Form delights Frazer

PUBLISHED: 09:44 08 September 2011

Ben Frazer

Ben Frazer

Archant

Former skipper praises the impact new captain Nick Lamb has made

CRICKET: HARPENDEN all-rounder Ben Frazer believes his excellent form this season has come as a result of the freedom afforded him by captain Nick Lamb.

Frazer, who stood down as captain during last winter, ended the Home Counties Premier League Division One campaign with 531 runs at an average of 44.25 with a magnificent strike-rate of 110.47. With the ball Frazer collected 40 wickets with only Banbury’s Luke Ryan (41) taking more wickets leaving the Harpenden all-rounder delighted with his summer’s work.

Frazer told the Herts Advertiser: “I am thrilled with my season. Having stood down as captain I knew I had to have a good season and this is probably the best I have ever played.

“With Lamby as captain he has encouraged me to play my natural game and back myself to play how I play. I think the way he has led the team as a whole has been pretty amazing. To take on the role as captain and in your first year to finish third is a testament of his character. The test now is to improve on this year and strive to push on to the next level.”

The message from the Harpenden camp prior to this season was that mid-table safety was their aim this term but that target has been exceeded by some distance and Frazer believes the team have shown what can be achieved through hard work and desire.

“After last year our aim was to improve on that and look to establish ourselves as a club in the league,” he explained.

“Third place is an unbelievable achievement. Each year for the past three years we have achieved something beyond what we believed was realistically achievable, which just goes to show what can be achieved with a combination of hard work and desire to want to do well as a team.

“Our team spirit has been amazing, each time this year when we have had a shocker of a result we have bounced back with a great result.”

Frazer pinpointed the club’s victory over basement side Falkland as the team’s best performance in his eyes, not because of the quality of the opposition but because of the strength of character Harpy displayed to grind out the win.

“There have been a number of great performances this year such as wins over Henley and the champions Wycombe but for me it was the away trip to Falkland,” he said.

“That may seem strange as they were relegated but we had been on the back of some rough results and we got put in on a wet wicket, managed to get a competitive score and then they looked like they were going to cruise to a win but we kept fighting and managed to get the win. To come away with a win from that game after a bad couple of weeks to me showed what this team is about.”

Frazer says the whole squad deserves praise for their performances this season maintaining that it was a real team effort.

“The pleasing thing is that it hasn’t just been one or two players,” he said.

“Ricky (Damiano) has been immense for us and to see Gregg Cooper produce the runs he has, having gone to the IIs early season before earning back his place in the team, goes to show that if you put in the work you get rewarded. The example of Gregg is one a lot of younger players should learn from.

“However I don’t just believe individual performances have contributed to the success. Lamby’s style of captaincy suits us as a team and as I have said before the team spirit has been brilliant. The new payers that have come in such as Swhitey (Simon White) and Chris Warn look like they have been Harpy players for years and have provided us with that extra little bit of class we needed.

“Our team spirit has been amazing, each time this year when we have had a shocker of a result we have bounced back with a great result.”

Frazer pinpointed the club’s victory over basement side Falkland as the team’s best performance in his eyes, not because of the quality of the opposition but because of the strength of character Harpy displayed to grind out the win.

“There have been a number of great performances this year such as wins over Henley and the champions Wycombe but for me it was the away trip to Falkland,” he said.

“That may seem strange as they were relegated but we had been on the back of some rough results and we got put in on a wet wicket, managed to get a competitive score and then they looked like they were going to cruise to a win but we kept fighting and managed to get the win.

“To come away with a win from that game after a bad couple of weeks to me showed what this team is about.”

Frazer says the whole squad deserves praise for their performances this season maintaining that it was a real team effort.

“The pleasing thing is that it hasn’t just been one or two players,” he said.

“Ricky (Damiano) has been immense for us and to see Gregg Cooper produce the runs he has, having gone to the IIs early season before earning back his place in the team, goes to show that if you put in the work you get rewarded. The example of Gregg is one a lot of younger players should learn from.

“However I don’t just believe individual performances have contributed to the success.

“Lamby’s style of captaincy suits us as a team and as I have said before the team spirit has been brilliant.

“The new players that have come in such as Swhitey (Simon White) and Chris Warn look like they have been Harpy players for years and have provided us with that extra little bit of class we needed.”

n While the first XI has enjoyed a successful 2011 season the same cannot be said for the club’s other XIs.

Both the IIs and IIIs suffered relegation from their respective leagues after a summer of struggle that saw both teams suffer with unavailable players.

The IIs’ fate was sealed on Saturday when they became the first side to suffer defeat to local rivals Redbourn this term.

Ed Washingston hit 62 and Chris Bennett-Baggs 40 as Harpenden posted 207-8 from their allotted overs but Redbourn’s George Naismith condemned Richard Darwin’s side to defeat with a fine 107 despite Joe Peck’s (3-28) best efforts.

Simon Wade’s IIIs suffered similarly slipping to a 46-run defeat against Rickmansworth.

Harpenden looked well set at the turnaround having restricted Ricky to just 135-8 from their 53 overs.

Tony Hooper (2-23), Rohan Pancharatnam (2-34), Guy Watts (2-48) and Gareth Taylor (1-24) were the wicket-takers.

Opener Duncan Gilson did his best to ensure victory for Harpenden with 42 but the rest of his team-mates could only muster 38 runs as Harpenden were knocked over for a paltry 89. Extras (nine) was the second highest contributor in the run-chase.

Harpenden IV ended their campaign with a three-run defeat against Rickmansworth II.

Imam Hussain took 4-44 as Ricky were bowled out for 180 but Harpy’s chase fell just short as Anwar Thakar produced figures of 5-23 to dismiss the home side for 177.

Nick Reeves top scored for Harpenden with 83 from just 74 balls including 13 4s and one 6.

There was better news for the Vs though as they recorded a four-wicket win over Redbourn III.

Jim Gill took 3-26 and Adam Roche 2-7 as Redbourn were dismissed for 144 with wicket-keeper Andy Elledge leading Harpy’s victory charge with 68.


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