Butt Leads Park To Comfortable Seven-Wicket Victory

On a boiling hot summers day, and with the World Cup quarter-final looming, Greenwood Park travelled to Wheathampstead at an early start time in order to accommodate the forthcoming fixture.

Park lost the toss and were unsurprisingly asked to field and battle the scorching conditions and what looked like flat pitch.

Youngster Ali Haq shared the new ball with the seasoned Ajmal Hussain and both set about their business brilliantly as Wheathampstead slipped to 41-4.

Hussain bowled his ten overs in one spell and deserved more than the 1-20 he returned, whilst Haq picked up a couple of wickets showing superb control โ€“ as well as being influential in a run out.

Greenwood battled away in the middle overs when the pitch flattened and used their skills to restrict the hosts to an under par 158 all out.

There were wickets for Arslan Khan, Ali Sherazi and Stuart Dempsey but the pick of the bowlers was young Haq, returning 3 -25 off his eight overs.

After the football had finished Park began their chase but got off to a poor start.

Ed Gray, who looked in fine touch, drove one straight back at the bowler to be caught for 8, before Chris Kent miscued to backward point for 9 as Park found themselves 22-2.

The visitors were further in trouble when Yasir Raja chipped to cover for 14, but this was to be the final positive for the Wheathampstead attack as Jimmy Otter joined the already fluent Numan Butt at the crease.

Butt attacked the bad ball but respected the good ones in a restrained knock, whilst Otter rotated the strike very well.

Butt, who supremely pounced on any short or over-pitched bowling, raced to his first 50 for Park.

The batsman went on to reach a magnificent 91* and was supported well by Otter who made 32*. Their partnership of 111 saw Park home inside 26 overs to maintain their second place in the table.

Park host Harpenden next week in a bid to keep the pressure on leaders Potten End.

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