Road to Saracens Herts Premier Division Championship runs through Radlett
- Credit: Archant
Radlett secured home advantage in the play-offs with a seven wicket win over Harpenden, who were left needing to sweep their last three games to ensure post-season cricket at the Common.
Jono McLean’s Radlett have a 98-point cushion over third-placed Harpenden following Saturday’s victor, meaning they will finish in the top two and play at home in the four-team play-off. Harpenden are 21 points ahead of Welwyn Garden City in fifth and will need at least two wins to hold off the challenge from last season’s play-off semi-finalists.
Radlett have no such pressure on them after a superb all-round display against Harpenden.
Having put Harpenden into bat, Shane Burger struck in the seventh over to remove Gregg Cooper for nine and Randeep Sanghera followed up with Dan Blacktopp’s wicket in the eighth.
Nick Lamb and Ben Frazer put 49 runs on the board to take Harpenden from 33-2 to 82-2 before Frazer was clean bowled by Joe Cooke.
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Lamb surpassed his 50, his fourth of the season, in a 47-run stand with Scott Galloway to set Harpenden up for a good score with 22 of their 50 overs remaining.
Three wickets in four overs took the wind out of Harpenden’s sails as first Galloway was trapped in front by Kabir Toor and then Lamb and Will Jones were skittled by Rob Clements and Sanghera.
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Jake Pankhurst, Simon White and Harry Josephs kept the scoreboard ticking over at an average of three runs an over at the end of the innings, but Radlett’s bowling attack kept their chase below 200 as Harpenden closed on 190-8 after Sanghera picked up his third wicket and Clements snared his second.
Toor and Fraser Crawford gave Radlett a good start with a 42 opening stand. Jones ended the partnership, trapping Toor in front for 28 and, 10 overs later, Crawford went for 31 after Frazer induced a shot that Josephs safely pouched.
Forty-six runs between Cooke and McLean put Radlett on their way to victory before McLean and Burger amassed the best partnership of the match, 66 off 53 balls, to earn the victory and home-field advantage in the play-offs.