Lamb helps Herts maintain unbeaten record
HARPENDEN S Nick Lamb helped Hertfordshire keep up their challenge for the Minor Counties Championship with a high-scoring draw with Norfolk. Coming in a number eight, Lamb struck some vital late-order runs allowing skipper Andy Lewis to declare in the se
HARPENDEN'S Nick Lamb helped Hertfordshire keep up their challenge for the Minor Counties Championship with a high-scoring draw with Norfolk.
Coming in a number eight, Lamb struck some vital late-order runs allowing skipper Andy Lewis to declare in the second innings as Herts pushed for the win.
It wasn't to be though as Norfolk held on for the draw as Herts maintained their unbeaten run.
On what is always a bouncy turning wicket, Herts won the toss and batted. They got off to a reasonable start again with Jamie Hewitt , of Welwyn Garden City, in particularly flowing form. Eddie Ballard, of Bishops Stortford, also looked in fine form and completed his second 50 for Hertfordshire, before being caught on the boundary unable to control a hook shot. Skipper Andy Lewis fell quickly afterwards and then it was time for the Welwyn Garden pair of Hewitt and Aaron Laraman to stamp their authority on the game. Hewitt was first to reach his maiden Championship hundred, while Laraman crashed the ball to all parts in very fine 115* which included three massive sixes. Lamb (37*) and Laraman finished off the innings adding quick runs to complete their 90 overs on 375 for 6.
Simon White, the Welwyn Garden City seamer, struck once before the close as Norfolk finished day one on 88-1. The wicket was flattening out all the time, but Hewitt took two wickets in a fast spell of bowling while Potters Bar off-spinner Shaftab Khalid bowled a marathon spell of 40 overs for two wickets as Norfolk finished on 354 for 6.
The small lead quickly became a big one in what Lewis called "one of the best opening partnerships I have seen for Herts" between Hewitt and Will Jones, of Tring Park, who pulled with amazing power and drove with grace and made a wonderful fantastic 94, out of 164 for the first wicket. Hewitt went through to score his second hundred of the game, before Herts declared just before lunch, leaving Norfolk a target of 397. Lamb finished Herts' second innings on 8*.
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From the off Norfolk seemed unsure if they were chasing or not, but eventually the game fizzled out to a draw when the captains shook hands at 6pm.
Lewis said; "It was always going to be a hard declaration to get right with such a flat wicket and a fast outfield. Had I have set them 350 there is every chance they would have won easily and we would have looked a little silly!"
Herts remain second in the Eastern Division table 14 points behind leaders Buckinghamshire.