Frazer at the centre of another Harpenden win
Ben Frazer showed there’s nothing he can’t do after captaining Harpenden to an eight-wicket win over Hemel Hempstead in the Saracens Herts Premier Division.
After taking pole position in the division’s run-scoring standings last week, the 33-year-old showed his tactical nous, as well as his long-established batting and bowling skills, as he deputised for Nick Lamb and skippered Harpenden to victory.
After early morning rain, Frazer elected to field first and handed the ball to Simon White and Will Jones. He was made to wait for 68 balls and a partnership of 27 runs before his opening attack verified his decision, Dan Blacktopp pouching a loose shot from Brett Penny (6) off White.
Penny’s opening partner, Hemish Ilangaratne (25), followed two overs later after White rapped him on the pads in front of his stumps. Not to be outdone, Jones produced a ball that beat Adam Winchester’s bat and sent him back to the pavilion for nine.
His dismissal started a six-over spell of relentless bowling from Harpenden. First Gareth James (1) was given his marching orders for handling the ball before Matt Potton (8) and Brad Finch (1) were beaten by White (3-54) and Jones (2-40) respectively.
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Throughout the collapse, Jay O’Nien has remained resolute but he was quickly running out of partners as Frazer had Steve Reader (13) caught by Gregg Cooper and Dan Wightman (2-14) clean bowled Liam Jahn (3) and Faisal Iqbal, the latter for a first-ball duck.
Having batted so well for over an hour and a half, O’Nien (62) was finally undone by Frazer (2-20) who took a smart caught and bowled to end Hemel’s innings on 141 after 38.1 overs.
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With over 50 overs to reach the target, Cooper and Frazer strode out for Harpenden’s reply. However, the captain decided he wasn’t going to hang around and smashed 14 fours and a maximum on his way to a 72-ball century.
He was eventually caught for exactly 100 but he and Cooper (23) had already put Harpenden on the cusp of victory with an opening stand of 133.
Cooper was out the next over but James Latham (2*) and Dan Blacktopp (9*) ensure there were no more slip-ups and eased the score past Hemel’s total.