Harpenden suffer first defeat of the season

HCPL Division One

Harpenden 213-9 (66 overs)

High Wycombe 214-2 (45.4 overs)

HARPENDEN fell to their first defeat of the season as High Wycombe enjoyed an eight-wicket victory on Saturday.

Expectations were running high for a great contest as last year’s league champions arrived at the Common to take on an unbeaten home side.

Harpenden lost the toss and were asked to bat on a wicket that still had some moisture in it from the unexpected overnight rain against an attack that were hoping to see some swing from the new ball.

In the event the home side coped admirably for the first hour-and-a-half and at 80-1 off 20 overs looked set for a big score.

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The introduction of High Wycombe’s two spinners slowed the scoring rate and allowed the visitors to apply some pressure.

An excellent delivery saw Chris Warn stumped for 32 but with Greg Cooper reaching an excellent 50 Harpenden approached lunch with some confidence until just before the break a leading edge resulted in Cooper’s dismissal.

Wickets fell regularly after the break and it was left to skipper Nick Lamb to keep the scoreboard ticking over with an excellent half-century, in the circumstances one of the best seen on the common for a while.

With Luke Beaven taking 5-52 from 22 overs the innings closed on nine down after the allotted 66 overs.

However, 213-9 did not seem to be enough and so it proved as a powerful Wycombe batting line up cruised to victory for the loss of only two wickets with left handed opener Matt Eyles scoring an excellent 106 not out.

On Saturday, Harpenden are scheduled to travel to take on Potters Bar.

n THE 2nd XI travelled to Rickmansworth with hope high after last week’s victory and bowling first restricted the home side to 192-9 with Mike Howard being the pick of the bowlers taking 3-37 off 14 overs.

In reply Harpenden looked set fair at 57-1, however the introduction of Callum Cusack, who took 6-45, saw a dramatic decline in fortunes for the batting side who were disappointingly all out for 103.