Gallery: Owais Shah-led Welwyn held by Harpenden

Will Jones bowls for Harpenden, celebrating bowling Louis Champion of WGC

Will Jones bowls for Harpenden, celebrating bowling Louis Champion of WGC - Credit: Archant

Harpenden held an Owais Shah-led Welwyn Garden City side to a draw in the Saracens Herts Premier Division on Saturday.

The former Essex and England batsman scored 93 before he was removed by Harpenden’s own danger man, Ben Frazer, as WGC set a target of 270 for victory, a total the visitor’s failed to chase down and instead frustrated the division leaders by batting out for a draw.

Chasing their seventh win in eight games, WGC skipper Jamie Hewitt elected to bowl first, a decision he would individually rue after facing two balls from Will Jones before edging the third behind to Alex Spencer.

Jamie Southgate joined Louis Champion but the bowling of Jones and Simon White kept runs to a minimum. That was until Shah strode out to replace Champion (8) in the 11th over after Jones had removed his stumps.

The 35-year-old put on 26 runs in a third-wicket stand of 43 that was brought to an end by Jones (3-45), who clean bowled Southgate for 31.

At 3-68, Shah found a partner to attack the bowling in Alex Chalker. The duo put on a 97-run partnership with Chalker doing the majority of the heavy lifting in a 72-ball 63.

Shah, on 58, failed to craft similar partnerships with Andrew Nolan (4) and Scott Walter (41) before he was caught and bowled by Frazer.

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Still, in Walter and James Scott (21), WGC found runs down the order and were able to set a target of 269-8 in 60 overs.

Harpenden’s reply got off to a disastrous start as Gregg Cooper (4) was caught in the second over but, in Frazer and James Latham, Harpenden found a partnership to push them over the half-century mark.

The pairing was ended when Hewitt took his second catch to dismiss Latham and then Dan Blacktopp, playing his first game of the season for the first team, followed three overs later having scored six runs.

Shah then made his mark in the field, catching Frazer, who was one away from his half-century, to leave Harpenden 83-4.

Needing someone to step to the fore, Harpenden’s middle order shouldered the responsibility of getting a result. Starting with Jake Pankhurst (23), Scott Galloway (21), White and Jones (39) – his highest score in the division this season – propelled Harpenden to 193-7 and move them within three overs of a draw.

Spencer (2*) and Nick Lamb saw off the last few overs as Harpenden earned 15 points.