North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 11 (July 1st) - Magnificent seven for Stebbing in Division Three

It seems a long time ago that we were despairing of the ‘Beast from the East’, as the prolonged heat wave continued into first weekend of July. Thankfully, all nine matches went ahead with no concessions, although the heat appears to have tipped one team over the edge, as Great Totham conceded their match against Braintree with eight overs remaining ! Great Horkesley & Lexden should be commended for their effort in Division Three, playing with eight men and claiming seven points at Boxted, after being subjected to a hot afternoon in the field first. In Division One, there were wins for Clacton and Copdock & OI, the former climbing up to second place. In Division Two, unbeaten leaders Halstead made it five from five, while second placed Springfield are not letting up on the chase with an eight wicket win at Eight Ash Green. Braintree claimed their first win of the season, with victory over Great Totham, in what is probably a first for the North Essex Cricket League – a team walking off. In Division Three, it is a magnificent seven for leaders Stebbing, who strolled to victory at West Bergholt. Cavaliers are a distant second, following a seven wicket success over Coggeshall, while Boxted claimed the win in the bottom of the table clash. In the T20 West division, Little Bardfield Village started their 2018 campaign with an impressive eight wicket victory over previously unbeaten Kelvedon & Feering, whom must now wait for the outcome of other results to see if they progress. Individually there were four centuries this week, with three coming at Halstead – Joe Morris (110) and Josh King (112no) scoring maiden centuries for Halstead, and Michael Godwin (108) responding for Witham. At Boxted veteran opener Steve Philpott (105) posted three figures in his sides win over Great Horkesley & Lexden. Only the one fiverfor, came from Clacton’s Bradley Pitts (5 for 47) in their win over Mistley, while there were four wicket performances from Springfield’s Martin Southwell (4 for 3), Braintree’s Joel Ainsley (4 for 33) and Prakash Day (4 for 35) of Boxted in their sides respective wins.

Division One
Clacton are up to the heady heights of second place in Division One following a six wicket success over Mistley at Vista Road. Batting first after winning the toss the Swans made good progress through openers Dylan Day and George Hutton (20) with 69 put on for the first wicket. There were not too many alarms as they proceeded to 99 for 2, with Day to the forefront passing his fifty. However, his demise as third wicket down for 78, with the score on 110 signaled a collapse of epic proportions as Mistley slumped to 129 all out. Bradley Pitts, claimed the wicket of Day, and then caused havoc in the middle order with three wickets in four balls, on his way to figures of 5 for 47. Kieron Parkes (2 for 12 from 8) bowled in tandem with Pitts, as Mistley lost eight wickets for 19 runs. Matthew O’Brien (2 for 35 from 8) had bowled a steady spell first up. In reply, Clacton made fairly light work of the run chase, with James Lee (37) and O’Brien (34no) top scoring, while Pitts (21) and Imran Sheikh (21no) provided back up. There were two wickets a piece for Tim Scott (2 for 46) and Day (2 for 35)

Copdock registered their first win of the campaign, with a three wicket win over Galleywood. Unfortunately, not much to report, as the Play-Cricket scorecard has not been uploaded by Copdock, which will incur them a £10 fine.

Division Two
Maiden centuries for Joe Morris and Josh King were the highlight of leaders Halstead’s big total against third place Witham. Goushi Raviendran (52 from 53 balls) out of the first 68 runs on the board had given Halstead the platform for a big total. Halstead skipper Joe Morris and Josh King, then delivered with a fourth wicket stand of 175, with Morris the next man to fall for 110 from 81 balls. King then dominated the final salvos of the innings, eventually registering 112 not out from 67 balls as the hosts closed at 305 for 4. Jack Sambrook (2 for 32) was the pick of the Witham bowlers. In reply, Witham made a lively start through Michael Headley (25 from 22 balls) and Michael Godwin, with the pair putting on 62 for the first wicket in nine overs. However, thereafter, wicket fell with regularity as the visitors slipped to 154 for 8, before Godwin was joined by Sambrook in a ninth wicket stand of 60. Godwin was eventually dismissed for 108 from 111 balls, and the end came soon after with Sambrook undefeated on 39 and Witham all out for 226. The wickets were shared around the Halstead bowlers, with six wicket takers, but there were two each for Joe Morris (2 for 14), Callum Hansey (2 for 27), Sam Johnson (2 for 37) and Sam Walter (2 for 46), while keeper Sam Hawes claimed three dismissals.

Second placed Springfield raced to an 8 wicket defeat, not long after 4.30pm as their hosts Eight Ash Green were thoroughly outplayed. 93 all out is hardly a total that was defendable and highlights, were few and far between. Ollie Stovell looked quite good for 28 before losing an entertaining battle with Springfield's young quick bowler Noah Pothen, while Stephen Nunn hit an unbeaten 16, but coming in at 10 he was never likely to be able to extend his recent good batting form to the extent that a challenging target could be set. For Springfield, the Ashurst's picked up 5 wickets between them, with fifteen year old Ted (3 for 19 from 6) coming out on top, the highlight being (by all accounts a worldie taken by Paul Durrant in the gully to remove Richard Polley). Tony Ashurst (2 for 18) backing up the younger Ashurst. Whilst in the battle of the ages, 60 year old left arm spinner Martin Southwell gazumped young upstart Teddy at the top of the Springfield wicket takers for the season as he raced through the tail with respectable figures of 4 for 3 from 5.1 overs. In reply, Springfield won with the loss of only 2 wickets in a mere 17 overs. Charlie Prudence (40no) continuing his good form with the bat, with support from James Gooday (24) at the top of the order. Jonathan Purser (1 for 15 from 6) was rewarded with a wicket from an excellent opening spell, while Ollie Stovell (1 for 6) benefitted from a rarity these days, a batsmen walking.

Ten man Braintree claimed their first victory of the campaign in bizarre circumstances and in the process climbed off the bottom of the table. Visitors Great Totham won the toss and elected to bat and made steady progress through a first and second wicket stand of 59 (John Chadwick (28)/Josh Chadwick), and 65 (Josh Chadwick/Rob Mutton (29)). Josh Chadwick (71) was eventually fourth man out, having posted his third fifty in five innings. Joel Ainsley (4 for 33) claimed his wicket on his way to the best bowling figures of the afternoon. Sam Bowen (44no) ended the innings in style as Totham closed at a respectable 239 for 8, enjoying a 67 run partnership for the 8th wicket with Jack Ridge (12). In reply, Braintree openers Nick Lockhart (51) and Christopher Leech gave the Dolphins a steady start. Leech (74) and Carl Lees then built a good second wicket stand before Leech was dismissed. The game, however, ended when it was arguably well poised, with Braintree requiring 48 from 8 overs with six wickets in hand. Lees struck the ball to the boundary and was caught, he walked off, but was then re-instated by the neutral standing umpire, who adjudged that the ball had been caught over the boundary and awarded Lees a six to take him to 66 not out. The visitors, disappointingly, took the option of venting their displeasure at the umpires decision by refusing to continue the game and walking off, giving the umpire no option but to award the game to Braintree by default. Obviously, investigations are already ongoing and there may be further action to come following discussion by the Management Committee.

Division Three
Leaders Stebbing made it win number seven with a seven wicket success at West Bergholt. Bergholt were bowled out for 98, and a half century from Stephen Heywood (50no) saw the visitors home. Few details from this one as well, with West Bergholt failing to upload the Play-Cricket scorecard, incurring a £10 fine.

Second placed Cavaliers travelled to Coggeshall looking to maintain their position. After a delayed start (both sides were waiting for players to arrive), Coggeshall won the toss and made an excellent start with a first wicket stand of 89, between Jack Raine (33) and Ben Speakman. A further 46 runs were added for the second wicket, with Speakman next man out for 67. Ashley Blows (36) was the next top scorer in the innings and once he was dismissed, Cavaliers then took regular wickets, with Prakesh Kannan (9-0-45-3) leading the way, before Fowad Murtaza (6-0-7-3) bowled an excellent spell at the end of the innings. Raouf Rasheed (7-2-26-1) returned to take a wicket in the last over, as the Cavaliers restricted Coggeshall to 184 for 8 from their 40 overs. The Cavaliers reply got off to a great start as Martin Vinter and Fowad Murtaza brought up the 50 after just 7 overs, and had scored 100 for the first wicket by the drinks break at 15 overs, Murtaza bringing his fourth fifty of the season up, after just 37 balls. Soon after the break Murtaza was bowled with the score on 105, but captain Noman Jalib continued the momentum, adding 47 runs with Vinter for the second wicket. Once Jalib (29) was caught out, Vinter (who reached his fifty off of 78 balls) and Imran Ikram added a further 20 together to make the score 172 for 2, but Vinter (54) was bowled with the Cavaliers just 13 short of victory. Muhammadi Nadeem (1no) got off strike from the first ball he faced, leaving Ikram (24no) to win the game with a four and a six; Cavaliers scoring 185 for 3 in 31 overs to win by 7 wickets.

Boxted took the honours in the bottom of the table clash to climb to fourth in Division Three. Great Horkesley & Lexden only had eight players to call upon, and their situation was compounded when Boxted won the toss and elected to bat. Steve Philpott and Garry Green (51) gave the home side the perfect start putting on 105 for the first wicket. Philpott (105) enjoyed further partnerships of 48 and 40 for the second and third wicket, before becoming the third man out with the score on 190. Michael Dell (50no) then combined with Paul Harris (23no) for an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 54 to see Boxted close on 256 for 4. The dependable Jon Jones (2 for 37 from 9) was the tidiest of the Saxon bowlers. In reply, the visitors gave it a go with Robin Seller (39) and Jones putting on an opening stand of 61, before the former became the first of Prakash Dey’s four wickets (4 for 35 from 9). Jones, went onto to top score with 61, and there were good contributions from Ali Manhire (34) and Graeson Laitt (21) as GHL recorded their fifth batting point, before being bowled out for 200 in the 35th over.

T20 – West
Little Bardfield Village began their 2018 T20 campaign with an excellent run chase against previously unbeaten Kelvedon & Feering at Church End. Batting first the nine men of Kelvedon put in a spirited effort with the bat, with top four all scoring well and quickly. Dan Wheeler (41 from 26) and Ryan Vickery (29 from 23) put on 66 for the first wicket, and a 65 run stand for the third wicket between Ed King (32 off 23) and Aidan O’Brien (39 off 35) set the visitors up for a competitive score of 182 for 5 from their 20 overs. Daryl Hymas was the pick of the Village bowlers with 2 for 33 from his four overs. Bardfield are a difficult outfit to beat, particularly on their own patch, and went about the run chase in emphatic style. Hymas (35 from 30) and Ed Hitchcock putting on 87 for the first wicket. Hitchcock continued the onslaught peppering the boundary with seven sixes on his way to 98 from just 48 balls as the home side made the run chase a formality. A second wicket stand of 91 between Hitchcock and Callum Reid (30no from 20), was ended when Hitchcock chipped one for jug avoidance. However, an eight wicket victory was wrapped up fairly soon after, with 22 balls in hand.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Josh King 112 * Halstead v. Witham
Joe Morris 110 Halstead v. Witham
Michael Godwin 108 Witham v. Halstead
Steve Philpott 105 Boxted v. Great Horkesley & Lexden

Bradley Pitts 5 -- 47 Clacton v. Mistley

Performance of the Week nominations
Joe Morris & Josh King            Maiden centuries & 175 stand Halstead v. Witham
Steve Philpott 105                   Boxted v. Great Horkesley & Lexden
Bradley Pitts 5-47                   Clacton v. Mistley
Martin Southwell 4-3                Springfield v. Eight Ash Green

Congratulations to Colchester & E.E. Michael Cursons whose 109 in the T20 win over Wivenhoe, including a forty ball century won the vote for performance of the week with 57% of the vote.

Next Week
This week’s action commences tomorrow night as Mistley entertain Colchester & E.E. in the T20 East, a win from the game will see Colchester progress to Finals Day. On Sunday in Division One, Clacton will go to the top of Division One, if they claim two points at home to Galleywood. Copdock make the trip to Mistley looking for back to back wins. In Division Two, the top two are not in action, so attention turns to third placed Witham who are in derby day action at Great Totham. At the bottom, Abberton and Eight Ash Green meet at The Brow, while Braintree will be looking for a win at Chappel & Wakes Colne. In Division Three, the leaders have a week off, while second place Cavaliers have a tricky home game against Kelvedon & Feering at the Rugby Club. Real Oddies welcome Boxted to the Garrison, while there is a mid table encounter between Coggeshall and West Bergholt at Harefield.