Harpenden head to play-offs as number one after topping the table

Andrew Neal starred as Harpenden ended the regular season at the top of the Herts Cricket League Premier Division.

Andrew Neal starred as Harpenden ended the regular season at the top of the Herts Cricket League Premier Division. - Credit: KARYN HADDON

Harpenden head into the Herts Cricket League play-offs on top of the world after a dramatic final day of the regular season.

They beat West Herts by 13 runs to jump to the top of the table and clinch home advantage in the semi-final, where they will play Hertford.

Leaders at the start of the day were Radlett whose six-wicket loss at Totteridge Millhillians not only dropped them below Harps but also their hosts, meaning they will be back at Totteridge Green on Saturday.

Harpenden though will feel like they are the team to beat after fighting to their success at home.

Batting first they were all out for 180 to the fourth ball of the final one of their 50 overs but there was steady run-building throughout their innings.

The top-scorer was Andrew Neal with 35 although 31 for Danyaal Khalid, Arthur Garrett's 28 and 25 for opener James Latham certainly helped.

And they got off to a pretty perfect start in the reply too, taking the first three wickets for the loss of just 17 runs.

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But West Herts had something to play for too at the other end of the table and after getting to 72-6, they staged a determined fight.

Skipper Bill Gage and Misem Zaidi put together a partnership of 76 and by the time they were both out, Gage for 31 and Zaidi for 50, West Herts needed just 24 runs with five overs left and two wickets in hand.

But Zaid Kureshi and William Downes gave them nothing and it left them needing 16 off the last set of six which ultimately was too much.

Neal was also the top bowler with 4-37.

West Herts will also be in action on Saturday as they play Old Owens with the winner claiming a place in the Premier League for next year.

Ben Moffatt was the top man with the bat Radlett, scoring 44, but his team ended all out for 112, having been struggling from the off at 7-2.

Two wickets for Jaahid Ali was the best they could get in reply but Totteridge cruised to victory after the first ball of the second half of the innings.

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