Harpenden get their season off to a flyer

PUBLISHED: 12:37 14 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:07 06 May 2010

Chris Arnold fires one in during Harp’s opening day win over North Mymms.

Chris Arnold fires one in during Harp’s opening day win over North Mymms.

Home Counties Premier League Division Two (East) Harpenden (101-4) beat North Mymms (100) by six wickets THE Harpenden director of cricket, David Doyle, was full of praise for his first XI team as Harpenden put on a commanding performance away against

Home Counties Premier League Division Two (East)

Harpenden (101-4) beat North Mymms (100) by six wickets

THE Harpenden director of cricket, David Doyle, was full of praise for his first XI team as Harpenden put on a commanding performance away against North Mymms on Saturday. Having bowled North Mymms out for 100 in 36.1 overs there was only thought to be one way to achieve an early league success. Doyle said after the match: "We fielded fantastically well and held our catches. Fraze employed exactly the right tactics to 'pinch hit' and he got us off to an absolute flier. The Mymms spinners bowled well but Gregg Cooper's innings was one of great character. Will Bates also showed great potential as a young player who found himself in a pressure situation and he played very well."

In a somewhat unaccustomed position as opener things might have been different had Frazer (41 off 29 balls) been held in the slips from the second ball that he received but after that chance had gone the result was never in great doubt. Frazer's pinch-hitting was supplemented with some punch from Cooper (14) and Bates (25 n.o.) as they were on hand to ensure that there were no dramas towards the end and Harpenden could be extremely pleased with a very professional performance.

Earlier in the day the bowlers had all given a good account of themselves with Chris Arnold (1-22) and Chris Roe (1-11) bowling tightly before the flight and guile of Frazer (4-22), Bates (2-28) and Brad Moses (2-1) wrapped things up on a pitch that turned from the minute that the spinners were introduced. North Mymms had started well enough but 29-0 soon became 66-6 and from that devilishly difficult position Harpenden were able to maintain the necessary pressure to keep their target well under control.

l Harpenden II shared a pair of fine individual centuries between themselves and Welwyn Garden City II in the league fixture on Harpenden Common. WGC posted a score of 215-9 in 53 overs thanks to an innings of genuine pedigree from Stuart Page (127 in 133 balls) but Tony Hooper (133 in 128 balls) replied with a hugely impressive knock of his own. Harpenden were well pleased to keep WGC to what was thought to be a below par total on a very true if slow pitch especially after losing wicket-keeper Graeme Sprowson to a finger injury not long after he had picked up a sharp leg-side stumping off the ever reliable John Kerley (21-5-75-3). With Peter Makower (17-4-44-3) wheeling away from the pavilion end and displaying all his years of experience the stage was set for a good run chase.

Harpenden IIs don't experiment much with their opening partnership as it contains the Rothamsted Research Centre scientist Tony Hooper who now has 188 runs in his two league outings so far. Hooper is a Cambridge Blue with a first class hundred to his credit and who played in the same University team as Mike Atherton in the late 1980's. It was Hooper's first century for the club and when asked how it felt he said with a big grin "I've spent four years at the club trying to get to the top of the order!"

With Mick Brookes (26) and skipper David Whiteley (25 n.o.) providing support it was just a shame that Hooper was out shortly before the match was won but he was applauded all the way from the wicket.

l For the 3rd XI Simon Wade (51) and Laurie Jones (51) scored most of the necessary runs as Radlett 3rd XI were overcome with some ease after they stuttered to a disappointing total of 137 featuring three smart run outs.


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