Harpenden Cricket Club News story

Weekly Update 9 - Introducing Ben-Ball

19 Jun 2022

Harpenden Cricket Club

Weekly Update 09



 Last weekend we witnessed Baz-Ball at Trent Bridge, as the England team personified the philosophy of new coach Brendan McCullum by producing an outrageous final day performance to beat New Zealand and claim the three match series with one game still to play. This weekend, given the rare chance to ply their trade on the glorious Harpenden Common, our rapidly improving third team played Ben-Ball, as skipper Ben Newton hit a glorious 137 not out. 

Reduced to 45 overs after early rain, and on the flattest wicket anyone had ever seen, we were given a licence to attack, which we did - rattling along to 375/5 with everyone contributing: Voigt 60, Dyson 40, Hubbard 40, McNiel 40, Robinson 40 (in his first match for the 3s) and that Newton hundred. It’s the second time this season we’ve passed 300!

Langleybury (and this was their second team, please note) were then reduced to 122/7 from 25 overs by the time the rain had its final say with Dyson taking 2 and Show Dasgupta (also on debut for the 3s) taking 4 for 30. A big win, well done lads!

The 3s are now 5th (from 10) in their division of Saracens (…12- Leicester 15) Hertfordshire League.

The 4s were away to Kings Langley 2s, lost the toss and were invited to bat in soggy conditions. Matt Taylor scored 45 and Tom Huntley 33 as we set 170-9. Henry Pollard- Beeton and Dan McKinstry also contributed valuable runs in the middle order. We stuck to the task in the field, often in the drizzle, looked sharp and took regular wickets to peg back the opposition: two each for Mo Umar, Joss Howard and JT, but all the bowlers took wickets and we squeaked home by 8 runs. Dan kept wicket superbly (two catches and a stumping) and skipper James Bell and Tom Huntley held on to good catches.

The 4s are now fourth in their Saracens (so close, but ultimately losers to Leicester Tigers) Hertfordshire League. The lads are playing down talk of a promotion push, but it must be in their minds as we approach the half way point in the campaign.

Sunday saw our women’s team play their first league game against Chenies & Latimer.

We batted first and against good bowling and even better catching, we were struggling on 36 for 6, but a superbly mature innings from Millie Hitchen, ably supported by debutant Amelia Cloake  and Mabel Wright, meant we finished on 97 for 9, Millie out in the final over for a brilliant 46. We also bowled and caught well, 2 great grabs from Hannah Burns and Kelsey Toner with impressive figures of 3 for 9. Runs and wickets came in equal measure, to set up a nervy finish, the oppo needing 4 runs off the final over with just 2 wickets in hand

Millie was thrown the ball by captain Sophie, and what an over!! 1 run out and just 1 leg bye, a match winning maiden and we squeaked home to win by 2 runs. A brilliant but exhausting (for coaches & parents) afternoon of cricket.

I’m also delighted to mention news from our girls’ section, where our U15Bs recorded their first win of the season over Welwyn GC.  This is our first ever season with an U15B team and only one other club in the county boasts this depth of squad at this level.

There is no B League - these girls are playing every other club's A team.

Great work from the squad and also mentions for the two AGMs (David Pankhurst and Andrew Beasley) in their first season coaching for the club. We’re deeply proud of the continuing success and popularity of our girls and women’s teams.

Back to the men. I didn’t get an official report from the first team this weekend, but I know their game at Radlett came to an early end due to rain. I also know that Jake Pankhurst, who was batting really well at the time, came off worse for wear against a bouncer and had to be rushed to hospital. I understand he was soon out and about, and although feeling pretty sore, he will be fine. Wishing you all the very best Jake.

The 2nds travelled to Sawbridgeworth and chose to bat first. We set the innings up well, reaching 50-1 off 10 and 100-2 off 20 before the pitch started to slow up, fluent run-scoring became more difficult and wickets fell at regular intervals. However, Gus Laws-Mather held the innings together, hitting 15 fours and a pair of sixes - the first of which took him to three figures - as he finished unbeaten on a superb 114 to lead us to a competitive total of 239-6.

Sawbridgeworth’s reply depended largely upon the performance of their (alleged) pro, Vibhor Yadav. Tom Beasley’s (3-53) menacing new ball spell kept us well in the game, helping to reduce the oppo to 76-4, but we couldn’t get their main man. The arrival of rain made bowling and fielding more difficult; that, coupled with a century stand, threatened to take the game away from us, but a direct hit from Dom Tulett ran out Yadav, and further wickets put us back in with a shout. As the rain became heavier, the bowlers and fielders struggled to grip the ball, with a couple of catches going down, and in the end Sawbridgeworth got home by two wickets with a couple of overs to spare.

5ths were at home against a very strong Markyate & Luton Town outfit who have been averaging 260 each game. We lost the toss and were asked to bowl. Markyate scored 263 for 6 with debutant young U13 Kavin Vidhya bowling a great first adult spell of 2 - 23, 

We did not start well with the bat, Andy Elledge losing his wicket first ball and struggled from there with Dave Talbot as best batsman with 33 . Harpenden ended up all out for 103.

The 5ths are 9th in their division of the Saracens lost to Leicester Tigers in the Premiership Final Hertfordshire League, and need a couple of wins to avoid a flirtation with the relegation zone.

It was an away game for our 6s, against Hatfield & Crusaders.  We won the toss and elected to bowl first, but were overly generous on the field and dropped 4 catches, allowing the opposition to reach an initimidating total of 254 for 7 in their allotted 40 overs.   In reply we scored 117 all out in 26 overs with a cameo innings of  26 from Ravi Chittimala the only real highlight. The 6s are sixth in their division of the Hertfordshire League, which you might not know is sponsored by Saracens. Yes, those Saracens. The ones who lost 15-12 to Leicester Tigers in the Premiership Final yesterday. Just thought I’d mention that quietly before signing off for the week.


You’ll remember receiving information about our Summer Party, which is on Saturday 16th July. I hope you will consider coming to this event. If you’ve indicated that you want to attend, do please email the organising committee on hccsummerparty@gmail.com to secure your tickets and make your payment. The organisers are of course volunteers, and they really need to now obtain a clearer idea of numbers.