Wightman saves a draw for Harpenden
- Credit: Archant
Dan Wightman bowled a superb final over to earn Harpenden a draw in their Saracens Herts Premier Division match with Letchworth Garden City.
With Garden City needing five runs off the final over to earn a win, Wightman got Taylor Browne to pick out Ben Frazer with the first ball and then found the edge of Ben Cottenden’s bat with the next.
Praveen Bhati pushed a single but that was all Letchworth could muster as they closed three runs shy of Harpenden’s 237-6.
The result left Harpenden 50 points off league leaders Radlett, who beat Welwyn Garden City by seven wickets, but, more importantly, they are still comfortably in the play-off places.
With Nick Lamb, Frazer stepped into the captain’s role for Harpenden.
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It’s been a down year for the all-rounder, who led the team in runs and wickets last season, but he led from the front on Saturday.
After winning the toss, he sent out Scott Galloway and Barney Francis to face the new ball. It was the first time the pair had batted together at the top of the order and they did an excellent job, putting 50 runs on the board before Galloway was clean bowled by Cottonden for 24.
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The next two wickets fell in the space of three overs as Dan Blacktopp fell for seven and Francis for 27, leaving Harpenden at 78-3.
Frazer was joined by Jake Pankhurst, who provided the perfect foil to the skipper. Frazer blasted 54 off 55 balls before he was caught while Pankhurst worked the gaps in their 72-run stand that pushed Harpenden to 150-4.
Simon White took over the mantle from Frazer and scored an unbeaten 55 in partnerships with Pankhurst, who was out for 32, and Olly Tuck as the innings closed on 237-6.
Letchworth’s reply started badly as first Dan Watts and then Wightman made early breakthroughs.
Fantastic displays from David Albon (61), Adam Winchester (60) and Will Aitkenhead (32) put them on the cusp of victory. At 190-5 with nine overs remaining, Wightman took the second of his four wickets and Frazer spun out Richard Barclay to set up a tense finish, but Wightman came through in the clutch to earn Harpenden a draw.