Pakistan all-rounder Qadir hits top form for Harpenden
HARPENDEN had to settle for a draw after a fine show from overseas star Sulaman Qadir was not rewarded with the points on the Common against North Mymms. The toss was crucial with a wet wicket and Harpenden skipper Mike Howard lost out with his side asked
HARPENDEN had to settle for a draw after a fine show from overseas star Sulaman Qadir was not rewarded with the points on the Common against North Mymms.
The toss was crucial with a wet wicket and Harpenden skipper Mike Howard lost out with his side asked to bat first.
Young opener Adam Winchester (53) continued his fine progress and Howard (30) made a steady contribution before Qadir stepped out at number four and blazed a sensational knock of 75 off 78 balls. Qadir and Winchester put on 81 runs together and number six Oliver Tuck contributed 12 as Harpenden reached 199-9 off 60 overs at the close.
Coach and first team manager Younis Ahmed said: "We lost the toss and we managed to get 199 which I thought was a very good effort considering the wicket was wet. Our overseas player Sulaman Qadir batted superbly. Adam Winchester scored 53 and this was a very crucial partnership. We did pretty well to get that score."
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In reply, Mymms were reduced to 6-2 with impressive bowler Mark Mason striking out the number two and number three for ducks. Harpenden had gained control and two wickets from Qadir left the visitors reeling at 64-4.
Mymms battled back with Harshad Rawle (64) and Ben Bagshow (47 not out) combining for a vital stand. Harpenden continued to chip away and, after Mason clean bowled Rawle, Qadir struck out three more wickets for just 12 runs. Mymms hung on though to secure the draw on 164-9 off 50 overs. Mason finished with 4-53 and the outstanding Qadir picked up 5-58.
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The draw was a disappointing result for Harpenden after so nearly securing their second win of the campaign. Ahmed said: "We took a couple of early wickets which put us in a very strong position and we controlled the match from there. Sulaman Qadir returned very good figures and they could only score 164-9 but unfortunately we couldn't get the last wicket. It was disappointing when we got so close."
Former Pakistan Test star Ahmed played with Pakistan legend Abdul Qadir, the father of promising player Sulaman and he believes that the new overseas player will make a great impact at Harpenden. He said: "Sulaman Qadir is indeed a very fine player. I played test cricket with his father. We were looking for an overseas player when we couldn't get Iroshan de Silva back. I was told that Sulaman was a very fine batsman, a number four or five and that he bowls off spinners, and that he would do us very good service. He has done so far. I don't think we have seen the best of him with his batting with the wickets being so slow. Once we get the sunshine I think we will see him scoring big 100s."
Ahmed has also been impressed with the bowling contribution of Mason and the performances of the some of the club's young talent this season. He said: "Mark Mason has contributed tremendously, taking wickets. He has had a few years off because of injury but he is very keen and has made a big effort for the club. He is an experienced player and you need an experienced bowler at one end to bowl with the youngsters.
"Will Bates has scored the most magnificent 100 for us. It was a very high-class innings and he was on the park from the first ball until the last ball which was a great achievement. Ollie Tuck is coming on very well indeed. In difficult circumstances with all the rain he has batted very strongly for us."
Harpenden go away to Sawbridgeworth on Saturday in what could prove an important clash in the HCPL Division Two East.