County still search for win
Minor Counties Herts 252-9 Cumberland 293-7 Hertfordshire s deeply frustrating season took another twist when rain ruined their last home match of the season, against Cumberland at Long Marston, meaning Herts are still looking for their first win of the
Hertfordshire's deeply frustrating season took another twist when rain ruined their last home match of the season, against Cumberland at Long Marston, meaning Herts are still looking for their first win of the summer, with just one game to come, away to Suffolk on August 17-19.
Heavy rain on Sunday morning delayed the start until after lunch and meant that the captain winning the toss would be faced with a hard decision. It was only after much deliberation that Andy Lewis decided Herts would bat first.
Steve Gale, of Potters Bar, departed early, but then Lewis and Stevenage's Gary Brown put on 80 for the second wicket. But when those two and David Ward went in quick succession, Herts were struggling on 98-4. That became 127-5 when Aaron Laraman, of Welwyn Garden, fell for 20 early on the second morning.
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Will Spencer, the Harpenden batsman who was making his debut, was then joined by Welwyn Garden all-rounder Bren Frazer in the best partnership of the innings but just when they were looking to push the scoring rate upwards, Spencer fell lbw for 48, one of six lbw decisions in the Herts innings. Frazer soon followed for 41, and Radlett's Paul Barker and WGC's Simon White also soon perished as Herts collapsed from a promising 200-5 to 211-9. Then Andy Hicks, of North Mymms, with 15, and Sawbridgeworth keeper Simon Greenall (24) dug in for an unbeaten last-wicket stand as Herts finished their 90 overs on 252-9, a long way short of what they had wanted when they started out.
With the pitch drying all the time, batting became ever easier but Herts bowled and fielded well. With Laraman taking two wickets and Hicks one, Cumberland were reduced to 65-3 and the game was hanging in the balance. However former Durham batsman Gary Pratt, famous for his 12th man run-out of Ricky Ponting for England during the Ashes triumph of 2005, and former England under-19 batsman Alex Roberts put together a marvellous stand of 162 in 215 balls. Pratt, who survived a huge shout for lbw early on, made a fluent 114 before being bowled by Hicks but Roberts proved immovable.
Even though there was a little flurry of wickets, Cumberland finished day two on 293-7 with 18 overs still to come in their first innings to forge a bigger lead. Hicks took 3 for 58, Laraman 2 for 40 and White 1 for 54. Tuesday morning's monsoon, though, prevented any chance of another ball being bowled, and the game was called off shortly before 11am.
Herts: S Gale (Potters Bar), G Brown (Stevenage), A Lewis (North Mymms, capt), D Ward (Old Whits), A Laraman (WGC), W Spencer (Harpenden), B Frazer, S White (both WGC), A Hicks (North Mymms), P Barker (Radlett), S Greenall (Sawbridgworth, wkt).