North Essex Cricket League

Weekly Round-Up

Week 23 - September 15 - Springfield claim Division 2 title, Shaakir Ahmed posts fifth century of the campaign for Saxons

So the sun goes down on another NECL season, with just the three games on the Sunday. In Division Two, it was a winner takes all battle at Rye Mill Lane, where Kelvedon took on Springfield for the Division Two title. It was a one sided affair as Springfield ran out winners by 9 wickets. Cavaliers are promoted with Springfield, courtesy of their game at Witham being conceded by their hosts. In Division Three, the remaining game of the season saw an outstanding performance from one of the Players of the Season, Shaakir Ahmed of Great Horkesley & Lexden, who posted a double century in his sides win at West Bergholt.

 

The Division Two title was on the line at Rye Mill Lane, with the winners claiming the championship and the losers likely to be condemned to another season in the second tier. Kelvedon won the toss and elected to bat and made rapid progress, reaching 50 at the beginning of the 10th over, as Ed King (36) in particular put bat to ball. Ash Tyler made the breakthrough taking out the first three wickets on his way to 5 for 45. Rob Hill (23) and James Reid (15) put on 28 for the fifth wicket, as Kelvedon headed towards 100, but when both fell before that landmark was reached the home side slipped to 99 for 7. Martin Southwell (3 for 24 from 8.3 overs) bowled a tight middle order spell, which saw him become the league’s joint leading wicket taker with 24 wickets. Dan Wheeler (42) hit a belligerent innings, which included four sixes, but his demise to Shan Thevasakayam (1 for 19) signalled the end of the innings as Kelvedon were bowled out for 146 with eight and a half overs unused. In reply, Springfield raced to a nine wicket success in barely 20 overs, as Charlie Prudence dominated the reply, with his third century of the season, scoring an unbeaten 111 from just 61 balls. Such was his dominance his partner in the unbroken second wicket stand of 118, Iestyn Powell was undefeated on 13.

Cavaliers had claimed twenty points at already relegated Witham, following the concession by the hosts, which at the start of play had seen Cavaliers on top of the pack. However, Springfield’s win saw the championship go the way of the Chelmsford side, with Cavaliers having to settle for the Runner Up position.

In Division Three, the final game of the season saw West Bergholt take on Great Horkesley & Lexden, with the visitors looking for a revenge victory following a heavy defeat a couple of weeks ago which effectively ended their hopes of promotion. Winning the toss the Saxons batted first and made steady progress, despite a tight wicketless opening spell from Joe Smith (0 for 27 from 9), a wicket would have seen Joe as the leading wicket taker in league, but he had to settle for joint leading wicket taker. Despite three early wickets falling, Bergholt’s job was made harder by losing Ed Hance to facial injury after 12 overs, which required a hospital visit. Shaakir Ahmed and Naveed Maan (73) then took control of the innings, and Toby Nickell-Lean (30) added some useful late order runs. Ahmed eventually completed his fifth century of the season, and his first double with an unbeaten 204, to take his season tally to 903, by far and away the leading run scorer in the league, as the Saxons posted a massive 354 for 5. West Bergholt in reply scored 171, with Lee Greenleaf (58), James Banks (29) and Joe Smith (29) all putting in useful knocks. Mohammed Ramali (3 for 24), Inzam Irfan (2 for 14) and Jon Jones (2 for 25) were the principal wicket takers as the visitors ended the season on a high to finish third.

Centuries and Five Wickets

Shaakir Ahmed 204 * Great Horkesley & Lexden v. West Bergholt
Charlie Prudence 111 * Springfield v. Kelvedon

Ash Tyler 5 -- 45 Springfield v. Kelvedon

Performance of the Week
Charlie Prudence 111* Springfield v. Kelvedon
Ash Tyle 5 for 45 Springfield v. Kelvedon
Shaakir Ahmed 204* Great Horkesley & Lexden v. West Bergholt

Congratulations to Great Totham’s Joe Davis whose all round performance of 5 for 30, and 47 not out in the Great Totham title victory at home to West Bergholt was adjudged Performance of the Week.

End of Season
So the end of campaign for 2019, signals the start of plans for 2020. Please can you let the Exec Committee () know of your clubs intentions for 2020, in both the 40 over competition, and the T20 by September 30th. It will assist with organising the constitution for 2020, if we are aware of withdrawals or applications. Applications to either competition for a new club, or a second team can also be made by September 30th.
Next week in the final roundup of the season, it will be the Divisional Teams of the Year.