Reed break run of defeats with hard-fought draw at Harpenden

Ed Wharton of Reed Cricket Club starred with bat and ball against Harpenden

Ed Wharton performed with bat and ball to guide Reed to a draw with Harpenden. - Credit: DANNY LOO

Reed finally broke their run of defeats in the Herts Cricket League Premier Division with a hard-fought draw away to Harpenden.

The home side looked on course for a mammoth score when James Latham and 16-year-old Danyaal Khalid put together a 235-run partnership for the second wicket.

The latter was finally out for 84, slapping an Ed Wharton delivery to Tom Greaves at silly mid-wicket, but it still appeared like a total over 300 was more than likely.

However, Wharton curtailed Harpenden's ambitions with a typically aggressive spell, exerting bounce out of the placid wicket to finish with 6-72 as the home side declared on 271-6 after 52 overs.

Wharton's spell included three wickets in his final over as well as the scalp of Latham for a magnificent 147.

Reed replied began with the loss of two quick wickets but Rob Lankester and Greaves repeated their stand earlier in the season against their hosts, putting on 91 invaluable runs.

When Lankester was out lbw for a patient 51, Greaves and Wharton took over in more characteristic style, smashing another 68 runs in just 10 overs to leave Harpenden beginning to rue their early declaration.

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Wharton's departure for 29 though brought a change in fortunes and from 182-3, Reed started to ship wickets.

They weren't helped when Sunil Patil, a late call-up for Sean Tidey, jarred his shoulder while keeping and although Greaves did his best to hold the fort, it appeared as if the collapse would be terminal.

The skipper was out for 99 to leave Reed on 201-7 and they had nine wickets down 14 runs later.

It meant Kapil Dave had to survive four deliveries from spinner Ashley Sivarajah (3-47) with every fielder crowding the bat.

But Dave held his nerve to ensure Reed avoided defeat for the first time this season.

The second team meanwhile had a good five-wicket win at home to Harpenden's third-string in Division Three B.

Harpenden batted first and made 264-3 in a reduced 48 overs.

Kallum Ward bagged a 53-ball 61 and Mike Catt finished unbeaten on 94, the final partnership with Michael Robertson (28*) guiding them home inside 40 overs.