Harpy's unbeaten run over

HCPL Division Two (East) Harpenden 163 lost to Hertford 249-5 by 86 runs HARPENDEN lost their unbeaten league record as basement side Hertford recorded their first win of the season on Harpenden Common. The day had started well for the home side who won t

HCPL Division Two (East)

Harpenden 163 lost to Hertford 249-5 by 86 runs

HARPENDEN lost their unbeaten league record as basement side Hertford recorded their first win of the season on Harpenden Common.

The day had started well for the home side who won the toss and asked Hertford to bat first.


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Young Hertford opener Elliot King survived an early edge through the slips to help put on 71 for the first wicket on a pitch that looked friendly to the batsmen before King gave Gregg Cooper an easy catch off the bowling of Bradley Moses.

Tom Bancroft (59) and Chris Box (48*) looked in impressive form for Hertford but it was the innings of Cliff Cavener who struck 89 not out from just 94-balls that ultimately decided the game as Hertford notched 249-5 from their 60 overs.

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Captain Ben Frazer and Bradley Moses both took two wickets apiece with Chris Roe recording a super run-out to account for the other wicket.

Unfortunately for Harpenden, Hertford were in no mood to roll over.

Despite the visitors bowling a succession of wides and no-balls, they were picking up wickets at regular intervals. Nick Lamb (11), Adam Winchester (8) and Moses (16) had all fallen before there was 100 on the board.

Frazer and Chris Bennett-Baggs dug in and saw the team through to tea.

However, to both batsmen's disgust they fell cheaply after tea, with Bennett-Baggs (14) falling first with Frazer (53) following closely behind.

Barney Francis (14), Ollie Tuck (1) and Cooper (16) all offered some resistance but the wily left-arm spin of Richard Cordingley did for Francis and Tuck before Box removed Cooper, his first of three tail-end wickets that wrapped up an 86-run win for the visitors.

Harpenden director of cricket, David Doyle, said afterwards: "We can't understand why Hertford would be bottom of the league when they played like they did today.

"They put on a really impressive performance. We allowed them to get probably 30-40 runs too many and in our reply our shot selection was very poor.

"We are naturally very disappointed but this is a good wake up call for us. Lamby got the only ball that did anything all day but we have absolutely no excuses and congratulate Hertford as they outplayed us."

HARPENDEN II followed their win against Reed CC a week ago with a stunning 163 run victory over Preston CC after bundling out their opponents for just 53 in 23.1 overs. The win was as a result of three outstanding personal performances from Mark Fettes (a quite brilliant 79* off 97 balls), Graeme Sprowson (77 off 143 balls and 5 dismissals as wicket-keeper) and Justin Savio (9-3-34-4). With a parched and lightning fast outfield but a difficult looking pitch Preston asked Harpenden to bat first and scoring early on proved difficult with some unpredictable bounce and a very committed Preston fielding unit. It was Sprowson and Fettes who turned the game in Harpenden's favour with a partnership of 129 for the fourth wicket that broke Preston's resistance after they had exerted some early control with the ball. Fettes's innings was of the highest class as he scored at not far short of a run-a-ball on a dry, awkward track with some exquisite timing that even Roger Federer would have been proud of. Sprowson dropped the heaviest of anchors at the other end and the score mounted at an increasing rate before the declaration was made at 216-5 off 51.5 overs.

In the reply Aussie fast bowler Justin Savio produced an opening spell of searing pace and immense hostility as he bounced the Preston batting line up before reaping the rewards as one after another of the top order failed to get in to line as they tried to fend him away. Preston were shell-shocked to be 12-4 with the match all but looking over with Savio having taken 3-7 off his first four overs. Joe Peck (7-3-10-2), John Kerley (6.1-3-7-3) and Alex Randall (1-1-0-1) also registered in the scorebook as Sprowson helped himself to three catches and two stumpings with a good day behind the timbers.

A mouth-watering clash with Radlett II's look like one of the matches of the upcoming weekend as coach Alan Garofall said: "I couldn't be more pleased with the boys as this was pretty much a perfect performance from us in all three disciplines of the game".

HARPENDEN III were left to regret a run chase that went awry as they faced Potton Town's first innings total of 201 all out off 50 overs.

After a creditable effort from young bowlers James Absolom (18-2-46-2) and particularly Paul Wadhams (17-1-52-5) it was left to the batsmen to see the team home but with a number of enforced selection changes only Lawrence Jones (41 off 56), Ed Brown (22 off 27) and Mark Fordham (21 off 60) got starts on a day when more was needed. A reasonable platform was established at 82-3 off 27 overs but this quickly became 136-8 from 40 and from this point Potton Town were able to close out the match to win by 45 runs.

l Harpenden IV were also left to rue a second innings gone wrong as they lost by 24 runs to Hatfield II chasing a target of 160.

Rohan Pancharatnam (13-4-40-4) had an excellent day opening the bowling and with support from the ever reliable Neil Mackey (6-2-8-2) but the batting was another matter.

Only Duncan Gilson (22) made much of an impression on a poor day with the willow for Mark Bashford's men.

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