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Offley & Stopsley 145 all out Vs Crawley Green Nomads 161-8

OSCC Lost by 16 runs

On a dark and dreary day at the Offley Cricket Ground, Offley & Stopsley endured one of the darkest and dreariest days in their history as Crawley Green Nomads completed a season sweep with a deserved 16-run victory. The defeat extended Offley’s winless streak in the North Herts League to four games dating back to the July 16 victory over Great Gaddesden.

Offley won the toss and Martin Bigmore elected to bowl first on a damp surface. However, an opening stand of 96 between Claridge and a member of the Jethwa Clan set Nomads on their way to a challenging total on a slow surface. The lush outfield made run scoring even more difficult and despite an impressive spell of 3-32 from Dave Bridgland and three catches from Mo Chaudry, Nomads finished up on 161-8, setting Offley the task of scoring at four runs an over from the outset.

Bigmore and Steve Bexfield put on 30 for the first wicket before Offley collapsed to 34-3. Bexfield was adjudged LBW to a ball that the batsman clearly felt was not in any danger of making contact with the stumps. Chaudry swatted a full toss to deep mid on with unerring precision before Bigmore was bowled attempting an agricultural swipe.

Dan Jordan and Nathan Brodie repaired the damage with a stand of 53 and the momentum seemed to be swinging back towards Offley before Jordan launched a full toss into orbit and Claridge held the catch. Jeff Francis came and went in the blink of an eye before Mark Tattersall joined Brodie. They lifted the score to 112 before Brodie holed out for 37.

Bridgland and Tattersall came together, seemingly holding Offley’s hopes in their hands. Tattersall was granted a reprieve when he skyed a drive and saw the wicket-keeper and fielder collide in a slow-motion pile-up. However, when another Jethwa bowled Tattersall for 18 the writing was on the wall. Phil Gourd failed to provide a miracle – he also failed to trouble the scorers – before Colin Keeley was cut in half by a booming in-swinger that might have prompted the ball to be examined at the Oval. Keeley’s dismissal left Offley on 135-9 with Qumar striding out to join Bridgland with 27 more needed to win. The dream died as Reed penetrated Qumar’s defenses for 5 leaving Bridgland high and dry on 17 as Offley fell short.