Harpenden Cricket Club News story

Weekly Update 18 (or Veckouppdatering 18 in Sweden)

16 Aug 2022

Harpenden Cricket Club

 Weekly Update 18

The winner takes it all

Apologies for the delayed weekly update. Your correspondent has travelled to Stockholm for work, so time has been a little short. I will endeavour, and most likey fail, to avoid too many overt Abba references.

No official report from the first team this week, but I see from the scorecards that they produced an outstanding win. Facing Hoddesdon on the Common, the visitors batted first in this 50 over contest and racked up a daunting 329-1 in their allocation. 

Would our heroes wilt in the heat? Would they heck. They won by three wickets with two balls to spare. Chad Barrett, for whom this weather is less exceptional perhaps, notched 130, and he was ably supported by half century makers Galloway, Farooq and Pankhurst. I didn’t see the game, but there must have been quite the atmosphere as the team closed in on victory. 

The 2nds travelled to Langleybury 1sts and lost a crucial toss, having to field first in the heat with the pitch already looking tired from the start. We worked hard in tough conditions, pegging the oppo back from 121-2 at the midpoint of their innings, to finish on 234-8 from their 50 overs. Zaid Kureshi (3-47) was the pick of the bowlers.

In reply, we never got any partnerships going, as the pitch got even lower and slower. Bill Meacock top-scored with 41 and some late hitting from Ben Griggs (33) gave us some hope, but in the end we fell 43 runs short. A rare game in this summer of runs, in which no player on either side passed 50 and no sixes were hit all day.

The 3s played a reduced 40 over match at home to Shenley 2s. Captain Newton was vilified by his own team after winning the toss and fielding! (Better to get it out of the way!).

He was even less popular when it turned out Shenley were batting on a road, with a lightening outfield, and at one point it looked like they’d get well in excess of 300. John Card, however, did his usual job of squeezing the rate bowling 8 overs 1 for 41 but it was Chris Karunaratne who had the biggest impact - taking a wicket with his first ball and then coming back and taking another 3 in his second spell, ending with brilliant figures of 4/42 off his 8 - really good returns in very tough bowling conditions. 

At half time we fancied they were slightly under par, and for a while it was all looking rosy, Platts scoring a flamboyant 83 and Bryn Luffman a solid 45…but the all-too-common middle order collapse struck again - 122/0 to 149/5 slowing the rate right down for a while. Dan Bradley and Toby Grimberg then hit good 30s, and Pat Frost a swashbuckling 42 made it interesting, but alas it was not to be, losing by 14 runs.

Not the happiest day for the fourth team. The league had suggested there could be some relaxation of playing conditions given the heatwave, but in some respects this created further uncertainty. There was some awkwardness apparent in discussions with Boxmoor, and the 30 over format eventually agreed upon did not suit us! Having lost the toss we were invited to field on a reasonable strip and total minefield of an outfield. It’s fair to say that we struggled with this and leaked a few too many runs as well as spilling a catch or two, eventually allowing the opposition to amass 185 for 8 in their thrash. Our only real victory of the day came when we managed to get Boxmoor to agree to a 30 minute tea break rather than the 45 minutes they had wanted!

Unfortunately we didn’t get off to the best of starts losing our skipper in the first over. However, the Hubbard brothers batted with some aplomb and made sure we reached the first drinks break (at 10 overs, the only sensible change to the norm!) on target around 60-1. When Freddie went soon afterwards we couldn’t maintain our initial momentum. Ollie’s 50 was the stand out performance, but when both he and Harry Robinson were both run out by direct hits the writing was on the wall and we eventually ran out of batsmen with about 4 overs still to be bowled and some 60 runs shy.

Unfortunately this seems to have put paid to our promotion hopes for this year, however, we fight on and will be back at fortress Rothamsted next week giving it our all, hopefully over 40 overs!!!

The 5ths were at home to Hitchin 4s, and we agreed to a reduced game of 32 overs a side due to heat. The captain lost the toss AGAIN and Hitchin decided to bat .We got off to a good start and wickets started to fall despite us dropping 4 catches and we restricted Hitchin to 129 for 8. Pick of the bowlers was George Chadney with 2-18.

Happily we cruised home for the loss of just one wicket. David Washington anchored the reply with an unbeaten 47, and Ollie Jones hit a superb 57 not out. We reached the target off 25 overs, and now sit 4th in the table after 6 wins on the bounce.

The 6s were away at Tewin 3s, an agreed earlier start and maximum 35 overs seemed sensible due to heat. We lost the toss again, and were thus in the field. Some great tight bowling backed up by awesome fielding kept their score to 123 for 6. ( John Kerley 3 wickets). Oh how we love a small total chase ……

Somehow we made a real mess of it but squeezed home in the 32nd over 125 for 9!! (Kerley 41, Andy Lewis 31) Well done  Nick Townend and Arnav Krishnakumar for seeing us through. So we have a big match next week against top of the table Hatfield, as we are currently 3rd in division 11 north.

It could well be, yes, you got it, that the Winner Takes it All.

"Please note that the Club's Code of Conduct has been updated effective 3rd August 2022. You can find this on the club website. All social and playing members of any age agree to adhere to this Code of Conduct as a condition of their membership. Please familiarise yourself with the new document and if you have any questions please contact our Chair - Simon Caunce - chairman@harpendencc.co.uk"