Batting display costs Harps
Harpenden 130 all out lost to Sawbridgeworth 171-8 by 41 runs HARPENDEN captain Ben Frazer was searching for a silver lining after his team were beaten away at Sawbridgeworth in a lacklustre performance. There was little application from the batting or
Harpenden 130 all out lost to Sawbridgeworth 171-8 by 41 runs
HARPENDEN captain Ben Frazer was searching for a silver lining after his team were beaten away at Sawbridgeworth in a lacklustre performance.
There was little application from the batting order as Harpenden failed to seriously challenge a target of 172 to win. When asked for his thoughts on the match Frazer was honest in his assessment.
"This was a game that we should have won and to be bowled out for 130-odd was not acceptable," he said. "The positives to come from the game were the batting of Brad Moses and Chris Bennett-Baggs although both will be disappointed not to have gone on."
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Having won a toss that he would quite happily have lost, Frazer was left with an awkward decision of what to do. He elected to ask Sawbridgeworth to bat first and Chris Arnold (9-2-27-1) then took a wicket in his first over to suggest that Frazer's call was a good one.
However, Danny Wilson (48) and Rob Sanders (27) battled hard to put on 77 for the second wicket before Michael Burrell (50 off 62) put the early touches to what was to be a fine all round performance. A Sawbridgeworth total of 171-8 off 60 overs was a fair score after Frazer (23-5-64-3) and Brad Moses (21-3-59-3) had done the bulk of the bowling.
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Harpenden are well known for batting deep in to their order and the reply started well with a 70-run partnership of their own for the second wicket but 78-1 soon became 103-6 as Burrell (14-3-39-6) took to his bowling labours with enthusiasm.
Moses (55) was in solid form and Chris Bennett-Baggs (22) added some support but a worrying trend for ill advised shot selection raised its ugly head for a second week.
This led to a minor collapse which Frazer (17) was unable to halt coming in as low as number eight in a re-shuffled line-up.
Frazer summed up a frustrating day by pointing the way forward for his young side.
"A measure of how good a team is can be how you come back from disappointment and I know we will be a different team this coming Saturday. In a bizarre way this result will benefit it us over the coming four weeks."
Harpenden are at home on both days this weekend to mid-table Stevenage in the league and then again on Sunday in the mouth-watering semi-final of the Herts County Cup against Potter Bar.
HARPENDEN II were enjoying life at home on The Common for the first time in five weeks on Saturday and celebrated a return to their own ground by successfully chasing 209 to defeat local rivals Old Albanians by four wickets.
Things started well for Harpenden with an early wicket but OA recovered in the stifling conditions as Kwesi Roy (47) and the excellent Simon Grey (39) took the score on to 187-4.
The emergence of Jake Pankhurst (10-0-44-3) as a quality off spinner was then a revelation but this just set the scene for Aussie pace star Justin Savio (11.5-3.40-5) to take 5-14 in his third spell, including a first ever hat-trick with every batsman clean bowled.
Harpenden took this momentum in to the second innings and like an old warship Graeme Sprowson (83 off 106) dropped weighty anchor again as he returned to the top of the order while others played effective cameos around him.
Sprowson was resolute at one end despite having some fortune against Roy (14-2-74-3) as Tony Hooper (29) and Barney Francis (33) provided the necessary fireworks to get the run chase away to a good start. Even more pleasing for Harpenden was that youngsters Pankhurst (18) and Ed Washington (23no) were there to see the team home with overs to spare.
Sprowson said afterwards: "We wanted to win this one for our captain David Whiteley as he recently became a father for the first time and it's been a brilliant week for him."
HARPENDEN III managed to salvage a near catastrophic position of 3-4 thanks to Deshan Karunaratne (44) and Steve Glasgow (42no) so that they overhauled Ampthill Town IIs score of 120 for the loss of only a further wicket at 121-5.
James Absalom (19-3-37-5) continued his impressive season but may have wondered if his batting colleagues were going to undo all of his good work.
However, Harpenden came through their early collapse and continue to lead the Division Four table with crucial games still to come.
HARPENDEN IV succumbed to a somewhat sorry 85 all out against Cheshunt to lose heavily by eight wickets.
IT was a much better day for HARPENDEN V as Sam Jones (77 and 10-6-17-8) stole the show with an astounding all round performance. Jones managed to dismiss Hatfield Hyde III for 79 as his team won by 101 runs.