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Hussain hits half-century as Ufford are unable to defend rain-reduced target

Stamford Town defied the wet weather to claim an excellent victory in a rain-affected Cambs League Division Two clash at second-placed Cambridge St Giles on Saturday.

Tom Williams' side ran out 11-run winners after the hosts fell narrowly short of their rain-reduced target as Stamford strengthened their spot among the top four teams in the division.

Town had been put into bat first with Alex Birch and Dave Stratton getting the visitors off to a strong start.

Alex Birch scored 39 runs and took three wickets for Stamford Town on Saturday. (13547411)
Alex Birch scored 39 runs and took three wickets for Stamford Town on Saturday. (13547411)

They shared a 71-run opening partnership until Birch was caught and bowled by Mihir Vagh for 39 which included six fours.

Vagh then had Ben Peck caught by Craig Driver for one with Simon Prentice following for the same score five balls later as Stamford slipped to 104-4.

Williams and Stratton stopped the home side's revival with a 59-run partnership for the fifth wicket until the Stamford skipper was bowled by Aatish Kean Maharaj for 24.

That was the first of five wickets for Kean Maharaj who swept through the Stamford tail to return 5-29 from 7.2 overs.

He bowled Brett Bennett and Matt Green in successive deliveries after Alex Meddle had taken the crucial wicket of Stratton whose 82 included 12 boundaries.

Kean Maharaj completed his five-wicket haul by bowling Sam Barrett for two as Stamford were all out for 179.

The wet weather saw St Giles set a rain-reduced target of 117 from 26 overs with David Shaw (31) and Kean Maharaj (33) giving them a strong start.

They put on 59 runs for the opening wicket before Prentice made the vital breakthrough to dismiss Kean Maharaj following a catch by Tim Juggins.

Birch and Peck were then brought into the Stamford attack to stem the flow of St Giles runs in style with Bennett also claiming the vital run out of opener Shaw.

Birch bagged 3-27 from six overs, including two wickets in two balls, and Peck picked up 2-14 off three as St Giles were restricted to 106-7 in their reply.

Second-from-bottom Ufford Park were unable to defend a rain-reduced target for hosts Saffron Walden 2nds who ran out five-wicket winners in their clash.

Ufford had been bowled out for 199 with an unbeaten half-century from Tanvier Hussain leading their charge.

Hussain hit 57 not out while skipper Ross Keymer cracked 43 with Ufford's final duo of Joe Corder (14) and Sandeep Dahiya (16) providing solid support.

Saffron surged to their 193-run target inside 37 overs despite Henry Stephenson taking a three-wicket haul.

Stephenson returned 3-33 from 5.4 overs and Wahid Javed claimed 2-24 from six, but half-centuries from Mark Kimberley and Daniel Cummins saw third-placed Saffron to victory.

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