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Cricket: Harlow Town Seconds clinch promotion

Cricket / Thu 21st Aug 2014 at 09:03pm

THERE were celebrations all round as promotion was clinched with three games to spare by Harlow Town seconds.

Their seven wicket home win over Old Brentwoods on Saturday meant that Harlow cannot finish lower than the top two in division three of the Shepherd Neame second X1 League.

Old Brentwoods won the toss and decided to bat first. Their top three looked good as they reached 110-1. Simon Rowell’s spin then confused the batsmen as they tried to hit him out of the ground and failed.Nine wickets fell for 47 runs as Rowell took 5-55 and the visitors were bowled out for 157.

In reply Town saw off the new ball for the loss of captain Jason Gladwin for 16. Town (160-3) cruised to victory with Daniel Baldwin (41), Bilal Ali (33) and Charlie Coleman (34 not out) being the main run scorers.

Gladwin said: “To achieve promotion with three weeks to go is incredible and its been a great team effort. “We have six of our top seven batsmen in the top 25 run scorers [in the league] and Graeme Eversden and Simon Rowell are in the top four league wicket.

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Harlow Town arrived first team at Old Brentwoods on a sun baked morning in high spirits for their league game on Saturday.

With a flat wicket dampened at one end due to overnight rain Captain Alderson was asked to bat first.

Tight bowling from Shahid Iqbal meant a slowish start from Town punctuated with some lofted cover drives from Yates.

Ali fell for 1, which brought Joe Holland to the crease, buoyed for the first time in weeks, with the opportunity to ply his trade on a wicket that had him bubbling from the moment he arrived at the ground.

In typical fluent fashion, Holland pulled with authority and along with Yates picked up the run rate only for this partnership to be broken when Yates missed a delivery from Sadaqat to be bowled for 23. Town’s most consistent batter, Ramya Upadhyay, joined Holland and together the scoreboard kept ticking over, placing Town in a good position for the half way stage.

Unfortunately, just before the mid session drinks were taken, Holland managed to somehow be bowled through his legs from Old Brent’s leg spinner and depart for an elegant 50.

Upadhyay and Gladwin knew they had to rebuild with the score on 100-3 with half the overs left, but still maintain the momentum of the innings and together they sensibly picked up singles at will against the Old Brent’s spinners. Upadhyay was the next to fall, also bowled, but he had laid a decent platform with his 5th 50 of the season.

Gladwin and the returning Scott Alderson carried on the momentum, but with boundaries hard to come by due to the softness of the wicket, singles and two’s were the order of the day. With 5 overs left and having just reached his own 50,

Gladwin was caught in the deep. Harlow Town will look at the fact that numbers 3, 4 and 5 all passed 50, but none went on to post a significant score as an area to improve.

The three Alderson’s, Scott, Ashley and Shaun, pushed on for the remaining 5 overs to take Town to a competitive 235-6 declared off of their 52 overs.

Old Brent’s have a reputation of wanting to score runs quickly from the outset, but Towns opening bowlers of Calver and Ali didn’t allow this to happen and with both picking up a wicket apiece along with first change bowler Farmer also getting in on the act, Old Brent’s were soon 3 wickets down.

With wickets falling at regular intervals, Town remained on top for long periods of the innings. However with the wicket difficult to score runs on, but also difficult to take wickets,

Town were looking for some brilliance to remain in command. This brilliance came from their outstanding wicket keeper, Pat Yates. With captain Alderson bowling his fast medium swingers, Yates took the decision to stand up to his bowling. In the space of 2 overs Yates had taken two world class leg side stumpings to remove the stubborn Soomro for 21 and Baber for 6.

Both dismissals would have had Sky analysts purring with praise. Remarkably Yates wasn’t finished yet and with yet another sensational leg side stumping, this time off of Upadhyay’s quicker ball, Old Brentwoods found themselves 9 wickets down with more that 16 overs remaining, with only 110 on the board.

To Old Brentwoods credit, they were still looking for bonus points instead of blocking for the draw and with some enticing deliveries and a few dropped catches,

The hosts hit their way to 177. Thankfully, for Town, tailender Lall, struck a delivery from Upadhyay which soared into the sky. Daniel Farmer steadied himself under the delivery and with Town players and supporters waiting for what seemed like eternity he held the catch to see Town claim a maximum 25 points and reduce the gap at the top of the league to 7 points, with a game in hand.

The match will long be remembered for a breathtaking display of wicket keeping from Pat Yates who changed the course of the game in Towns favour.

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Brentwood 4th XI (93) lost to Harlow Town III (94-4) by six wickets

Town lost the toss and were asked to field in what ended up being a totally one-sided match.

Town ripped through the Brentwood line up with ease, reducing the hosts to 32 for 8 before a spirited knock from Andrew Maxwell (47) managed to at least make the score a little more respectable to reach 93 all out from 32 overs.

Vic Goddard did most of the damage with 4 for 11, and was well supported by Aaron Simpson (2-13), George Richardson (3-18), Alfie Elston (1-13) and four catches behind the stumps from stand in skipper Stuart Alderson.

Town never look in trouble in reply as Johan Cloete carried his bat for 43 seeing the Town home along with another good knock of 28 form Vinesh Patel. The Town lost a couple of late wickets but ran out comfortable winner to remain in the hunt for promotion with three games to go.

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Harlow Town 4th XI 149 for 6 dec lost to Hainault & Clayhall 5th XI 151 for 6 by 4 wickets

Towns openers struggled to score off both opening bowlers Scott & Anwar, and never really threatened to post a big enough score to defend. They finished on a hard fought 149 for 6 with Lee Richardson top scoring with 54 and a solid 32 not out from Daniel Gleeson.

In reply Hainaut & Clayall innings got off to a very slow start as towns openers Gleeson (2-31) Sreerag Radhakrishnan bowled good lines.

Evergreen Paul Smith (3 for 56) bowled brilliantly giving the Town feint hope but Hainault got over the line with 3 overs to spare finishing on 151 for 6.

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