North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 8 - June 2 - Sudbury make it five out of five

The hottest day of the year greeted the start of the June NECL fixture list. In Division One, Halstead have their first success of the campaign following a narrow nine run success of Galleywood. In Division Two, Cavaliers, the last side to start their season recorded an excellent victory over previously unbeaten Stebbing, Noman Jalib posting an unbeaten 106 for the Cavs. Springfield maintained their unbeaten start with a 41 run win at Real Oddies. In Division Three, the Sudbury juggernaut continues with a fifth straight win, a ten wicket success over Boxted. There were much tighter affairs in the other two games, where Eight Ash Green and Great Horkesley & Lexden both prevailed with their first wins of the season over West Bergholt and Coggeshall respectively. In the T20 West division, Coggeshall scored a 94 run win over Witham, with Rob Cross battering an unbeaten 95 for the Cockerels. The T20 East double header at Ashlyn’s Road, resulted in a double for Frinton as they comfortably beat Elmstead and Abberton.

 

Division 1
Halstead scored their first success of the campaign in Division One, with an 8 run success over Galleywood at Star Stile. Halstead batted first and recovered from the early loss of Charles Mallett in the second over for a first ball duck, with Adam Morris (21) and Liam Jones (36) putting on a second wicket stand of 58. Both departed to Duncan Walton (2 for 43), before Josh Wells and Mark Johnson took up the run scoring. Johnson eventually had to retire through exhaustion in the midday heat for a well compiled 40. Wells then took on the Galleywood bowlers in the latter stages, to see Halstead up to 217 for 5, his contribution an unbeaten 77 from just 40 balls. Halstead new ball pairing both claimed a wicket each, George Pritchard returning to Halstead colours (1 for 32) and debutant Julian Chamberlain-Carter (1 for 24 from 7), before Tim Dethridge (52) and Ben Rayner (52) seemed to put the visitors in charge. Josh Wells claimed both their wickets on his way to 2 for 26, as the game swung back Halstead’s way, as Callum Hansey and a couple of run outs saw the home side into the Galleywood tail. However, youngster Zak Hicks (37) was determined not to make it a lost cause, taking a liking to the leg-side boundary, and dragging the required rate down to 18 off the last over. He managed to get that down to 10 required from the last two deliveries, but was bowled by Callum Hansey (3 for 29) to end the match with a nervy Halstead win.

Division 2
Springfield made it two wins from two, with a 41 run success at Real Oddies in a low scoring match. Some steady bowling in the middle overs from Pete Pearson (2 for 25 from 9) and Stuart Ward (2 for 30 from 9) for the Oddies stopped Springfield from breaking the shackles with their run scoring. Charlie Prudence (45) made an important contribution, but when he became the first of Mike Miller’s four wickets (4 for 34), it was down to Shan Thevasakayam (22) and Neil Kennedy (13) to see Springfield reach 132 for 9. In reply, there did not seem to be too many problems for the Oddies early on, with Ashok and Aryan Sharma putting on 29 for the first wicket. Ted Ashurst made the breakthrough on his way to figures of 3 for 18 from 6, and thereafter, wickets fell with regularity, the key wicket being that of Ashok Sharma (27). Malien Mudalige (20) and Pete Pearson (15) offered some middle order resistance, but once their partnership was broken the last five wickets fell for just 13 runs. Martin Southwell (2 for 13 from 9) had bowled an accurate spell, which Matt Trim benefitted from returning 3 for 3, as Oddies slumped to 91 all out.

Cavaliers were the last team to start their NECL campaign, with a formidable trip to unbeaten Stebbing to start their season. It was not the best of starts for the visitors with the bat losing Fowad Murtaza for a duck, before Raheel Akhlaq (51 – including 11 fours) and Noman Jalib took the attack to the Stebbing bowlers with a 76 run partnership for the second wicket. Once Akhlaq was dismissed it fell primarily to Jalib to dominate the innings, although he enjoyed a 79 run partnership for the fourth wicket with Farhan Munir (28), as he went on to post an unbeaten 106 in the Cavaliers total of 258 for 7. Walter Forsey (2 for 43) and Dominic Bird (2 for 49) were the most successful of the Stebbing bowlers. The Stebbing reply began well with Josh O’Connor (36) and a fluent Joshua Bird (45 – 9 fours and 1 six) putting on 77 for the first wicket before Bird was bowled by Munir. Munir bowled a tight spell returning 2 for 7 from 7, and a couple of run outs exacerbated the Stebbing demise as they slipped to 116 for 6. Graeme Dewar (47) and Dominic Bird (20no) added some late order resistance to see Stebbing eventually bowled out in the 38th over for 195. Usman Ghani (3 for 55) was the most successful Cavs bowler, while Ahmed Khaliq (2 for 15) mopped up the last two wickets to fall.

Division 3
Sudbury continued their domination of Division Three, with a ten wicket victory over Boxted at Cage Lane. Invited to bat, Boxted were bowled out for 116, of which veterans Paul Harris (34) and John Hamblion (22) top scored. The Sudbury bowling honours were shared between Morgan Waldock (2 for 13), Arthur Burns (2 for 13) and James Quin (2 for 16), although a miserly opening spell from Charles Thomas (0 for 17 from 9) certainly added to the pressure on the batsmen. In reply, Sudbury openers Keelan Waldock (57no) and Andy Holness (54no) both posted half centuries as they cruised to victory inside 23 overs.

Great Horkesley & Lexden finally got to complete a scheduled match at the third attempt, recording a 29 run win at home to Coggeshall. Things did not start too well for the Saxons, with both the openers back in the hutch without a run on the board. Rana Mehmood (35) was the only bat who looked comfortable in the top order as Great Horkesley & Lexden slipped to 95 for 6. Ben Speakman (3 for 28 from 9) causing the hosts the problems at the top of the order. The Saxons battled back well with the last four partnerships adding 106, with a particularly annoying ninth wicket stand of 70 between Shafi Sayed (38) and Rauf Maan (18) eventually proving decisive. Robin Seller (22) and James Wallis (17) also added crucial runs in the middle order, while Jack Raine chipped in with 3 for 37 for Coggeshall. In reply, Ned Overbury (30) scored well at the top for Coggeshall. However, no one else in the top order could stay with him to develop a partnership. Shaakir Ahmed (3 for 50) and a typically economical spell from Jon Jones (1 for 20 from 9) put the Cockerels further behind the required rate. Henry Allen (38), Glenn Shuter (26no) and Jack Raine (20) all put in concerted efforts, but with all the Saxons bowlers claiming wickets Coggeshall were eventually to end their innings at 172 for 9.

West Bergholt are still looking for their first win of the season after a 27 run defeat at home to Eight Ash Green. They had the Green in a spot of bother at 46 for 4, of which Keith Hammond (26) top scored. Joe Smith (2 for 31) and Matt McDonald (2 for 31) causing the early problems for the visitors. Recovery came from Ollie Stovell (51) with a run ball half century, and Sam Collins (37). A half century partnership for the seventh wicket between Alex Hammond (11) and James Crafford (38no from 31 balls) was the icing on the cake, as Eight Ash Green closed at 196 for 7. In reply, Bergholt were quickly in trouble as Troy Collins nicked out two early wickets. Oli Crafford then blasted out the middle order with figures of 4 for 28, as the home side slumped to 81 for 6. Joe Smith (55 from 62) hit a defiant half century, but with Collins returning to claiming his wicket on the way to figures of 4 for 27 from 9, West Bergholt were bowled out for 169.

T20 -East
A successful T20 double header for Frinton saw them claim two wins, against two other new sides in the T20 competition this year. In the first game Frinton entertained Elmstead, and batting first after winning the toss Frinton made rapid progress. Michael Comber (45) and Tom Sinclair (67) gave the Seasiders the perfect start, before other useful knocks from Miguel Machado (43), Bradley Pitts (22no) and Blaine Bannister (12) saw Frinton up to 202 for 3 from their 20 overs. Dan White was the pick of the Elmstead bowlers returning 1 for 23 from his four overs. In reply, Elmstead were never really in the hunt despite openers Dan White (20) and Aidan O’Brien (29) contribution at the top of the order. Dulanjala Mendis (2 for 18 from 4) and Ryan Harrington (1 for 25 from 4) bowling tidy spells as Elmstead closed on 137 for 7. A Prestney (20) was the only other player to reach twenty for the visitors.

The second match saw Frinton bat first again against Abberton, and although they were less fluent than their opening match, they still managed to post 147 for 5 from 20 overs. Miguel Machado (39) and Sam Brynes (36no) top scored, while Bradley Pitts added another 20. Chris Southernwood (1 for 18 from 4) was Abberton’s most economic bowler. In reply, the Lions had no answers to Frinton bowlers as they collapsed to 69 all out in 15.2 overs. Blaine Bannister (2 for 8) and Sam Brynes (2 for 8) caused the early problems as the top order was blown away. Tom Sinclair helped himself to three catches and a stumping at the wicket, as the wickets tumbled. Only Robert McKim (16) and John Arnold (13) reached double figures, while David Fitzpatrick (2 for 19) was the third Frinton bowler to pick up a brace.

In the T20 West group, Coggeshall joined Halstead at the top with two wins from two, as they completed a 94 run victory over Witham. Batting first Charlie Green (25 from 16) and Matthew Short (44 from 21) scored freely at the top of the order for Coggeshall, but the real impetus came from Rob Cross who smashed an unbeaten 95 from 51 balls, while Barry Edwards chopped in with a run a ball 23, as the Cockerels closed at 204 for 4. Ken McClure (2 for 44) was the most successful of the Witham bowlers. K Moulten-Day (30 from 20) and Michael Godwin (31 from 22) gave Witham an excellent start, but once they were both dismissed by Kane Addison (3 for 29 from 4) the game swung in favour of Coggeshall. Josh Morton (2 for 11) and Robbert Jagger (2 for 2) picked up pair of wickets each, as the Witham innings tailed off to see them bowled out for 110 in the 16th over.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Noman Jalib 106 * Cavaliers v. Stebbing

Performance of the Week
Josh Wells 77no & 2 for 26 Halstead v. Galleywood
Noman Jalib 106no Cavaliers v. Stebbing
Troy Collins & Oli Crafford 8 for 55 Eight Ash Green v. West Bergholt
Robert Cross 95no Coggeshall v. Witham T20

Congratulations to Sudbury’s Keelan Waldock whose unbeaten 138 saw him claim the NECL Performance of the Week.

Next Week
A bumper week scheduled next week with eight games scheduled across the NECL. In Division One, Colchester & E.E. are back in action as they travel to Mistley, while leaders Clacton are also on their travels with a trip to Halstead. In Division Two, the last unbeaten record will go as Cavaliers welcome Springfield to Mill Road, while Stebbing will be looking to bounce back with a win at home to Witham. In Division Three, there will be a breath of relief as Sudbury are not in action, so Great Totham could close the gap as they travel to Great Horkesley & Lexden, who will also be looking to consolidate on top of a win last week. Eight Ash Green will fancy making it two on the trot, as they welcome Boxted, while two out of form sides both look for a much needed win as West Bergholt entertain Coggeshall. Just the one T20 match next weekend on the West group, where Galleywood host unbeaten Coggeshall.