Gallery: Harpenden back in the hunt for top spot; Frazer takes seven wickets

PUBLISHED: 10:13 04 August 2014

Daniel Blacktopp looks to get a Paul McGee ball away

Daniel Blacktopp looks to get a Paul McGee ball away

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Harpenden are well and truly back in the hunt for top spot in the Saracens Herts Premier Division following a stunning performance in Saturday’s 142-run win over Potters Bar.

Five batsmen surpassed 30 runs with two of them, Dan Blacktopp and James Latham, pushing on to score half-centuries as Harpenden scored 292 in 60 overs. Ben Frazer, now the division’s top bowler, then took seven wickets as Bar were bowled out for 150.

The 30 points won, coupled with leaders Welwyn Garden City drawing and Radlett losing, mean Harpenden are now just 23 points off top spot.

Following last week’s dismal batting display, in which Radlett bowled them out for 129, Nick Lamb opted to bat first so his team could make amends. And make amends they did as Lamb and Blacktopp put on 95 for the second wicket.

In just over an hour in the middle, Blacktopp, in at three after Gregg Cooper was caught for six, scored nine fours on his way to a 68-ball 53 before he was run out by a direct hit.

At the other end, Lamb, who moved up the order to open with Cooper, fell three runs shy of a half-century as he guided Harpenden to 120-3.

Frazer, who has been out of the runs recently, scored a quick 38 off 42 balls, four of which were dispatched to the boundary and one sent flying over it.

The innings of the day, however, came from Latham. The right hander anchored the middle and tail end of the line-up with an unbeaten 80 that came off 84 runs.

Together with Will Jones’ characteristic blast of 34 off 35 balls, the pair put on a fifth-wicket stand of 60, Latham helped Harpenden to their second highest total of the season.

Lamb gave the new ball to seamers Jones and Simon White but they were punished by Bar’s openers, giving up over four runs an over, which rose to as much as six, so he changed things up and brought in Frazer and Wightman.

The move paid immediate dividends as Frazer took a wicket with his fourth ball, beating Liam Gough (19), and seven overs later Wightman (1-48) had his opening partner, Rahul Panta (42), caught by Blacktopp.

Bar began losing regular wickets as their batsmen either subsided for single figures or failed to push on from good starts.

Frazer accounted for the next four wickets before Lamb got in on the act with a brace in seven balls. At 143-8, Frazer took wickets in his next two overs to conclude Bar’s innings and finish with figures of 7-49 and put Harpenden back in play for top spot in the standings.


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