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It’s fair to say that Dhrupal has never seen a ball that he didn’t think he could work to the legside. Recruited ahead of the 2009 season, Patel quickly made his mark, displaying the ability to flick balls through square leg and midwicket or fall lbw in the process.
The lack of bounce in the Offley wicket inevitably means that Patel’s natural game is not ideally suited to his new home pitch. However, he has persevered, racking up boundaries at an impressive rate, regardless of the unfortunate propensity to fall lbw to a straight ball pitched on middle stump, or simply being cleaned up aiming the ball in a legside direction.
Patel established a useful opening partnership with Steve Bexfield in a number of North Herts League and shared a couple of promising stands, all of which ultimately resulted in Offley losing the game but that’s not the point. Offley also failed to win the game at Lilley when the partnership was broken without a run on the board. Patel also helped to turn the tide in the crucial Saracens League match at Baldock, helping to kick-start the revival after the top order was swept away. He ended his debut season with the unwanted tag of being the best player at the club not to have scored his maiden Offley half-century. He has the knack to make it look easy in the field and is also a useful spin bowler.