Draw for Harpenden II
Local derby ends in stalemate
SHL Division 2
Shenley Village 226-8 Harpenden II 225-8
HARPENDEN II welcomed Shenley Village to the Common for their first league game of the season in SHL Division 2 on Saturday.
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New captain Richard Darwin lost the toss and Shenley Village choose to bat first.
Shenley made a solid start despite some good early bowling from Jason Guest (0-20) and Mike Howard. Opener Stanley was run out by Tom Cuppello but this brought former Zimbabwe test player Dion Ebrahim to the crease.
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With the exception of Matt Cooper (0-44) Harpenden bowled too many bad balls in the first half of Shenley’s innings. Anooj Vadgama hit a loose delivery from Darwin high in the air to Howard at mid-off who took a good catch but Ebrahim continued to milk the bowling and very useful partnerships developed with Gajjar (22) and Evans (31) before Darwin (2-80) finally got the prize wicket of Ebrahim (77) caught by Barney Francis. With Mike Howard (3-71) picking up three important wickets in the same period the Shenley innings ended on 226-8.
Harpenden entered the second innings in confident mood with openers Tony Hooper and Gregg Cooper putting on 96 in very quick fashion before Hopper (42) was bowled by Ebrahim. This brought Will Spencer to the crease and he and Cooper took the score on to 119 before Cooper (55) was adjudged to be out lbw to Ebrahim (5-56).
At 119-2 Harpenden were still confident of chasing down the required total however two unnecessary run-outs of Francis (2) and Spencer (58) halted good Harpenden progress. This proved to be crucial as Harpenden wickets fell regularly. Despite Howard’s brilliant knock of 42 and some good lower-order play from Paul Goodwin (9*) Harpenden finished on 225-8.
Harpenden captain Darwin said afterwards: “We looked rusty in the first half of the game and delivered far too many bad balls to two good batsmen. Having said that we pulled it back well towards the end to restrict them to 226 and at 193-3 with experienced players at the crease and waiting to come in we should have won the game.”