Lamb and Blacktopp see Harpenden past WGC

Simon White bowls for Harpenden

Simon White bowls for Harpenden - Credit: Archant

A century stand between Nick Lamb and Dan Blacktopp earned Harpenden an eight-wicket win over Welwyn Garden City at Digswell Park on Saturday.

Lamb scored 68 and Blacktopp was unbeaten for 67 as they pair put 139 runs on the board in a second-wicket stand that saw WGC’s 161 erased in just over two hours.

The captain’s stumps were rearranged by Scott Walter (2-23) before Ben Frazer blasted 21 runs to see Harpenden to their second victory of the Saracens Herts Premier Division season.

WGC, last season’s semi-finalists, started the day with a superb 72-run opening stand between Jamie Hewitt (35) and Louis Champion (46).

Frazer broke the partnership, his spin accounting for Hewitt who offered a catch to Matt Harper.

Champion and Hill (5) saw off the next six overs before Richard Darwin (3-20) took three wickets in two devastating overs to take any momentum away from WGC.

Hill was the first to go, caught by Frazer. Then, in the 26th over, Darwin accounted for Champion and Alex Chalker in consecutive balls as the hosts crumbled to 91-4.

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At the other end, Lamb (4-26) was just as ruthless, dismissing former England batsman Owais Shah for four and Aaron Laraman for three to complete a spectacular seven-over collapse that saw WGC swing from flying high at 72-1 to struggling at 102-6.

The tailenders added some late runs as they withstood the pressure from Harpenden’s attack much better than the top order. Andrew Nolan (16), Walter (11) and Tim Mottershead (21) managed 48 runs to add some respectability to the score as they finished all out for 161, but a Harpenden win was a foregone conclusion once Lamb and Blacktopp found their groove.

Gregg Cooper was trapped LBW by Walter with the third ball of Harpenden’s reply but it all went downhill for WGC from then on as Lamb and Blacktopp punished any wayward deliveries.

Shah was particularly expensive, surrendering nearly seven runs an over.

Frazer (21*) replaced Lamb in the middle when he was bowled and cracked three fours and a six in a 10-ball 21 to hand Harpenden the victory.