
Two wickets fell quickly, with Gayton at the other end, as Park got their opposition to 116-5.
Shafaat Hussain then grabbed the prize wicket of Gayton, to make his team the firm favourites for victory.
Hussain would finish with 5-17 from 12 overs – including six maidens – in a phenomenal display of bowling.
But with the win out of sight for the visitors they shut-up-shop and, despite their best efforts, Park couldn’t claim the final two dismissals needed for victory.
It was another disappointing result for Greenwood and a significant blow to their promotion aspirations.