Gallery: Classy 88 from Latham sets Harpenden on their way to victory

James Latham bats for Harpenden

James Latham bats for Harpenden - Credit: Archant

James Latham’s 88 was the highlight of the day as Harpenden kept their unbeaten record intact with a 72-run win over Potters Bar at Harpenden Common on Saturday.

Having been asked to bat, Latham, in at number three, made them pay with a 92-ball innings which lasted over two hours and gave Harpenden the platform they needed to pick up 30 points and stay within touching distance of league leaders Welwyn Garden City.

Bar skipper Lenny Cooper won the toss and, looking to restrict Harpenden to a low total on a damp wicket, inserted them into bat.

The host’s stand-in skipper Will Jones sent Gregg Cooper and Jake Pankhurst out to the middle to face the new ball, and the pair did their job, seeing out the first 40 minutes while picking up 13 and 12 runs respectively.

Latham replaced Cooper but struggled to get among the runs at first as wickets fell around him. He had amassed 16 runs in partnerships with Pankhurst, Mike Howard (0), Scott Galloway (1) and Jones (2) before Simon White joined him in the middle.

Suddenly the innings burst to life as the pair put on 51 runs before White was caught for 22. Latham was now in a rhythm and, in a 66-run, 39-minute partnership with Dan Wightman, he added 45. The pairing was end when he went for one shot too many and was caught.

Wightman added seven more to reach 23 before he was caught and Guy Watts put up 11 from his spot at number 10 to push Harpenden’s total over 200.

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With the wicket drying out, Harpenden needed a quick wicket and Watts obliged, finding the edge of Harrison Palmer’s bat to give wicketkeeper Graeme Sprowson his only catch of the match.

At 1-2, opener Chris Swainland (25) and Patrick Scott (16) guided Bar away from danger with a second-wicket stand of 42 but the next four wickets fell for 17 runs to put them back in trouble.

Another flurry of wickets – three in six overs – saw Bar slumped from 73-6 to 85-8 as Jack Doyle (2-27) and Galloway (3-30) notched third second wickets. Galloway then trapped Don Manuwelge LBW.

James Ilott (19*), who took four wickets, and Salman Choudhry (8) showed some late order theatrics but Bar were never close to surpassing Harpenden’s total and ended the innings on 130-9.