So close, but Indians still waiting for first win

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Luton Town & Indians came close to their first win of the Saracens Herts Premier Division season at Totteridge Millhillians on Saturday.

Chasing 279 to win after the hosts made 278-6, Indians fell 23 runs short, dismissed for 255.

The IIs remained in the Division Three B promotion spots after a crushing win over Wheathampstead at Wardown Park.

Zainul Abadeen’s 90 led the way as Luton reached 240-6 from 53 overs, opener Masood Mahmood hitting 46 with Silus Charles (26) and Badal Naik (25) impressing.

Openers Waqar Arif and Nadeem Khan then shared nine wickets as the visitors were bowled out for just 62, Arif finishing with 5-20 and Khan 4-21 on the way to a 178-run win.

There were contrasting fortunes for the IIIs, who were seen off by Hitchin IIs to stay in the Division Five B relegation zone.

Haroon Afridi took three wickets as Luton were set 297 for victory but were bowled out for just 138 in reply, Jessen Patel top scoring with an unbeaten 46 while Mujahid Rasheed (20) was the only other man in double figures.

The IVs were also just edged out by Great Gaddesden as after being bowled out for 176, Gaddesden snuck home by one wicket at 177-9.

On Sunday, Luton Town & Indians succumbed to Bedfordshire County league Premier Division leaders Southill by 41 runs at Wardown Park.

Akash Shah took two wickets and scored 25 runs, but Luton’s target of 246 proved too much as they were all out for 204, Shyam Katechia making 62 and captain Dhruv Patel 41.

The Sunday IIs beat Ickleford by four wickets to claim their first Beds County League Division One win of the season. Nazmul Islam’s 4-28 led the way as Ickleford were bowled out for 136, Zahid Khan also collecting 3-36.

Gurvinder Singh anchored Luton’s chase with 33 and Janak Trivedi finished the job with 25 not out as Luton reached their target with more than 14 overs to spare.

The IIIs were beaten comfortably by Kempston Hammers in Division Three.

Harjit Singh (3-38) was the pick of the bowlers as Kempston reached 226-6 from their 40 overs before Luton were all out for 139, despite Sharib Riaz’s 53 and 30 from Zane Haroon.

The IVs were bowled out for 57 by Luton Town and Indians before Rickesh Patel and Sailesh Patel shared six wickets but couldn’t prevent a four-wicket defeat as Leighton Buzzard reached 59-6 in 11.1 overs.