Harpenden fail to finish off Bar after Lamb and Blacktopp put them on top

Dan Blacktopp hits one straight back to Walallawita but he cannot take the catch

Dan Blacktopp hits one straight back to Walallawita but he cannot take the catch - Credit: Archant

Harpenden were forced to settle for a draw with Potters Bar in the Saracens Herts Premier Division despite brilliant knocks from captain Nick Lamb and Dan Blacktopp.

Blacktopp followed up an uncharacteristic eight against Welwyn Garden City last week with his third century of the season. Harpenden’s leading run scorer on the year carried his bat for 108 after scoring 15 boundaries, including a maximum.

Lamb fell four runs shy of his second ton of the season after picking out Usman Sahar in the field. Lamb hit 19 fours on his way to 96 off 126 balls as the innings closed on 284-6. It was his highest score since May 30 when he hit an unbeaten 114 against Letchworth Garden City.

Despite scoring their second highest total when batting first, they didn’t earn the win. Stubborn batting from Middlesex 2s player George Scott and Don Manuwelge meant Harpenden didn’t take the 10 wickets required and had to settle for a draw.

After opting to bat, Lamb was the driving force at the top of the order, scoring 62 in an 88-run partnership with fellow opener Gregg Cooper, who walked for 16 after having his stumps rearranged by Thilan Walallawita.

Blacktopp and Lamb pushed the run rate to nearly four an over for 83 minutes as they built a decent score.

Lamb fell to Walallawita and Ben Frazer went for four in the spinner’s next over, the 42nd, as Harpenden reached 176-3.

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Will Jones, who has been kept quiet for most of the year, blasted 25 off 29 balls, his second highest score of the season, in a run-a-ball 66 pairing with Blacktopp before he was out, caught by George Scott off Nick McLachlan.

The innings subsided soon after but Bar were left with their highest chase of the season - 14 more than their successful attempt against Hemel Hempstead on June 27.

Lamb put Harpenden in control with the final ball of the second over as Nick McLachlan was caught by Simon White for four. He then had Harrison Palmer trapped LBW as Bar stumbled to 22-2.

The wickets dried up thereafter as George Scott and James Scott frustrated the bowling attack. Their third wicket stand added 57 runs to the total before George was pinned in front by Frazer for 40.

The rest of the innings was all about Manuwelge as he scythed the field for 13 fours and two sixes on his way to 79 off 90 balls. His innings saw Bar earn a share of the points, which looked unlikely after Blacktopp and Lamb had give Harpenden the impetus.