North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 5 (May 20th) - Sam's Double in vain as Colchester complete record run chase

The good and the bad of Sunday cricket was seen last weekend – with excellent weather, there was some standout cricket, however, the flip side saw four games conceded. On the field first and in Division One the records tumbled at Copdock, where the home side posted 324 for 3, with Sam Webb-Snowling posting an unbeaten 200. However, Colchester & E.E. recorded a league record run chase to win by five wickets with Taurai Muzurabani unbeaten on 142. Leaders Wivenhoe, were comfortable nine wicket winners at Galleywood. In Division Two, there was only one match, a top of the table game between Springfield and Halstead, which the visitors won by 4 wickets to leap frog their hosts in the table. In Division Three, Stebbing made it three from three with a home ten wicket win over Real Oddies, while West Bergholt began their campaign with a defeat at home to Boxted. The first T20 action of the season, saw Kelvedon emphatic winners over Braintree in the West Division.
Disappointingly and worryingly so early in the season, four games were conceded. In Division One, and probably most concerning, Elmstead conceded for the second time this season which resulted in a ten point deduction, although at least three of their players did turn out for Kelvedon in the T20. Clacton were the beneficiaries of the concession. In Division Two, Abberton conceded their trip to Witham, while Great Totham conceded to Chappel & Wakes Colne, although the clubs are looking at an alternative date for that one, so it is not recorded in the league table yet. Similarly, in Division Three, Coggeshall conceded to Great Horkesley & Lexden, but again the clubs are looking to re-arrange.
Individually, apart from the two daddy hundreds at Copdock, Springfield’s Charlie Prudence (113) posted his second century of the season in his sides defeat at home to Halstead, and Dan Wheeler (115no) posted a T20 century for Kelvedon. There was just one five wicket haul, coming from West Bergholt’s James Banks who returned 5 for 39 at home to Boxted.

Division One
So the headlines came at a remarkable game at Copdock, where nine man Colchester & East Essex were the visitors. Copdock won the toss and elected to bat, with Sam Webb-Snowling dominating proceedings. He scored 62 in an opening stand of 86 with Nathan Scarff, before more balanced partnerships for the second and third wicket of 128 with Alex Oxley (41), and 88 with Donald Mlambo (32) took the home side to 292 for 3. Webb-Snowling reached an unbeaten 200 just before the close, his innings consisting of 31 fours and 2 sixes, and lasting 123 balls. It was the first NECL double century in five seasons, as Copdock reached the tea interval at 324 for 3. Nine men teams having been given the run around for a couple of hours on a hot day, could may be have been forgiven for not making a chase of it, however, Colchester went from the start with Jay Green (22) and Adnan Hashmi (42) putting of 77 in the first twelve overs. They were dismissed on the same score by Nathan Scarff (2 for 62), but there was no let up for Copdock, as Dan Thacker (44 from 30 balls) and Taurai Muzarabani put on a blistering 97 for the third wicket. Muzarabani then took centre stage, with partnerships of 56 with Andrew Kennedy (25) and then a match winning fifth wicket stand of 91 with Vikas Agarwal (26) who fell just short of the target. Muzarabani was undefeated on 142 from just 84 balls, which included 26 fours and 2 sixes, as Colchester got home with six balls to spare to complete a league record run chase beating Witham’s 320 for 1 against Halstead in 2006.

Not so dramatic for league leaders Wivenhoe, who put in a professional performance at Galleywood. The home side won the toss and elected to bat, and were soon struggling as Joseph Nicholls (3 for 30 from 9) benefitted from a miserly opening spell of Matt Durrell (1 for 10 from 9). Brendan Louw (4 for 21) then continued his form with the ball, as Galleywood slumped to 95 all out. Sam Adams (21) was the only players to pass twenty for the home side. In reply, Wivenhoe made light work of the run chase as Jakob Kelly and James Butcher (34) put on a first wicket stand of 78. Butcher was the only wicket to fall, as Kelly went on to record an unbeaten 51 as the Hoe reached the target in the 14th over to record a nine wicket success.

Division Two
Halstead made it two wins from two in NECL Division Two to go top after a 4 wicket victory over Springfield. Charlie Prudence (113) dominated the Springfield innings, scoring at nearly a run a ball as he made it consecutive centuries for Springfield’s NECL side. Spin twins Josh King (9-0-22-4) and Andy Charlton (9-2-34-3) took the majority of the wickets as Halstead tied down the other batsman excellently. A chancy 18 from Gooday and a belligerent 15 from Warley were the next highest scores as Sam Johnson (1-42) and Callum Hansey (1-44) took late wickets, the latter courtesy of an excellent catch in the deep by Charles Mallett. Despite conceding a century to the Springfield opener, Halstead felt 197 was an achievable total on another lightning quick outfield. Taylor Nicholson (5) was four runs short of a century in Halstead’s last outing and scored his 100th run of the year before being bowled of his pad by Warley in the second over. Matt Cooper (35) and Charlton (43) put on a solid partnership, the latter a former NECL captain playing his first Sunday fixture since 2012, as they comfortably picked off the bad balls from the Springfield attack. The game turned in two balls, however, as a mix-up between the wickets left Charlton stranded 7 runs short of what would have been a deserved half century. The next ball Cooper was adjudged LBW to Shan Thevasakayam as Halstead fell to 87-3. Sam Hawes (53*) and Charles Mallett (21) kept Halstead’s chase ticking over, with the required rate never going above 4.5 an over, though Hawes rode his luck at times. Mallett made his way to 21 before he was bowled by Ashurst Sr. and King (0) soon followed in the same fashion to Shan (2 for 26 from 9). Joe Morris helped see Hawes through to his second NECL half century before a sharp reaction caught and bowled from Hitchin dismissed him for 17. This left Adam Morris (5*) to hit the winning runs (pulling a muscle in the process) and preserve Halstead’s 100% record.

Division Three
Stebbing are defying the pre-season odds by setting the pace at the top of Division Three, with a third successive victory, their most emphatic to date against last year’s Division Four runners up, Real Oddies. The ten men Oddies won the toss and took first knock and were soon on the backfoot as Tom Gallian (2 for 8 from 5) and Tom Reardon (2 for 22 from 5) quickly got into the middle order. Two wickets for Graeme Dewar in his single over, compounded things further for the Oddies, before Lauchlan Simpson (3 for 12 from 9) and Sanjee (0 for 9 from 8) wrapped up the innings. The Oddies bowled out for a dismal 64 in 28 overs, of which a generous 21 extras buoyed the total. The Stebbing openers then took just eight overs to knock off the runs, with Tom Reardon (41) leading the way with an innings that included seven fours and one six.

Sketchy details from the other match in Division Three, West Bergholt v Boxted, a match which would have graced the top of top flight twenty years ago – seemed to produce a competitive match with the visitors, courtesy of a top score by Garry Green (89) eventually prevailing by 28 runs, after posting 217 for 8.

A reminder that full scorecards need to be submitted to Play-Cricket within 48 hours of the match to avoid financially penalty.

T20 West
Last year’s losing semi finalist’s Kelvedon began the 2018 T20 campaign with a convincing victory at home to Braintree. Electing to bat after winning the toss, Ryan Vickery (43 from 40 balls) and Dan Wheeler put on a rapid 97 for the first wicket, before Raheel Mehboob (1 for 37) claimed the only wicket to fall. Wheeler continued a masterful innings which saw him post an unbeaten 115 from 60 balls, while support came from Dan White (44 from 23 balls) as the pair put on an unbroken second wicket stand of 124 to see Kelvedon reach the interval at 221 for 1. In reply, Braintree never really threatened the total, eventually posting 101 for 6, with William Perkins (26) and Christopher Leech (21) the only batsmen to pass twenty. Will Wilton-Steer (2 for 22 from 4) was the most successful of the Kelvedon bowlers, although Ed King (1 for 16 from 4) bowled a tight opening spell.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Sam Webb-Snowling 200 * Copdock & OI v. Colchester & E.E.
Taurai Muzarabani 142 * Colchester & E.E. v. Copdock & OI
Dan Wheeler 115 * Kelvedon & Feering v. Braintree
Charlie Prudence 113 Springfield v. Halstead

James Banks 5 -- 39 West Bergholt v. Boxted

Performance of the Week Nominations
Sam Webb-Snowling 200* off 123 balls Copdock & OI v. Colchester & E.E
Taurai Muzarabani 142* off 84 balls Colchester & E.E. v. Copdock & OI
Charlie Prudence 113 Springfield v. Halstead
Dan Wheeler 115* in T20 Kelvedon v. Braintree

Congratulations to last week’s winner Matt Durrell for his 145 – Wivenhoe v. Clacton

Next Week
A small fixture list next week, probably a good thing with the Bank Holiday, and hopefully any struggling clubs can breathe a little and regroup looking for players, before we get into the June fixture list.
The top two in Division One, both have home matches this Sunday, with Wivenhoe welcoming Mistley to Rectory Road, while at Castle Park, Colchester & E.E will host Clacton. In Division Two, Springfield can go back to the top if they defeat Chappel & Wakes Colne at Coronation Park. In Division Three, there is just the one game as West Bergholt host Coggeshall. In the T20, Kelvedon will be looking to make it two out of two when they travel down the A12 to Galleywood who will be making their debut in the competition.