Cooper’s knock sees Harpenden past Mymms

Gregg Cooper bats for Harpenden

Gregg Cooper bats for Harpenden - Credit: Archant

A classy unbeaten 85 from Gregg Cooper was the standout performance as Harpenden kept pace with the Saracens Herts Premier Division front runners with a six-wicket win over North Mymms.

Too often this season the opener, who now has an average of 24.81, has gifted his wicket but on Saturday he batted with a steely determination that frustrated Mymms’ bowlers for over three hours.

Cooper’s performance, coupled with a four-wicket haul from Ben Frazer, sees Harpenden remain just 11 points behind second-placed Radlett ahead of their meeting on the Common this Saturday, 11.45am start.

Nick Lamb’s side almost lost the chance to build on last week’s emphatic win at Letchworth Garden City as Mymm’s openers made Harpenden pay for putting them into bat.

For an hour and 10 minutes Hamza Quyyam (36) and Nesan Jeyaratnam (61) thrived against the bowling attack, putting on an 82-run partnership. That was until Frazer finally produced a ball that beat Quyyam all ends up.

Eight overs later his leg spin accounted for Neil Bamford (15) as wicketkeeper Dan Blacktopp, standing in for Alex Spencer, cleanly took the delivery and removed the bails.

The pair did the same to remove Jeyaratnam and then, in the 42nd over, Joe Doyle teased Rhys Carter into a loose shot that was caught by Frazer.

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Number four Lewis Mildenhall, on 10 at the time, was finding success and added 26 in a 56-run partnership with Ben Carter (29), who became Frazer’s fourth victim when he was caught by Scott Galloway.

Mildenhall batted out the remaining four overs to finish unbeaten on 51 and Mymms on 217-7 after two runs outs from Jake Pankhurst and Ed Washington.

Frazer came out in his normal fashion and made a quick-fire 30 from 22 balls, five of which were dispatched to the boundary. He was the first to go, trapped LBW by Quyyam, but the man at the other end held his nerve and anchored the innings.

In partnerships of 72 and 16 with Lamb and Blacktopp respectively, Cooper had Harpenden walking down the winning path. Pankhurst, however, had them running down it.

Pankhurst hit two maximums and six fours in a 41-ball 47 that propelled Harpenden to 196-4. He was denied a deserved half-century by Jeyaratnam’s reliable hands but he and Cooper had all but won the game.

Galloway came in to hit the winning runs but all the plaudits went to Cooper, who’s unbeaten knock was his highest of the season.