Warn whacks 81 in Harpenden’s draw with Bishop’s Stortford

HARPENDEN’S Chris Warn hit 81 as his side drew with Bishop’s Stortford in an interesting HCPL Division One encounter on Saturday.

The wind blew from the north as Harpenden 1st XI opened their home league programme against a Bishop’s Stortford side that looked to have a formidable batting line up.

A firm slightly green pitch encouraged skipper Nick Lamb to ask the visitors to bat in the hope of early wickets.

An impressive spell by Joe Peck failed to pay early dividends and the Stortford batsmen set about building a formidable score with left hander Henry Ramsden scoring an excellent hundred.

Harpenden’s bowling and fielding were not up to their highest standard allowing the visitors to declare on 292-8, probably 30 runs more than they should have amassed.

Openers Greg Cooper and Simon White made steady progress until a direct hit saw the unlucky White depart run out.

Chris Warn joined Cooper in an attractive second wicket stand that was broken just after tea.

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At this stage it was still anyone’s game until Hertfordshire spinner Simon Lindop took over at the pavilion end bowling a tidy spell to restrict the run rate and put the home side behind the clock.

Eventually both sides had to be content with a draw as Harpenden finished on 239-7.

Skipper Lamb said: “It shows how far we have come as a side when a draw becomes a disappointment; however we look forward to getting back to winning ways next week against the league’s newest side, Burnham.”

The 2nd XI travelled to Totteridge and as last week came out second in a very close low scoring game.

With a number of experienced players missing Harpenden were soon in trouble after being asked to bat on a damp track, finding themselves 35-6 against some excellent bowling on a bowler friendly track until Harry Josephs produced a patient and mature innings of 35 not out batting at number six.

Support came from Richard Darwin, 18, and Randall 20 not out to get the side to 112-7 from our 53 overs.

In reply Totteridge found runs equally difficult to come by as once again the bowling and fielding effort was excellent with Doyle taking 13.3-5-32-5 and almost getting the win.

Young Mike Smith picked up his first 2nd XI wickets taking three for not many as the home side sneaked across the line at 115-7.

Skipper Darwin said: “We’re 20/30 runs away from being very competitive and difficult to beat in this league.

“I’m delighted with the performances of our young players over the last two weeks with Luffman, Josephs, Doyle and Smith all contributing.

“Not only can they play but they’re showing signs of cricketing maturity beyond their years.”