Big Ben strikes 100 as Clements fires Harpenden back into play-off picture

Ben Clements faces a delivery from Ben Cottenden. Picture: Danny Loo

Ben Clements faces a delivery from Ben Cottenden. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A century from Ben Clements helped propel Harpenden Cricket Club back into the play-off hunt in Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League Premier Division.

The former skipper finished with an unbeaten 102 as Harpenden set a total of 208-7 from their 60 overs at Letchworth Garden City’s Whitethorn Lane.

That was only half the job, however, but fortunately the bowlers were in equally white-hot form, bowling the hosts out for 108 and a 100-run victory.

The win puts Harpenden into sixth place after 10 games played, just 26 points behind North Mymms in the final play-off spot.

It was Harpenden’s decision to bat first after winning the toss and despite losing two wickets early on for just 19 runs, it appeared a good one once Gregg Cooper and Clements got together.

The pair put on 89 for the third wicket before Cooper was run out for 43.

Clements had already passed his 50 at this stage and was looking well set.

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The problem was he couldn’t get anyone to stay with him and only Alex Axon made it into double figures.

William Bates and Peter New give brief resistance in Letchworth’s reply but by the time both had gone, they were on 84-7 having lost four wickets for just 11 runs.

Richard Darwin finished off the tail to claim 4-29, just slightly better than Ben Frazer who came in with figures of 4-31.

George Garrett’s 2-25 completed the excellent bowling display.

Harpenden are back at home on Saturday when they host Radlett.

The 3rds were in just as good form as they moved second in Division Four B with a 10 wicket win at Hertford 3rds.

Nick Reeves (71*) and Ed Washington (63*) took one ball more than 17 overs to reach Hertford’s target of 144.

That total had a lot to do with the bowling of Joel Stewart (5-29) and William Downes (3-27).

The 4ths were also in action against their counterparts from Hertford and had a similarly good result, winning by four wickets.

Chief among this was an unbelievable spell which saw Duncan Gilson (4-4) and Simon Wade (3-5) destroy the middle order and tail for just 16 runs.

However, the 4ths lost for the first time this season against Cheshunt while the 2nds went down by 75 runs at home to Leverstock Green.