Damiano sparkles but Harpenden frustrated

Maiden league ton for overseas star

HCPL Division One

Harpenden 306-3 Falkland 145-7

Match drawn

A SPARKLING maiden league century for Australian batsman Ricky Damiano was the highlight of frustrating day for Harpenden against Falkland.

The start of play was delayed by 80 minutes due to rain earlier in the morning but Damiano set about making up for lost time smashing 18 4s and six 6s in his 123-ball innings.

Falkland, who gained promotion to Division One last season, struggled early on with Damiano and Chris Bennett-Baggs giving Harpenden the perfect platform to build on.

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The openers had put on 177 for the first wicket before Bennett-Baggs was adjudged lbw to Mubhair Khan for a patiently crafted 55.

Captain Nick Lamb joined Damiano at the crease and the home side’s onslaught continued as the pair put on 82 before Damiano was caught by Stephen Pope.

Despite Ben Frazer’s run out for just five Harpenden eased past the 300-mark as Lamb (42*) and Chris Warn (17*) took their total to 306-3 to leave the home side in a commanding position.

Harpenden’s afternoon continued to go well as Falkland’s Tom Heath (0) and Bruce Martin (0) found themselves back in the pavilion with just one run on the board.

Both wickets fell to Simon White who then added Jimmy Ettridge’s (18) scalp to his collection to leave the visitors at 38-3.

Pope and Khalid Zafar offered some resistance putting on 16 for the fourth wicket before Jon Ryan had Pope caught by Frazer for 28 and Zafar (32) fell to Lamb.

At five down Harpenden looked well set for victory but a defiant knock of 46 from wicket-keeper Mark Foster thwarted their charge for victory.

Foster’s resistance was ended when Ollie Tuck had him caught by Damiano but despite Chris Roe bowling Nigel Trumper for 12 Falkland denied Harpenden victory with number nine Neil Gunter seeing off the last over unscathed.

Harpenden collected 15 points from the draw to leave them third in the embryonic HCPL Division One table while Falkland’s efforts earned them five points.