Harpenden beat Saints in local derby
A GRITTY 75 not out from Nick Lamb and a seven wicket haul from captain Ben Frazer helped Harpenden to their fourth win from four games against a spirited St Albans side. St Albans were unbeaten in the league going into the game while Harpenden had a 100
A GRITTY 75 not out from Nick Lamb and a seven wicket haul from captain Ben Frazer helped Harpenden to their fourth win from four games against a spirited St Albans side.
St Albans were unbeaten in the league going into the game while Harpenden had a 100 per cent record with one of the sides certain to lose their record. Saints skipper Martin Jones won the toss and elected to bat.
With the sun beating down on Clarence Park the visitors made an early breakthrough with Chris Roe bowling Matt Howeson for one.
The home side steadied the ship and opener Jim Chaudry and Matthew Barnes put on 41 for the second wicket.
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Barnes (22) was next to go with the score on 45 as youngster David Keenleyside held onto one off the bowling of Lamb. Things got even worse for the Saints who added just one run to the scoreboard before Kyle Sharp (one) was given out lbw to Frazer.
It was the start of a purple patch for Frazer who had his opposite number Jones removed for 14 with Mike Howard taking the catch to leave St Albans on 83-4.
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That soon became 86-5 with opener Chaudry trapped lbw by Frazer for a hard fought 41 and when the Harpenden captain bowled Michael Goodfellow for two St Albans looked in real trouble on 87-6.
The visitors must have fancied their chances of bowling the Saints out for less than 100 but the tail end had other ideas.
Ben Ramsay and Kris Cummins removed the shackles and started to take the attack to the Harpenden bowlers as St Albans reached three figures.
Cummins was eventually bowled by Frazer for seven and Ramsay (14) was caught playing one shot too many stumped by Chris Bennett-Baggs off the bowling of Frazer.
That didn't deter Richard O'Toole or Ethan Fogarty (11*) who found the boundary on a couple of occasions as the Saints looked to build a competitive total.
O'Toole had made an eye catching 16 before he skied one to Frazer down at cow corner to give Lamb his second wicket.
Haris Mehboob added one to the scoreboard but he became Frazer's seventh victim when he was well caught by a diving Bennett-Baggs as St Albans' innings came to an end on 140.
The score looked well within Harpenden's reach especially in the form that they are in but early wickets showed that the home side were in no mood to lose their unbeaten record.
Brad Moses edged O'Toole to wicket-keeper Fogarty for one and in-form batsmen Gregg Cooper fell to the same bowler, caught at slip by Chaudry for three as Harpenden wobbled on 34-2.
Crucially for the Saints though they were unable to hold onto a catch after Lamb had nicked one behind early on and the 23-year-old made the most of his reprieve.
Will Bates had scored four before he became O'Toole's third victim in a superb spell, again caught by Fogarty.
Lamb and Mike Howard dug in and ensured the visitors lost no more wickets before tea but the Saints bowlers came out after the interval looking refreshed.
Haris Mehboob came into the attack and caused Howard all sorts of problems with his pace and the Saints bowler eventually wore Howard down having him caught behind by Fogarty for 17.
The Saints had their tails up now with Harpenden on 68-4 but Lamb and teenager Keenleyside batted exceptionally under immense pressure.
Lamb pushed past 50 and some super running between the wicket helped Harpenden recover.
Keenleyside batted with maturity that belied his tender years as he and Lamb put on 64 for the fifth wicket.
The youngster was eventually removed for 27 when he top-edged a Ramsay delivery to Cummins much to the batsmen's annoyance but his innings was of huge importance and had put Harpenden on the verge of victory.
Bennett-Baggs got in on the act adding five to the scoreboard but it was left to Lamb to hit the winning runs and maintain Harpenden's impressive start to the season.
For match reaction from St Albans captain Martin Jones and Harpenden duo Ben Frazer and Nick Lamb see this Thursday's Herts Advertiser.