Gallery: Knocks from Latham, Blacktopp and Galloway help Harpenden win
- Credit: Archant
Harpenden took advantage of a Radlett slip-up to close in on the top two in the Saracens Herts Premier Division with a 139-run win over Letchworth Garden City.
With Radlett going down spectacularly to Hemel Hempstead, Nick Lamb’s side moved within 11 points of second place thanks to a fantastic batting display from James Latham, Dan Blacktopp and Scott Galloway.
Having been put into bat, Harpenden’s innings got off to a terrible start as Ben Frazer, the architect of most of the team’s success this season, was back in the pavilion for 12. His score also dropped him to second in the division’s run scoring table, four behind North Mymm’s Nesan Jayaratnam.
Gregg Cooper (5) followed Frazer back to the clubhouse in the seventh over as Harpenden struggled to 20-2.
With their talisman out, Harpenden needed someone else to step up. Blacktopp and Latham did just that. The pair put on 98 runs for the third wicket, taking to the score to 118, before Blacktopp was trapped LBW for 52.
Jake Pankhurst added a 26-ball 17 before he edged behind, bringing Galloway to the crease.
Latham scored 28 in a 56-run partnership with Galloway to take the score to 200. His innings, which featured 10 fours and a six, was eventually ended for 85 when he was run-out by Navin Seneviratne.
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Will Jones was out for a duck – he redeemed himself in Sunday’s T20 win over LGC with a 56-ball 113 – but Scott Galloway anchored the tail end, finishing unbeaten on 76, as Harpenden posted 285-8 off 60 overs.
Letchworth’s run chase got off to the worst possible start as they lost three wickets inside two overs without posting a single run. Seneviratne was caught by Frazer off the first ball of the innings, bowled by Jones, and Tom Simmons and Taylor Browne were dismissed by consecutive Simon White deliveries to end the second over.
Dave Albon (22) and Will Bates (12) steered LGC away from danger with a 29-run effort for the fourth wicket. The partnership was broken as Jones and Frazer combined again to remove Albon.
After his failing to hit a century for the first time in three weeks, Frazer stamped his impact with the ball instead, removing Bates for the first of his four-wicket haul. Dan Wightman then trapped Tim Graham LBW for 27 to reduce Letchworth to 65-6.
The seventh-wicket pairing of Sam Booth and Will Aitkenhead resisted the bowling attack and added 65 runs, which took the hosts to 130-6.
However, the innings unravelled in the next 10 overs as first Aitkenhead (26) was caught by Wightman off Frazer, followed by Darren Curry (1) two overs later.
Frazer finally ended Booth’s stand on 45 and the honour of taking the final wicket fell to Jones, who clean bowled Dominic Simmons (2) as Letchworth bowed out for 146.