Harpenden lose out to Oxford

HARPENDEN fell to a disappointing defeat to bottom-of-the-table Oxford on Saturday in Division One of the Home Counties League.

Nick Lamb won the toss and chose to bowl on a surprisingly dry pitch and a quick outfield. With Joe Peck unavailable through injury, James Absalom opened the bowling with Rohan Pancharatnam making his first-team debut, and the latter struck first with a wicket in his second over.

Absalom then took two more and at lunch the match looked evenly poised with Oxford on 85-3.

The bowlers had been unsuccessful for 19 overs, but after the interval it took Lamb and Simon White only 19 more overs to bring about a collapse which saw Oxford dismissed for 111.

Lamb returned the best figures of 4-22 from 16.4 overs, and White took 3-28 from 15 overs.

Pancharatnam provided a second highlight with an excellent running, tumbling catch wide of mid-on off White’s bowling.

Harpenden had 60 overs to reach the modest total, and few would have gambled on what was to follow.

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After losing the first wicket with the score on five, Gregg Cooper and Chris Warn made steady if unspectacular progress before Cooper was bowled by Shamilal Mendis for 18.

Regrettably for Harpenden this turned out to be their top score, and the first of five wickets for Mendis for only 15 runs.

Wickets tumbled to some bad running and poor strokes as the innings disintegrated to 56-8.

The tail-enders did keep some hope alive by adding another 24, led by Pancharatnam with a brave 13 runs to round off a commendable debut, but Harpenden were all out within 34 overs for 90 and with only five points to show for their day’s work.

Harpenden CC will be hosting The Cricket Olympics Summer Camp for six to 13-year-olds during the weeks commencing August 6 and 13.

Overseen by Nick Lamb it promises to be an excellent programme. For more details contact Richard Darwin via email rdcricket@hotmail.co.uk.