Cricket: Harlow CC produce performance of the season against promotion rivals Westcliff

Weekend Round Up Harlow CC 6th July 2019

THE big game of the day in First XI Division 3 was without doubt the clash at Marigolds between third place Harlow CC and second placed Westcliff on Sea CC. It had the feel of a game the home side could not afford to lose even at this the midpoint of the campaign. As it turned out the baggy greens produced their finest performance of the season crushing their promotion rivals by 145 runs.

Under heavy skies and in humid conditions Peter Barnes, the visiting captain, gave Harlow the opportunity to bat first hoping for some swing and movement off the green tinged surface. Batting certainly appeared challenging as young opener Ben Yeats departed for 10, caught behind, to the swing bowling of David Hewitt with the score on 37. Such was the degree of control and pressure being exerted at that point by the bowling, the normally ultra-aggressive, Jason McNally was forced onto the defensive before being bowled by the impressive leg spin of Adil Ali for 20. In form Rehman Ahmed followed shortly afterwards although he may consider himself a tad unfortunate to be on the receiving end of an LBW decision when he was well forward and the home sides struggles continued as they soon dipped to 109-4. Opener Lee Jessey had played with caution coupled with expansive shots when deliveries allowed and had reached a half century when he too was trapped leg before to Ali with his very next ball.

At this stage the game was very much in the balance and what followed was to define this fixture as Alan Jones and Luke Monger batted superbly to take the game away from the visitors. Playing with good sense they waited for the highly effective pairing of Adil Ali and Sherwin Stanley to be rested before both accelerating the scoring with some wonderful stroke play. The pair added 120 at faster than a run a ball before Luke Monger was denied a richly deserved half century when he also perished to the spin of the returning Adil Ali for 41 off 36 balls.

The rest of the innings was dominated by Alan Jones who hammered boundaries around the ground, including a massive six into the nearby bowls green, whilst the other batsmen did all they could to provide him with as much of the strike as possible. Fittingly, Jones brought up his first century of the season, in only his third game, in the final over and ended a magnificent 104 not out with the home side posting 277 in their 50 overs. Westcliff in fairness had arguably provided the stiffest test of the season to date, Adil Ali taking 5-32 in his 10 overs, but such was the quality of the batting the home side had posted a daunting total to chase down.

In the field, Harlow got off to the perfect start when in only the second over Luke Monger had Westcliff opener Charlie Lockhart edging to second slip where Lee Jessey took a sharp catch. Despite this set back Westcliff regrouped and at 50-1 from 8 overs the sea-siders were well in the game when Harlow skipper, Ryan Jessey, turned to Sarfraz Ahmed and Jason McNally. In his second over Sarfraz trapped Alex Portugal LBW and three balls later he was wheeling away in delight arms aloft as a glorious delivery bamboozled the talented Matt Renvoize bowling him for a duck. With extreme pace and bounce from McNally at one end aligned with the craft and guile of Sarfraz at the other Westcliff slumped to 77-5 and never recovered.

Mitchell Howarde and Luke Monger took up where the aforementioned had left Westcliff teetering and wickets fell at regular intervals until Rehman Ahmed removed Stanley in only the 34th over to dismiss the visitors for 132. This wicket was wicket-keeper Andre Riddell’s fourth catch of the game and it was an excellent display behind the stumps for the Harlow gloveman as he had saved a significant number of wides and byes with some fine diving stops.

Sarfraz Ahmed 4-11 (5 overs), Luke Monger 3-25 (10 overs), Jason McNally 1-10 (5 overs), Mitchell Howarde 1-23 (6 overs), Rehman Ahmed 1-2 (1.1 overs), Joe Riddell 0-55 (6 overs)

A comprehensive victory then for the First XI who climb into the automatic promotion places for the first time this season replacing Westcliff. Next week sees the 1’s back at Marigolds as they look to avenge a poor first day of the season defeat facing Stanford Le Hope CC. They simply must not waste the work put into the Westcliff victory and another 20 points is imperative.

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It was also a good day for the Second XI as they bounced back from two heartbreaking final over defeats in the past fortnight. Facing Orsett & Thurrock CC they lost the toss and were put into the field. Early wickets for Callum Sykes and Matt Hart were then countered by Fahad Anwar (47) and Tyrone Owen (44) but when they fell to Waheed Azam and Sunni Ali respectively the Harlow bowling ripped through the lower middle order dismissing the home side for an under par 188. A good effort from all the bowling unit backed up today in the field with two run outs and some high-quality ground fielding.

Callum Sykes 2-29 (9 overs), Waheed Azam 2-31 (8.5 overs), Sunni Ali 2-35 (5 overs), Matt Hart 2-44 (9 overs), Zabi Hakimi 0-25 (9 overs), Lewis Aldred 0-21 (3 overs)

In reply Harlow lost three quick wickets but any anxiety was eased by their two most consistent batsmen this season in John Perry (61 not out) and Zabi Hakimi (42). The finishing touches were made by Sunni Ali (23) and Callum Sykes (16 not out) as Harlow reached their target with over 9 overs in hand.

This win was made all the sweeter when it was discovered that Westcliff 2nd XI (also challenging for promotion) had been surprisingly defeated thereby strengthening the position in the promotion places for Rob Coldwell’s side.

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The Third XI entertained Upminster CC on Spicers Field. The visitors won the toss and made 210-9 in their 45 overs batting first. In reply Harlow fell well short having been dismissed for 148 in the penultimate over. (Further details of this fixture were not available when going to print)

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The crowds favourite 4th XI were on the road at Harold Wood. Having won the toss, they would have been disappointed to only post 168 all out with Amir Farooq (39), Nathan McCarthy (25) and Hamid Ali (18) the only batsmen to make a telling contribution. In reply, a terrific new ball burst from Mustafa Zaman and Myles Baldock had the home side reeling on 40-4 but a series on controversial LBW decisions (nine shouts turned down by the home umpire) allowed Erantha Muthuk (84 not out) and Robert Netting (46 not out) to knock off the runs with overs to spare.

Myles Baldock 2-23 (5 overs), Mustafa Zaman 2-43 (7.4 overs), Amir Farooq 0-32 (4 overs), Ali Zahid 0-52 (7 overs) and Nathan McCarthy 0-20 (2 overs).

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In the HECL the youthful 5th XI took on local rivals Harlow Town 4th XI. Batting first Town were restricted to 160 all out with every wicket being taken or aided by a player 15 years old or younger.

James Forde 2-16 (5 overs), Oliver Allen 2-23 (5 overs), Mufaddal Adamjee 1-5 (1.3 overs), Ben Hart 1-28 (5 overs), Ronnie Fuller 1-48 (8 overs), Paddy Matthews 0-20 (6 overs). Also, two run outs for Ronnie Fuller and James Forde.

Harlow chased the runs down with ease. Wicket keeper batsman Thomas Vullo (aged 14) top scored with 57 ably supported by Shab Munir who made 50, including two all run 4’s as the Fifth XI won by 7 wickets.

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Sunday saw the U16 side in Trevor Bailey Match Play action hosting Billericay. Put into bat Harlow struggled to 139 all out with only Paddy Matthews (51) and Ben Yeats (34) into double figures on a tricky surface. Matthews innings in particular a bright spark of attractive boundary hitting despite the struggles of his team mates. Once in the field however, the Harlow side were absolutely superb with every single player fully committed to saving every possible run backing up some fine bowling. In a superb team effort, the boys dragged Billericay back from 70-2 to bowl them out for 93. Ben Yeats led the way taking 5-17 but one cannot emphasis enough the collective effort to win this fixture with superb catches by Ben Hart and Mufaddal Adamjee examples of the all-round contributions throughout the side.

Ben Yeats 5-17 (8 overs), Paddy Matthews 2-27 (6 overs), Myles Baldock 1-9 (4.4 overs), Nathan McCarthy 1-14 (5 overs), Abdullah Farooq 0-7 (4 overs), Ronnie Fuller 0-8 (1 over) and Matt Hart 0-14 (5 overs)

In the U12 Brian Taylor Trophy Harlow’s opponents Newham conceded the points.

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