Harpenden keep up fine start to the season

HARPENDEN moved into second place in HCPL Division One with a thrilling victory away to newly-promoted Burnham.

Batting first on a dry surface against an excellent all-spin attack Harpenden lost early wickets with some decisions unluckily going against them.

Despite the mayhem at the other end the redoubtable Simon White, thriving in his new role as opener, held the innings together and helped by James Latham the side reached 72-4 from 42 overs at lunch.

After lunch the scoring rate accelerated with White (84 not out) to the fore, ably supported by Alex Randall (18 not out)Harpenden’s innings closed having used the full 66 overs on 166-7 a total the looked 20 runs short.

Aftab Khan, Burnham’s pro, finished with figures of 33-11-74-5.

The home side began aggressively if somewhat recklessly and lost their first three wickets with only 30 on the board.

The middle order was more circumspect taking the score to 150-7 with 14 overs remaining and in sight of victory.

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Skipper Nick Lamb decided to bring back opening bowler Joe Peck for one last throw of the dice and what a throw it was, Peck taking the last three wickets in six balls to claim match figures of 5-22. Ben Frazer picked up three wickets from his 20 overs bowling unchanged to keep the home side in check.

n Harpenden 2nd XI recorded their first win of the league season when they defeated Bishop’s Stortford 2nd’s by 75 runs. On being asked to bat Harpenden cruised to 249-3 and declared on 50 overs with excellent half-centuries from Dave Whitely, Barney Francis and Mike Howard.

Skipper Darwin said: “We had a side out which better reflects the strength we have at the club and the result clearly showed that. It was a professional performance with the bat from all five players who got to the crease.

“Chris Roe was outstanding on the day to take a five-wicket haul as a seamer on such a batsman-friendly surface. Hopefully we can add to the side with players coming back from university and really push on from here.”