Harpenden claim dramatic win as rain washes out rest of Premier ties
PUBLISHED: 10:46 03 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 August 2017
Danny Loo Photography 2017
The weather was on Harpenden’s side on Saturday as they raced against time in order to complete an unlikely victory over Luton Town and Indians on The Common.
It was the only game in the Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League Premier Division to beat the rain and reach a conclusion, moving Harpenden within four points of the play-offs.
The game didn’t start until after lunch and Luton decided to bat first.
This decision seemed to be the wrong one as they struggled to 6-2 with Billy May and George Garrett removing the openers with some patient bowling.
Once the foundations were laid skipper Ben Frazer and experienced left-arm spinner Richard Darwin made full use of the friendly conditions, taking the remaining eight wickets.
Frazer showed his class claiming 6-20, moving his wicket tally for the year onto 33.
With swift overs and good catches, Harpenden dismissed the visitors for 87 but from then on it became a race against time as they chased a result before the forecast deluge.
The consensus was that the rain would arrive around 5pm meaning that the batters had about 50 minutes to get the job done.
With that in mind, the openers went on the offensive from the off.
Greg Cooper bashed 17 off 14 balls whilst Ben Frazer hit a pair of sixes on his way to 28 off 19 balls.
Things were looking good even though the weather didn’t.
However, alarm bells began to ring when the Luton Town overseas Kunal Gawand dislodged Harpy’s middle order, taking a hat-trick and bowling the visitors back into the game as Harpenden found themselves at 51-5.
But up stepped Ben Clements (16 off 23) and Alex Axon (16 off 15) who steered the side home taking Harpenden to their fifth win of the season.
They go to Hertford on Saturday.
Two other Harpenden teams beat the weather on their way to victories.
The 3rds carried on their dominant form in Division Four B, beating Northwood by nine wickets, with Arthur Garrett getting his second league fivefer at the age of 15.
Idris Hussain also claimed five wickets as the 5ths beat Flamstead 2nds by 70 runs to stay top of Division 10B.