Harpenden Cricket Club News story

Weekly Update 14 - it'a a long, hot summer

24 Jul 2022

Harpenden Cricket Club

Weekly Update 14

It’s a long, hot summer

Both the Style Council and Girls Aloud were right. It’s a long hot summer. Round 12 of the league season took place on Saturday, and thus far I think I’m right in saying we haven’t lost a full game to the weather all season on a Saturday. Looking ahead, the forecast for the next two weeks looks pretty steady, too.

We fielded an extraordinary seven teams on Saturday, such is our level of availability. Our record for the weekend was won 4, lost 3.

Our first team travelled to Totteridge which was a big battle for the playoff spots. Winning the toss we batted first on a difficult wicket but a ground that offered value for shots. The team started poorly being reduced to 47-3, but  a counterattack from Seagrave (37 off 32) added much needed impetus. With several others cameos and an excellent  109 not out from Chad Barrett, the innings concluded on 269 off 58 overs, leaving the oppo needing 270 off 57. 

This score seemed about par but the side were positive with runs on the board at the change. As is the way at TMCC at tea (20 overs) the oppo were 110-3, wickets lost but scoring at a good rate. After the break we took 2 important quick wickets, but there was a counterpunch from our host’s overseas player, and the game was in the balance. But thanks to excellent captaincy, good catching and tight bowling the team clung on and bowled Totteridge out for 231 which ended being a comfortable win in and game that was level for about 95% of the match. Wickets were shared; Gosling with 2, Barrett 2, Sivarajah 3, Garrett 2. An excellent win which has pushed the side to 3rd in the table with 6 games to go.

The 2nds entertained league leaders Leverstock Green 1sts at The Common and again had the dubious privilege of fielding first in batting-friendly conditions. The oppo were briefly on target for 1,500 (5-0 off 1 ball) but we dragged ourselves back into the game courtesy of wicket-machine Will Downes’ new ball spell, and strong contributions from the entire bowling attack, all of whom deserve a mention: Downes, Michael Smith, Jack Doyle, Guy Watts, Zaid Kureshi and Max Latter. We bowled Levy Green out for 215, with the wickets shared around, and keeper Nick Reeves snaffling four slushy catches behind the stumps. 

Our reply got off to a fast start, but a couple of quick wickets left things in the balance, before Gus Laws-Mather rosé to the occasion, as he and Zaid Kureshi put on 92 for the third wicket. Zureshi (48) fell just short of his half-century, but Laws-Mather continued at pace, before falling for 86, with the finishing line in sight. Another wicket flattered Levy Green but we got home for a dominant 5 wicket win, and 30 well-earned points.

Two from two then, but it was a bad day at the office for the 3s, who never seem to put in a middling performance. It’s famine or feast. Batting first against top-of-the-table Chorleywood on a spongy pitch, a slow but steady start at 85/2 became 108 all out. It was nowhere near enough and the lack of scoreboard pressure allowed them to coast to a 9 wicket win. A forgettable day!

The 4s hosted Redbourn 3s at St. George’s School. Harpenden won the toss on a parched, dry pitch and with a strong batting line up predictably chose to bat first. Ollie Hubbard (78) and Mike Hughes (29) got us off to a decent start and when the skipper was first out the score was 111 from 27 overs. With Ollie anchoring the innings we were hopeful of 200+, but once he was out for an impressive 78 it seemed that the harder our batsmen tried, the better the opposition seemed to bowl and field and despite our best efforts and some lusty blows from Sho Dasgupta we probably posted a sub par 194 for 8 from our 40 overs. 

Redbourn started aggressively, riding some luck to put us under early pressure. Two early bowling changes saw Paul Eames (8-2-27-2) and JT (8-1-22-0) turn the screws and bring us back into the match. Unfortunately the rest of the bowling attack couldn’t quite match these two and Redbourn proceeded to score at the required 6+ an over and passed our total (for 5) on the last ball of the 39th over. Special mentions for Ollie Hubbard who batted beautifully, Paul Eames and JT for bowling as tightly as they did and also for George Thomas who bowled with real aggression at the death. I can’t wait to see more of this young man’s all round ability. Fortunately we remain in 3rd place in the league but can ill afford too many more slip ups if we want to be in the promotion mix come the end of August. Onwards and upwards!

The 5s were away at Datchworth 3s on a very good track and trying to get 3 wins on the trot. We won the toss and batted and amassed 267 for 6 (main scores Ollie Jones 72 and Nick Bailey 69). A solid always bowling performance saw the oppo make 205 for 9 (Nick 3 wickets and Alex Card 2). And that is 3 wins on the trot 👍

Harpenden 6s were up against Flitwick IV.   We lost the toss and bowled first.  Charlie Twelftree and Ravi Chittimalla bowled well in the initial spell and Ravi got us an early breakthrough.  Our bowlers managed to restrict the opposition for 176 for 8 with John Mihill claiming 4 wickets for 18 runs, including a brilliant caught and bowled and Ravi finishing his spell with 3 wickets for 24 runs.  

Our chase started with Krish Kalathil and Ayaan Kureshi.  We lost Ayaan’s wicket early.  Simon Caunce came in at no.3 and beautifully anchored the innings and scored a well made 49 with crucial contribution from Krish 29, Ravi 36 and Ian Field 24 n.o took us home in 37.2 overs with the loss of 7 wickets. (out for 49 Mr Chairman – how could this happen?)

And so to our 7s, captained supremely by Nick Townsend. We offered Abbots Langley 4s a game. The oppo managed 177 off 40 overs. We fell short sadly 135 all out of 35 overs. But everyone got a game, and for our club to be able to offer cricket to 77 people on one day is pretty darn wonderful.

See you next week