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Radlett equal club record for consecutive wins as Randall becomes club's oldest centurion
10:16am Tuesday 16th July 2013 in Sport
Radlett equalled a long-standing record when they gained their 13th consecutive win since the start of the season, beating Bishop's Stortford by seven wickets in the Home Counties League at Cobden Hill on Saturday.
The previous best start was set in 1973, and on Saturday a member of that side, Charlie Randall, became the oldest player to score a Radlett century when he hit 102 for the Fifths in Division 11 in a draw against Letchworth Fifths. His age was 64 years and eight months.
In the Division Two East victory, Radlett swept Stortford aside after bowling them out for 173, with four wickets each from left-arm spinners Matt Creese and Rob Clements.
Then, after an unusually shaky start, Shane Burger, with 84 not out, and Clements, with an unbeaten 57, pushed Jono McLean's men towards immortality .
Radlett are already almost out of sight at the top of the table, and the match at second-placed Stevenage this Saturday stands between them and the outright record. The 13-win sequence has comprised nine in the league, two in the Herts Cup and two early season club games.
Randall's 102 completed a set of hundreds for all five Radlett sides in his fifth-team knock at Letchworth's venue - the Hitchin second ground - that lasted three hours on one of the year's hottest days.
"This was as much a feat of endurance than skill," the former Daily Telegraph cricket writer commented. "I felt like a 102 year-old scoring 64."
His time at the crease was extended by two drinks breaks and frequent searches in the shrubbery nearly every time the ball crossed the boundary rope. Randall hit 18 fours and, surprisingly, his innings was chanceless on a dry popping pitch.
Chris Dexter was the previous oldest centurion at 63 for the third team during the 1980s, which was the lowest Radlett side in those days, though in 2008 his son Mike, at the age of 66, unselfishly declared two overs early with his own score flying up to 90 to set up a comfortable fifth-team victory at Hatfield Crusaders.
Randall and captain Rob Millard, with 57, contributed most to Radlett's total of 220 for six in their relegation tussle with Letchworth, but the bowling failed to exploit the unpredictable pitch apart from Jay Purohit, 15, a Haberdashers School leg-spinner taking four for 50 on his debut. Letchworth finished on 182 for eight.
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