Harpenden caught out by batting blast
HCPL Division Two East Harpenden 216-9 (60.0) Sawbridgeworth 219-7 (49.4) HARPENDEN crashed to a disappointing defeat as Sawbridgeworth hit out to win in dramatic circumstances in the HCPL Division Two East on Saturday. Sawbridgeworth won the toss
HCPL Division Two East
Harpenden 216-9 (60.0) Sawbridgeworth 219-7 (49.4)
HARPENDEN crashed to a disappointing defeat as Sawbridgeworth hit out to win in dramatic circumstances in the HCPL Division Two East on Saturday.
Sawbridgeworth won the toss and asked visitors Harpenden to bat first. Opener Mark Fordham scored 24 and number three Mike Howard hit 25 but Harpenden fell to 65-3.
Overseas star Sulaman Qadir, aged 22, and Oliver Tuck put together a fine partnership of 49 before Tuck (14) was dismissed. The excellent Qadir, son of Pakistan legend Abdul, continued on to reach 52 off 58 balls before he was caught. The responsibility then fell on youngster Chris Bennett-Baggs who fired a superbly crafted 54 off 63 balls with six fours and three sixes as Harpenden posted 216-9 off their 60 overs. First team manager Younis Ahmed, the former Pakistan Test player praised the contributions from Qadir and Bennett-Baggs. He said: "Sulaman Qadir builds his innings. He fights to stay there and manages the risk and once he is in and can see what is going on, he starts to play. Once our top order batsmen start to do that we will get somewhere.
"Chris really smashed it. He is very mature for his age and has a lot of potential. He loves smashing the ball and we need to work on his defence. He plays on the front foot and goes through the shot to really smack it. He played some very fine shots. We will work on his batting and his wicket keeping. He has a good attitude and wants to learn. He is a big prospect."
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In reply, Harpenden took a stranglehold on the match with bowler Mark Mason striking out four of the top six batsmen. Sawbo collapsed to 117-6 off 35.2 overs with Qadir and the excellent John Kerley also picking up a wicket each. Harpenden had victory in their grasp but they let it slip as W. Jones and Andrew Richardson clubbed 96 for the seventh wicket in just 83 balls. They capitalised on Harpenden's failure to protect the short boundary and secured an amazing victory on 219-7 with two balls to spare. Ahmed was stunned by the outcome. He said: "We didn't have a fielder on the boundary protecting it. I have never seen anything like it. They basically realised they could not get 100 runs in that short space of time and they started to smack it around. Their tall big fellow came in and hit 39 when he had faced about 12 or 13 balls. He hit massive sixes and then he realised he could get them close to the total. He was very powerful and was hitting proper shots, not slogs. He was smashing it straight off the middle of the bat and it was going out of the ground."
Harpenden face Stevenage on Saturday on the Common in what promises to be another thrilling clash.
In Division Three of the Saracens Herts League, Harpenden II took on Ickleford on the Common on Saturday.
Ickleford were bowled out for 163 after winning the toss and deciding to bat. Joe Peck picked up 5-37 off 10.4 overs for Harpenden and Peter Makower took 3-29 off 16 overs with Jake Pankhurst claiming the other wicket.
In reply, Harpenden II started well with openers Mick Brookes and David Keenleyside putting on 76 for the first wicket before Brookes was caught on 25. Keenleyside continued on to score 77 and Harpenden took the victory with Mark Fettes (41 not out) and skipper David Whiteley (13 not out) guiding them home on 167-3 off 37.5 overs.