CRICKET: Shahbaz Ali leads Horspath to remarkable victory

Dean Conradie blasts one of the sixes that clinched victory for Horspath

Dean Conradie blasts one of the sixes that clinched victory for Horspath

First published in Sport

Horspath left Dinton shell-shocked with an awesome display of explosive batting to pull off an unlikely three-wicket win at the Recreation Ground and go second inDivision 2 of the Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League.

Shahbaz Ali was the catalyst for the thrilling success with a superb 55 as Horspath chased down Dinton’s 215-9 in a match reduced to 34 overs a side following heavy morning rain.

The hosts looked up against it as they reached the last five overs still needing 65 to win.

But Ali and South African Dean Conradie then launched a ferocious assault.

Ali’s terrific innings, which came off 49 balls and included two fours and four sixes, came to an end when he skied a catch to Horspath’s former overseas player, Alister Gibbins, at cover off the last ball of the 31st over to make it 185-7.

But Conradie, who blasted 29 off 12 balls with two sixes, and Jamil Faruq, with 15 off nine deliveries, continued the fireworks.

And Conradie, who had earlier conceded 25 runs from his two overs, hit the winning boundary through mid-wicket off the first ball of the last over, bowled by Braintree Town footballer Alan Massey to complete a remarkable win.

Horspath had been set on their way by a well-crafted 50 from opener Robbie Eason, whose runs came off 70 balls and included six fours.

His innings also featured a moment of controversy when it appeared a Dinton fielder stepped over the rope when attempting to take a catch, with two runs rather than a six being scored.

Earlier, Dinton’s innings had also seen some big hitting after the visitors were put in to bat as the game got under way at 2.30pm.

Najam Ur-Rehmann rode his luck to make 68 off 67 balls with four fours and three sixes, while Mark Ludlow smashed a blistering 64 from 37 deliveries with five fours and four sixes.

The game produced 19 sixes in all.

Skipper Will Eason was the pick of the attack for Horspath, who were awarded five runs at the start of their reply for Dinton’s batsmen repeatedly running on the pitch, despite several warnings.

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