Shenley Village are still searching for their first win after a two-wicket defeat to Leverstock Green in Herts Division Two.
Choosing to bat first on a pitch surprisingly dry after overnight rain, the home side did not get off to an ideal start, finding themselves reduced to 25 for four by the 13th over. Shenley captain Anooj Vadgama, batting at four, provided the anchor the home innings required as wickets fell around him. He dug in and remained at the crease for over two hours.
In a crucial partnership with young newcomer Vivek Kothari, batting at eight, Vadgama made a valuable 68 – and an important seventh wicket total of exactly 100 – before finally being caught behind off wily spinner Brad Klosterman. Meanwhile, Kothari went on to make an impressive 38 not out and Shenley went into tea on a respectable total of 171 for eight after their 53 overs. Majid Kahn was the best of the bowlers with figures of four for 42.
In reply, Leverstock Green took a while to settle in the opening overs, with just 29 runs on the board after the first ten overs. Opener Ben Parks, who had never looked comfortable, was caught in the following over off seamer Dave Shelley to reduce the visitors to 29 for one.
The Leverstock batting pattern seemed to mirror that of the first innings as, with the exception of Luke Roberts who made 39 before being stumped, their upper order all fell cheaply. With the score at 72 for five at the 25-over mark, Shenley looked to have the upper hand and an away win looked out of the question.
However, Mark Landau (31) and Steve Murphy (33) both proved a little harder to dislodge and the visitors slowly began to accelerate the scoring. Landau was finally dispatched – bowled by spinner Tharic Sameem in the 40th over - to bring things to 125 for six.
Klosterman arrived at the crease and compiled a swift 22 before both he and Murphy were sent back to the pavillion in the same over off the bowling of Australian Ryan Hammill and the match was finely balanced at 158 for eight with just two overs remaining.
But Kahn, who had earlier impressed for Leverstock Green with the ball, also saw them home with the bat as he amassed 19 off seven balls – ending the game with a huge six in the final over to take his team over the line to victory on 175 for eight.
Shenley managed to pull themselves up the table by two places and will be determined to make amends for their indifferent season when they travel to Hemel Hempstead Seconds on Saturday.