County Cricket - Herts failed to accept run chase says county manager

First published in Cumberland CCC

CUMBERLAND team manager Ian Sharp accused Hertfordshire of failing to wholeheartedly accepting a run chase in the Minor Counties Championship match between the sides that ended in a draw on Tuesday.

At the end of final day of three, Sharp said: “It was an interesting day’s play but I am disappointed with the result.

“I thought Hertfordshire would have made a better effort to chase victory.

“He continued: “It was a flat batting track, but when you put the opposition in, surely your plan is to go for victory, and not end 48 runs short.”

Cumberland were forced into a late change to the team that travelled when Blackpool opening pace bowler Richard Gleeson suffered an ankle injury and Elton professional Toby Bulcock replaced him.

Cumberland were inserted on the compliant Long Marston strip, but the whole morning session was lost due to rain and play was eventually abandoned at the tea score of 177 for five.

Skipper Gary Pratt thrived for 83 and Ryan Brown 44 in a third-wicket stand of 147 and when play resumed on Monday, Cumberland pushed on thanks to a marvellous sixth-wicket partnership between Chris Thompson and Alex Atkinson that was worth 137 – only five runs short of the Cumberland record.

Thompson hit 20 fours and faced 133 balls inn his 166-minute stay at the crease.

Netherfield batsman Atkinson contributed 68 as the pair’s combined efforts enabled Cumberland to declare at 374 for nine after 87 overs.

Hertfordshire had a century-maker as Nesan Jeyaratnam flourished for 116 in their first innings, which because of the truncated first day’s play brought a declaration at 277 for nine after James Beaumont captured 4-91.

Pratt again led by example with 63 to spearhead Cumberland’s second innings and his declaration at 211 after 49 overs left Hertfordshire requiring 309 or victory.

They came up well short at 261 for seven off 65 overs with Lewis Champion hitting 83, with Beaumont added 3-69 to his earlier effort with the ball.

Cumberland finished with 12 points and Hertfordshire 11.

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