On an overcast afternoon with rain forecast, Harpenden invited Reed to bat. Martin Johnson (2) arrived just in time to open the batting alongside Paul Garrott but then lost his wicket early. There is a moral in that tale. Wickets fell at regular intervals throughout the Reed innings, with Garrott (75) again playing an anchor role for the majority of the innings, in which he had a 69-run, 5th wicket partnership with Bill Mansfield (39). Sam Rice (14) and Ben Mansfield (11) were the only other batsmen to record a double-digit score. With a little flourish towards the end of innings Reed reached 190 for 9 off 40 overs. Reed having got through the innings un-interrupted despite some heavy drizzle falling.
In reply Harpenden reached 114 for 3 off 21 overs, before the now heavier persistent rain forced the teams from the field. With more than 20 overs played and a superior run rate of 5.42 runs per over, Harpenden won this contest. Reed’s run rate being 4.75 runs per over. The wicket takers were Johnson (6-1-31-2) including one excellent one-handed catch off his own bowling and Jake Gifford (6-0-24-1). Harpenden managing to strike a number of boundaries, although there was some exceptional fielding on the boundary by Ben Mansfield, whose whites were certainly not that colour by the end of this game. Reed made an early breakthrough with Harpenden losing their first two wickets for only 13 runs, but a third wicket stand of 86 took this game away from Reed, alongside the rain denying us having a chance to bowl at the Harpenden middle order. Bowling and fielding become more difficult with a sodden ball as the Harpenden innings progressed. Today’s side was certainly a mixture of youth and experience, with the youngsters being in the majority.
Reed 4th XI finished fourth in Regional Division B East this season, one place above Harpenden. Captain Bowman did let us know during the game that he was enjoying 32°C sunshine and a cocktail having arrived in the Canary Islands, which was probably well deserved.
Report submitted by Steve Hughes.