Weekly Round-Up

Week 19 (August 26th) - Colchester & E.E are 2018 NECL T20 Champions

After the abysmal weather on Sunday, it was a relief to see a drying breeze on Monday morning for the T20 Finals Day. Sterling work by the Colchester & E.E. groundsman ensured that despite the amount of water that had fallen, play got away on time in the semi finals.

On the main square, East Division winners Ipswich took on Kelvedon, with the teams serving up a real nail biter. Kelvedon won the toss and batted first, and made excellent progress through Ryan Vickery (50 from 29 balls), including four sixes. Dan White (22 from 14) and Dan Wheeler (24 from 17) supported well at the top of the order. However, from a relatively good position at half way of 89 for 3, Ipswich fought back into the contest reducing Kelvedon to 120 for 8. Ian Knight (4 for 30) was the main protagonist for Ipswich. A ninth wicket stand of 25, between Tom Potter (22no) and Matt Sexton (11) took Kelvedon to their total of 146 for 9. In reply, Ipswich lost four wickets for 53, of which Sam Foster (24 from 15) top scored. Charlie Watts bowled an excellent opening spell that saw him return 3 for 21 from his four overs. A rebuilding operation was started by Dan Cummins, in partnership with Adam Cuthbert (10) and Karthik Madavan (15) as at half way Ipswich had reached 75 for 4. Cummins kept a cool head while three run outs saw the equation come down to 18 required off 3, that became 11 from the last, as Tris Peperall bowled a tight penultimate over. Ollie Wilton-Steer bowled the final over, a run out off the first ball of the over, a reverse sweep four and a single saw the equation come down to 5 needed from 3 balls. A single for Cummins took him to an excellent 59 not out, but with Mark Phillips requiring a boundary from the final delivery he could only muster a single to give Kelvedon victory by two runs.

On the second square, West Division winners Little Bardfield Village were looking to break their curse of the nearly men by getting to their first T20 final at the third attempt, against Colchester & E.E. Colchester batted first and made a rapid start through Feroze Ahmed (66 including 7 sixes) out of the first 92 runs on the board. Once he was removed Michael Cursons (57) and Caspar Everett (37) took up the attack to the Bardfield bowlers. Tom Graham (3 for 34) halted the charge, but Colchester posted a more than respectable 210 for 5 from their 20 overs. In reply, Ed Hitchcock (35) and Matt Graham (39) gave Bardfield a good start with 65 for the first wicket. However, thereafter, the Colchester bowlers were in control and managed to contain the Bardfield reply. Max Dias (2 for 21 from 4) and Ryan Savill (2 for 30) were the most successful bowlers for Colchester. Callum Reid (65no) top scored for Bardfield who eventually closed at 172 for 6.

The final saw Colchester & E.E. win the toss and insert Kelvedon. Ryan Vickery (17 from 13) and Dan Wheeler (14 from 12) gave Kelvedon a quick start, before Louis Morris and Max Dias claimed their wickets. Taurai Muzarabani (2 for 21 from 4) then made further inroads as Kelvedon slipped to 54 for 4. Aiden O’Brien (32) and Tom Potter (25) then put of 46 for the fifth wicket to set up the final push for runs. Charlie Watts (19 from 11) and Ollie Wilton-Steer (16 from 10), including a six and four in the last over, added useful cameo’s as Kelvedon reached 163 for 8. Morris (2 for 41) and Dias (2 for 25) both ended up with a pair of wickets for Colchester. In reply, Colchester lost Feroze Ahmed without a run on the board to Charlie Watts (1 for 26). Jake Foley and Michael Cursons (18 from 17 balls) then added 60 for the second wicket in six overs, before Tris Peperell claimed the wicket of Cursons on the first ball after the power play. Peperell (2 for 29) then claimed the wicket of Foley (53) and with Dan White chipping in with a wicket, Colchester had slipped to 88 for 4 at the end of the 9th over. Dan White (2 for 27) claimed a second wicket in the twelfth over to leave Colchester needing 60 from 8 overs and the game very much in the balance. However, at this point Taurai Muzarabani (47no from 26) took control of the innings, and in an unbroken stand of 64 with Oliver Allison (16no) took Colchester to the T20 title with two overs to spare, ending the game in style with a massive six.

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All five matches on Sunday were cancelled due to the weather, meaning that Eight Ash Green are mathematically relegated from Division Two.

Performance of the Week nominations
Feroze Ahmed 66, including 7 sixes Colchester & E.E. v Little Bardfield V
Ryan Vickery 50 Kelvedon v. Ipswich
Jake Foley 53 Colchester & E.E. v. Kelvedon
Taurai Muzarabani 46no & 2 for 21 Colchester & E.E. v. Kelvedon

Congratulations to Real Oddies Mike Miller who's bowling performance of 5 for 9 against Coggeshall, won a very competitive vote last week for Performance of the Week

Next Week
Back to 40 over action next week, and as it is the first Sunday in September matches will be starting at 12.30pm. In Division One, there are three matches scheduled all of which could have an impact on the destination of the title. Leaders Mistley host Galleywood, while second placed Clacton welcome Colchester & E.E. to Vista Road. Wivenhoe host Copdock & Old Ispwichian hoping to close ground on the leaders. IN Division Two, there is a full programme where Halstead will be crowned champions if they win at Abberton. Second placed Chappel & Wakes Colne end their campaign at home to third place Great Totham, who are also playing their final game of the season. Springfield and Braintree can still get into the promotion showdown, and will be looking to end a poor recent run of results, when they meet at Braintree. While Witham welcome Eight Ash Green to The Park. In Division Three, Kelvedon will hit the top of the table for the first time this season if they beat Cavaliers, who play their final match of the season. A Cavaliers win will leave them waiting on other results to see if they are promoted or champions. The rest of the action features the bottom four teams, with Coggeshall entertaining Boxted, and West Bergholt welcoming Great Horkesley & Lexden.