North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 16 (August 5th) - Fowad Murtaza reaches 500 runs as Cavaliers go top of Division Three

After the washout last week, it was a return to hot weather on Sunday, although unfortunately the summer holidays appear to have taken hold, as there were two concessions. In Division One, it looks decidedly bleak for Copdock & OI whose concession at Galleywood, resulted in further deduction of ten points, under Rule 29, which virtually seals their relegation. In Division Two, Halstead’s unbeaten run came to an end at Star Stile with an 18 run defeat in a high scoring game against Braintree. Springfield closed the gap with a thumping victory at home to Abberton, however, they missed the chance to top on Monday evening when they were defeated by Great Totham. Totham enjoyed a forty point weekend as they got the better of Eight Ash Green in a bowler friendly game at Fordham Heath on Sunday. In Division Three, there are new leaders, as Cavaliers move above Stebbing following their win at Great Horkesley & Lexden. Stebbing surrendered the lead in the table by conceding their game at Coggeshall. Kelvedon are also creeping up on the blind side for championship honours, following a six wicket success at Boxted.

Individually there were two centurions, with Springfield’s Taine Pollinger (111no) recording his maiden century in their win over Abberton. The consistent Fowad Murtaza of Cavaliers scored his second century of the season with an unbeaten 107 at Great Horkesley & Lexden, which sees him become the first player in the league to pass five hundred runs for the season. The best bowling performances of the week came from Kelvedon’s Ryan Vickery who returned 4 for 20, and then backed up his bowling with 74 with the bat, Vinayakumar Gedi of Cavaliers returned 4 for 25, while Halstead’s Josh King claimed 4 for 26 in his sides defeat to Braintree.

Division One
Galleywood are virtually assured of top flight cricket next season following an easy twenty points gained at home to Copdock, who for the third time this season conceded resulting in a further ten point deduction. It means that barring a miracle of numerous concessions from another team in the Division that Copdock are almost certainly returning to Division Two.

Division Two
Halstead suffered their first reverse of the season at Star Stile to Braintree, on the last day of the Halstead Beer Festival. Not making excuses for the hosts but they were rather generous in the field dropping ten catches (possibly a beer festival hangover !). Braintree were in trouble early on, slipping to 6 for 2, as Morgan Whymark claimed both early wickets. However, thereafter, it was a solid batting performance from the Dolphins, with Carl Lees (35) and Robbie Spalding (49) initially stabalising the innings. Chris Leech (42), Albie Nutell (44) and Rory Ainsley (38) all added good middle order contributions as Braintree closed on 241 for 8. Josh King (4 for 26 from 8) was the stand out bowler for Halstead, while Sam Walter (2 for 67) picked up the other two wickets. Conversely to Braintree, Halstead made an excellent start with openers Harry Pritchard (49) and Josh Ruthven (55) scoring well and putting on an opening stand of 90. Joel Ainsley (3 for 32 from 9) claimed both their wickets, as he and Rory Ainsley (3 for 47 from 9) clawed the Dolphins back into the game by making inroads into the middle order. Halstead skipper, Joe Morris battled in vain for 56, before Cally Foyster (3 for 64) claimed his wicket, which saw Braintree to an 18 run success.

Springfield are up to second in Division Two following a win on Sunday they entertained struggling Abberton at Coronation Park. Batting first,Charlie Prudence (33) and James Gooday (51) gave Springfield the perfect platform for a big score. Taine Pollinger (111no), scoring his maiden century for the club and given support from Shan Thevasakayam (15) and Neil Kennedy (20no) lifted the home total to an imposing 276 for 5. Connor Oldrey (3 for 78) was the most successful of the Lions bowlers, while Elliott Mann (1 for 34 from 7) was the most economic on a difficult afternoon in the field for Abberton. In reply, Abberton were soon losing wickets in quick succession, with only Matt Sullivan (33) scoring more than twenty, as the visitors were bowled out in 27 overs for 116. All the Springfield bowlers picked up a wicket, with young Pranav Sreedharan, making his NECL debut (2 for 16) and veteran Martin Southwell (2 for 30) the most successful.

On Monday evening, Springfield missed the chance to go top as they entertained Great Totham in a T20 game re-arranged from earlier in the season. Batting first the Springfield big guns failed to fire, with only James Gooday (36) and Ollie Prudence (55no) scoring any runs of notes as they posted 136 for 6. In reply Harry Cooper (50) lead the successful run chase for Totham, with the visitors claiming a four wicket victory in the 17th over. Paul Durrant having his first bowl in five years returned a creditable 3 for 28.

Eight Ash Green are heading for a second successive relegation after they were defeated at Fordham Heath by Great Totham, in a game where despite the hot weather the bowlers were on top. Totham batted first and made rapid progress through skipper Joshua Chadwick (38 from 39), Rob Hewer (29 from 35) and Will Simpson (33 from 37). However, with all the Green bowlers claiming wickets they were bowled out for 147 with the best part of twelve overs unused. Sam Pace (3 for 52), and a pair of wickets each for Ollie Licence (2 for 15) and Ollie Stovell (2 for 20) were the significant wicket takers for the Green. Great Totham then bowled superbly to restrain their hosts to 136 all out in 40 overs. Tim Chambers (43) at the top of the order and Duncan Wyatt (36) were the only batsmen to pass twenty, while economic and penetrating opening spells from John Chadwick (3 for 14 from 9) and Will Simpson (2 for 26 from 9) set the tone for the Totham bowling performance. Josh Chadwick (2 for 43) and Harry Banyard (2 for 22 from 9) backed up the opening bowlers as Totham completed an eleven run success.

Division Three
Cavaliers are the new leaders of Division Three, following a 98 run victory at nears neighbours Great Horkesley & Lexden. It was their talisman batsmen Fowad Murtaza who set up the victory against the bottom club. Murtaza became the first player this season to reach 500 runs, completing the feat in just seven innings and not failing to pass fifty so far to date. Murtaza posted an unbeaten 107, and gained the main support from Imran Ikram (33) in a third wicket stand of 78. Tariq Hijazi (20), Muhammadi Nadeem (10) and Haji Ahamed (15no) also assisted, as Cavaliers reached 223 for 5. In reply, Great Horkesley & Lexden were soon in trouble slumping from 19 for 1 to 24 for 5, as Vinayakumar Gedi and Nadeem (2 for 25) dismissed the top order. Ahamed backed up his fiverfor a couple of weeks ago to return 3 for 15 as the Saxons faltered, with only Rana Mahmood showing any resilience. Mahmood (65) was last man out, to Gedi (4 for 25) as the home side were bowled out for 125.

A surprise concession by the long time leaders in Division Three at Coggeshall, saw Stebbing surrender their position at the top. However, with three of their four remaining games at home they still have a big say in the destiny of the title.

Kelvedon are very much in the championship race, recording a third straight win. It was an all round performance by Ryan Vickery that was decisive in their victory at Boxted. Batting first Boxted were indebted to opener Richard Springett (67) for most of their runs, with Tom Arculus (21) the only other player to pass twenty. A generous 41 extras, bolstered the Boxted total as they closed at 181 for 7. Ryan Vickery was the stand out bowler, taking wickets and bowling an economic nine over spells that returned 4 for 20. Jeremy King (2 for 27) and Reece Dolman (1 for 25) were the other wicket takers for Kelvedon. Vickery and Edward King (32) then put on an opening stand of 89 to put the visitors well on course for victory. Vickery (74) eventually top scored before becoming the first of Matthew Wilson’s (3 for 31) three wickets. Mark Cottee (25no) and Mick Warner (25no) saw Kelvedon to a six wicket success with eight over remaining, after compiling an unbroken fifth wicket stand of 44.

No report from West Bergholt v Real Oddies as the Play-Cricket scorecard has not been uploaded. Oddies won by six wickets to remain fourth.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Taine Pollinger 111 * Springfield v. Abberton
Fowad Murtaza 107 * Cavaliers v. Great Horkesley & Lexden

Performance of the Week
Taine Pollinger 111no Springfield v. Abberton
Fowad Murtaza 107no Cavaliers v. Great Horkesley & Lexden
Josh King 4 for 26 Halstead v. Braintree
Ryan Vickery 74 & 4 for 20 Kelvedon v. Boxted

Next Week
The Glorious twelfth next Sunday sees nine matches scheduled, although there is a questionable weather forecast at this stage of the week. In Division One, unbeaten Wivenhoe make the trip to struggling Copdock & OI, while at Castle Park, Colchester & E.E welcome Mistley. In Division Two, Halstead look to extend their lead at the top of the table with a win at Witham, while Braintree will fancy their chances of a sixth straight win as they travel to bottom of the table Eight Ash Green. Great Totham welcome Chappel & Wakes Colne to Bull Meadow in the other fixture. In Division Three, there is a full programme with the top three all at home, new leaders Cavaliers face Real Oddies in their final home match of the season. Stebbing welcome West Bergholt, while Kelvedon entertain Coggeshall. Finally, there is short trip for Boxted as they travel to Mile End to face Great Horkesley & Lexden.