North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 18 - August 11 - Holder's Colchester & E.E. take the final place for T20 Finals Day

A pivotal week in the NECL saw Colchester & E.E defy the odds to reach the T20 Finals Day, they then slumped to a third straight Division 1 defeat to open up the title race, with any one of four teams now able to claim it. Defeat for Halstead by Wivenhoe, ensured that they are relegated along with Galleywood. Both games in Division 2 were conceded, with Cavaliers and Kelvedon claiming the twenty points. Real Oddies third concession of the season sees them relegated from Division 2. In Division 3, Great Horkesley & Lexden inflicted a third straight defeat on Sudbury, and are now short priced favourites to claim the title. In the other game, Great Totham defeated Eight Ash Green. Centuries this week, saw Kalipha Cele of Mistley lead the way with an unbeaten 141 against Colchester, Charlie Fernandes scored a rapid 129 in the T20 for Colchester against Abberton, while Josh Ruthven (101) and Matt Durrell (109no) both hit tons for their respective teams in the Halstead v. Wivenhoe clash. Bevin Guthrie (5 for 23) returned the only fivefor of the weekend in Eight Ash Green’s defeat at home to Great Totham.

The final qualification game in the T20 group stages saw holders Colchester & E.E. defeat Abberton by 191 runs and in the process, write off the deficit in net run rate that they had to Frinton, and qualify for Finals Day. Batting first after winning the toss Feroze Ahmed and Charlie Fernandes raced to a fifty stand off of 26 balls. Fernandes reached his fifty off of 21 balls in the sixth over, and the century stand came up off of 52 balls, Fernandes having hit 74. He brought his century up in the 11th over, coming off 41 balls, and including 13 fours and five sixes. The mayhem continued as the 150 partnership was brought up off 68 balls, Fernandes (129 from 50 balls) was the first wicket to fall with the score on 183, and shortly afterwards Ahmed reached his 50 in the 15th over, albeit off of only 36 balls. The last five overs saw a further 72 runs plundered, with Ahmed (75 from 46) and Simon Fernandes (40no from 15) scoring heavily as Colchester reached 272 for 3. Colchester’s hopes of overcoming the negative run rate were further enhanced as Oliver Allison (3 for 13) accounted for the top order. Only Ryan Brooks (24) passed twenty, as George Offord (4 for 17) continued his excellent form with the ball in T20 and Charlie Allison (2 for 10) mopped up the lower order to bowl Abberton out for 81.

The T20 Semi Final line up on Monday 26th August at Halstead is confirmed as Halstead will play holders Colchester & E.E., while Mistley will play Coggeshall.

In Division One on Sunday a third successive defeat for Colchester & E.E has opened the title up, with any one of four teams in with a chance of claiming the championship. Mistley were the visitors to Castle Park, and elected to bat after winning the toss. Sam Burkitt (45) and Kalipha Cele gave the Swans the perfect platform for a big score with an opening stand of 140. Four quick wickets fell to reduce the visitors to 164 for 4, before Cele enjoyed partnerships of 47 with Rob Collett (11) and an unbeaten 34 with Tim Scott (29no from 9 balls) as Mistley closed on 245 for 5. Cele himself carried his bat for an unbeaten 141 from 126 balls. An inconspicuous start saw both Colchester openers back in the pavilion with only 21 on the board. Keir Young (44) and Charlie Allison (22) rebuilt the innings, but with the Mistley bowlers in control the target was never really threatened. Charlie Hawthorn (1 for 30 from 9) and Alastair Day (2 for 37 from 9) the pick for the Swans. Oscar Dias (55no) hit a defiant knock late in the piece as Colchester closed on 179 for 7.

Halstead’s final game of the Division One season saw them defeated by seven wickets at home to Wivenhoe, a result which condemns them to relegation, while giving the visitors an outside chance of lifting the title. Josh Ruthven (101) was the main contributor to the Halstead effort, with Harry Pritchard (26) and Sam Hawes (20) the only other batsmen to top twenty, as they posted 209 for 6 from 40 overs. James Butcher (2 for 40) was the most successful of the Wivenhoe bowlers, while five other bowlers claimed a wicket a piece. The Durrell brothers then made the chase academic as Matt (109no) and Tom (66) eased Wivenhoe to success with three and a half over remaining. Chris Roper (2 for 50) was the leading wicket taker for Halstead.

In Division Two, both games were conceded, with Cavaliers and Kelvedon benefitting from Stebbing and Real Oddies concessions repectively. Cavaliers are now 28 points clear of Springfield with three games to play. Real Oddies third concession of the season saw them deducted a further ten points which ensures they are relegated to Division Three.

The top of the table game in Division Three went with form, with Great Horkesley & Lexden subjecting leaders Sudbury to a third successive defeat, meaning the title is now in the hands of the Saxons who will win with wins in their remaining three games. Keelan Waldock (64) dominated proceedings early on for Sudbury, before Jonathan Amos (44) took charge of a second wicket stand of 72. Tidy bowling spells from Mohammed Ramali (1 for 23 from 9), Shaakir Ahmed (2 for 29 from 9) and Jon Jones (2 for 36 from 9) ensured the normally fluent Sudbury run machine was stemmed, as they reached 173 for 6 in their 40 overs. The Saxons lost Jayasooriya with just a single on the board, before Jon Jones (37) and the in form Shaakir Ahmed put on a second wicket stand of 69. Despite a slight stutter which saw the home side slip to 134 for 5, while Ahmed was at the crease there was always some assurance that the job would get done. Ahmed eventually was undefeated on 65, and with support from skipper Robin Seller (23no) the Saxons reached their target with five overs to spare.

Great Totham were victors by 68 runs at Eight Ash Green, but the result would have been a lot closer but for a half century (56) of extras in Totham innings ! Owen McCausland (20) and Harry Cooper (32) both got starts at the top of the order for the visitors, but it was James Pook (86) who was to be the mainstay of the Totham innings. Some control with the ball in the latter stages by Jens Wair (3 for 45) and Bevin Guthrie (5 for 23), pulled the game back for the Green as Totham were dismissed for 256 with a full three overs remaining. An opening stand of 98 between Richard Nunn and Will Spicer (42), ensured that visitors had to work for their victory. Joe Davis (4 for 37) broke the opening stand and also claimed the important wickets of Nunn (79) and Ollie Stovell (21) to effectively end the run chase. Harry Cooper picked up 2 for 36, as the Green closed on 188 for 7 and defeat by 68 runs, rueing the 56 extras.

Centuries and Five Wickets
Kalipha Cele 141 * Mistley v. Colchester & E.E.
Charlie Fernandes 129 Colchester & E.E. v. Abberton
Matt Durrell 109 * Wivenhoe v. Halstead
Josh Ruthven 101 Halstead v. Wivenhoe

Bevin Guthrie 5 -- 23 Eight Ash Green v. Great Totham

Performance of the Week
Charlie Fernandes 129 off 50 balls in T20 Colchester & E.E. v. Abberton
Kalipha Cele 141no Mistley v. Halstead
Matt Durrell 109no Wivenhoe v. Halstead
Bevin Guthrie 5 for 23 Eight Ash Green v. Great Totham

Next Week
In Division One, there is only one game as Colchester & E.E. look to go back to the top as they host bottom of the table Galleywood. In Division Two, barring concessions all six teams should be in action. Leaders Cavaliers travel to Kelvedon, second placed Springfield welcome Real Oddies, while Witham host Stebbing in a game which could decide the second team to be relegated. In Division Three, leaders Great Horkesley & Lexden are at home to Great Totham, while Sudbury complete their programme with a home against Boxted. Finally, Eight Ash Green welcome Coggeshall to Fordham Heath.