Frazer’s men take derby honours
Clements guides Harpenden to important win
HCPL Division One
Harpenden won by six wickets
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AUGUST will be a crucial month for Harpenden’s season with vital league matches and a Herts. Cup semi-final versus Bishop’s Stortford to look forward to.
A comprehensive victory away to Radlett last weekend provided a brilliant platform for the rest of the season. Returning left-arm quick Ben Mahoney (10-2-30-5) asked far too much of Radlett in an opening combination with Nick Lamb (9-2-37-3). Radlett were rocked to 40-7 with danger men Kabir Toor (6 in 26 balls) and Shane Burger (7 in 18) both dismissed cheaply and only Lloyd Paternott (36 in 65) made a determined effort to halt the slide at number seven. Harpenden have been in this sort of territory before this season and a stand of 40 for the ninth wicket might have given skipper Ben Frazer (6.2-3-7-2) some doubts but this time Harpenden remained in control and refused to be denied. A final Radlett total of 107 all out was better than anyone had dared hope even after Harpenden had won the toss and elected to bowl first.
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In the second innings there was a further opportunity to see if lessons learned this year could be put to practical use and Aussie star Ben Clements (53 in 60 balls) played the decisive innings of the day. With the Harpy openers both gone at 34-2 and Burger (7-3-21-2) mixing his bowling options in order to try to find a winning combination, it was left to Clements and Adam Winchester (14* in 23) to see the side coolly home for a vital 6 wicket win at 111-4 in 30 overs. Harpenden are scrapping to remain in touch at the bottom of the HCPL table and drew Radlett in to possible relegation trouble at the same time. Only 26 points now cover the bottom half of the league and apart from a genuine cup semi-final (with Radlett in the other half of the draw) each game will now seem like a final in it’s own right. Harpenden face Oxford on Harpenden Common this weekend with the cup semi-final away at Bishop’s Stortford on Sunday.
Frazer had every right to be pleased: “This was a great win for us and as it turned out a must win due to other results in the division. Ben and Lamby’s opening spells were as good as you will see this year. For once we were clinical and made sure we didn’t let them get to 150 which could have made the chase very difficult. Clem showed his class with a well played 50 as he really took the game to them and attacked when we needed to. We have four games left now and a couple of wins will give ourselves a great chance of staying up”.