Harrow Town fall one run short of victory with final ball

Harrow Town captain Gihan Herath (left) and Rushan Jaleel. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Harrow Town captain Gihan Herath (left) and Rushan Jaleel. Pic: Paolo Minoli - Credit: Archant

Harrow Town shared a rare tie with Bessborough as Faizan Kazi was bowled by the last ball of the match with the scores level, writes Ben Pearce.

Town needed to score five runs off the last two balls to win, with nine wickets down, and Kazi struck a four to equal the hosts’ score of 218.

There was one delivery left to win the match, and just one run needed – but Kazi went for another boundary and was bowled by Sharuban Kanthasamy.

“We haven’t played in a tied game before, it was the first time it’s happened,” Harrow Town captain Gihan Herath told the Times. “We kept getting runs and losing wickets at the same time, so it was always in the balance.

“Even when we needed five off the last two balls I was pretty confident we could get the runs. He [Kazi] got the boundary and unfortunately we couldn’t get the one extra run to finish the game off.

“I think, with Bessborough being down towards the bottom of the table, we should have won the game but unfortunately that didn’t happen.”

Herath won the toss, inserting Bessborough, and Ian Barrie (73) and Ishan Shah (52) helped the home side to post 218 before they were all out after 46 overs, with Rushan Jaleel (4-85) and Kamlesh Desai (3-46) the pick of the bowlers.

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With a number of overs being lost to rain, Harrow Town were left with 43 to chase down the target, and they initially planned for a winning draw.

Their innings began badly as both openers, Parth Goradia (9) and Asim Mohammed (1) went cheaply, but no 3 Jaleel (91) led a recovery with help from Hitesh Sejpal (40) and captain Herath (31).

Town needed 110 from the last 20 overs and, when they lost Herath, they were 136-5, with the game finely poised.

When Manhar Patel fell for a duck soon afterwards the momentum was with Bessborough. But the captain’s 15-year-old son Gishan Herath – who was making his first appearance for the senior team after hitting 88 for the second string in his previous game – struck 26 in a crucial partnership with Jaleel, taking Town to 205-7.

Both batsmen fell in quick succession, though, and Desai (1) followed, leaving Town down to their last pair, Kazi (4) and Ankit Patel (3 not out), but within touching distance of the winning target in the final over.

Kazi looked set to be the hero after hitting a four off the penultimate ball, but a rush of blood meant he was unable to finish the job, and honours ended even.

“We did our best,” added Gihan Herath. “We really should have come out of it with a win. But with it being rain-affected we set out to get a winning draw, and in the end we got five points, while a winning draw would only have given us four.

“All the boys are quite happy with how it ended up. We could have got the 10 points but we will settle for five, and it was a very exciting game, going to the last ball of the day.

“We have two games to go in the first round of fixtures and we’re playing North London this weekend – they’re at the bottom of the league and we’re playing at home. My feelings have not changed – I want us to go for promotion. Highgate [the league leaders] are playing well but hopefully they’ll slip up in the next round.”