Harpenden record another win
NICK Lamb (71 in 102 balls) was in prime form for Harpenden 1st XI against Hemel Hempstead on Harpenden Common as they won a second successive league match by chasing down 250 to win by seven wickets. Captain Ben Frazer could not have been more pleased a
NICK Lamb (71 in 102 balls) was in prime form for Harpenden 1st XI against Hemel Hempstead on Harpenden Common as they won a second successive league match by chasing down 250 to win by seven wickets.
Captain Ben Frazer could not have been more pleased and said: "Our chase was perfect and will give us a lot of confidence knowing we got to 250-3 with plenty of batting to come."
The Harpenden batting line up is fast becoming an excellent blend of the new in Lamb, pictured right, and Gregg Cooper (57 in 63 balls), the young being Will Bates (54no in 56) and the established in former 1st XI captain Mike Howard (28no in 24).
Factor in the overseas player Brad Moses (27 in 50) who scored his first century for the club last Sunday and Frazer who did not make it to the middle this week and Harpenden certainly fancy their chances with the bat this year.
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Chasing 250 still requires some Harpenden common sense and this means building solid partnerships. Posting stands of 74 for the 1st wicket, 48 for the second, 74 again for the third and an unbroken 56 for the fourth was impressive and showed a confident batting line up with players ready to take on responsibility.
Upon fielding first Frazer (3-65) and Moses (3-61) did the most damage with the ball but tribute should also be paid to Chris Roe and Richard Darwin whose figures did not do them any sort of justice on the day as both will bowl worse for greater reward on other occasions.
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The morning session arguably went Hemel Hempstead's way as they lunched on 130-2 off 34 overs but 174-2 soon became 220-7 as Harpenden demonstrated improved desire and determination after the break with Moses ending up with a run out and two catches for a fine day's work.
At one stage it was looking as though Harpenden might be able to keep Hemel down to around 235 which would have been a very gettable target on the fast scoring Common but in the end even 250 proved to be well within Harpenden's range and skipper Frazer is well satisfied with a very promising start to the league campaign.
For Harpenden second XI there were a few key changes in personnel this week that caused some disruption to a team finding their feet in a higher division this year. 120 all out in 52.5 overs against Flitwick was a struggle with only the Marks brothers of Fordham (24), Lowden (22) and Hoefield (29) getting scores.
Jason Twist (3-21) was the most successful bowler for Flitwick whilst in their reply Peter Makower (2-45) managed a couple of wickets for Harpenden as they tried to defend a low total. Captain David Whiteley was left to rue the odd dropped catch and the fact that another 20-30 runs may have made the match climax very interesting as Flitwick lost five wickets in their reply before reaching the target.
Simon Wade was delighted as his third XI side, affected by call-ups, were able to overhaul Chipperfield and Clarendon CC's 219-6 with an exciting chase going down to the very last over.