Frazer inspires Herts to Unicorns Trophy semi-final

Ben Frazer faces a Potters Bar delivery

Ben Frazer faces a Potters Bar delivery - Credit: Archant

Harpenden all-rounder Ben Frazer inspired Hertfordshire to a 65-run win over Wales Minor Counties in the quarter-final of the Unicorns Knockout Trophy.

The 34-year-old utilised his home pitch at Harpenden Common to full effect, blasting a 49-ball 79 – Herts’ top score in the match – to help the county set Wales an imposing target of 350 runs for victory.

Not content with a match-winning knock, Frazer produced the best bowling figures of the day, taking four wickets in 10 overs as Wales fell 66 runs shy of setting up a meeting with Cornwall in the semi-final.

While Frazer topped both the batting and bowling figures, Sunday’s triumph was a real team effort, and it was made more remarkable simply by the number of players who rose to the occasion.

Fresh of setting a new minor counties record with their 431-run stand against Buckingham, Eddie Ballard (66) and Tanveer Sikander (56) put 115 runs on the board for the second wicket.

Dan Blacktopp, in partnerships of 86 with Frazer and 64 with George Scott (25), scored seven boundaries, including a maximum, on his way to 74 as Herts closed their innings on 349-6.

Wales were not allowed to settle at the start of their reply as Sikander’s medium pace cleaned up Sam Pearce (9) in the second over and induced a catching opportunity from Mike Clayden (31) that was held by Scott in the 12th.

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It was the spin of Frazer (4-57) and Syed Ali Kazmi (2-47) that did most of the damage to Wales’ line-up. Four batsmen made good starts, reaching 37 or more, but they failed to push on in the face of pressure from the spinners.

Jamie Southgate (1-8) came in at the end of the innings to take the final wicket and hand Herts the victory and the chance to take on Cornwall on Sunday, July 26 at an as yet unconfirmed venue.