Harpenden held to frustrating stalemate

Home Counties Premier Division One

Henley 208-9

Harpenden 191-6

Match drawn

HARPENDEN hosted Henley CC the day after a huge storm had left the common looking more like a paddy field than a cricket field and it is great credit to the groundsman, David Doyle, that the pitch was ready for an 11am start.

On winning the toss skipper Nick Lamb decided to have a bowl and with Ben Frazer (6-65) discovering his form with the ball and Lamb (2-61) also impressive Henley stuttered to 136-6 from 56 overs. The tail wagged during the last 10 overs enabling the visitors to reach 208-9. Skipper Lamb commented: “Our fielding was not up to its normal high standard, to drop six catches throughout their innings meant they probably scored 50 runs more than they should.”

In reply, Harpenden found the going equally tough against the new ball pairing of Afridi and Klein and at 45-3 Frazer and Lamb came together to rebuild the innings. With 130 needed from 30 overs and both playing well rain intervened cutting in half the number of overs remaining.

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Undaunted Frazer played one of those innings that every so often lights the dullest of evenings scoring 95 from 75 balls until both he and Lamb (37) were out with 30 required from three overs and the home team had to settle for a draw finishing on 191-6 from 40 overs.

Harpenden IIs travelled to local rivals Old Albanians and ended up victors in a thrilling match scoring one run off the last ball of the game to record a hard fought win. A steady start by the home side saw them reach 73 without loss, however skipper Darwin (5-25) and Matt Cooper (3-58) supported by a much better fielding performance saw OA’s bowled out for 126 with the pick of their batsmen being Chris Dobson (45).

In reply, Harpenden struggled to 45-4 against the opening spin attack of Ali and Rehman at which stage the new ball was taken and the middle order of Tuck, Wade and Randall batted superbly to see the visitors home.

? Harpenden CC will be hosting The Cricket Olympics Summer Camp for 6 to 13-year-olds during the weeks commencing August 6. Overseen by Nick Lamb it promises to be an excellent programme. For more details contact Richard Darwin via email rdcricket@hotmail.co.uk