Cricket: Harlow bounce back against Ardleigh

Cricket / Tue 19th May 2015 at 11:35am

Ardleigh Green CC 1st Xi Drew with Harlow Town CC 1st XI

Harlow Town’s 1st XI looked to bounce back from their defeat against newly relegated Wickford last week with a trip to Ardleigh Green who were also relegated from Division 1.

A couple of changes from the previous week saw Scott Alderson and James Hayter return to the first team along with prolific second team wicket taker Simon Rowell.

Upon winning the toss, Neil Gladwin opted to bat first on a wicket that looked like it would be hard to score on and with the sun not being promised throughout the day, was unlikely to improve.

Harlow Town openers Shiraz Ali and Ashley Alderson looked to consolidate at the top of the order to ensure another dramatic collapse was not on the cards. Unfortunately, Ali’s resistance was broken when he gloved behind with the score on 9. Holland was soon to follow for 2 and Harlow Town were looking at a repeat of last week. Thankfully Alderson and Ramya Upadhyay steadied the ship and then set about attacking the Ardleigh Green bowlers. Alderson mixed solid defence, punctuated with some aggressive drives, to see the score move onto 97 before he nicked behind for 43. Gladwin found it hard to get going initially, taking 23 balls to get off the mark, but once he found the fence he raced to 32 off of 37 deliveries before he was adjudged LBW with lightning speed.

Ramya batted beautifully for his 85, only being undone with 4 overs of the innings left when he tried to ramp a bouncer over the top of the keeper, unfortunately getting too much bat on the shot and looping a simple chance to Rai behind the stumps.

Yates and Farmer didn’t take any time to get going and managed to force the back end of the innings, scoring over 50 runs in the last 5 overs, allowing Gladwin to luxury of declaring one over early on 226 for 6, thus given Harlow Town one more to bowl Ardleigh Green out.

Harlow Town started their pursuit of victory with the ball with consistent, accurate swing bowling from Qasim and aggressive bowling from Farmer. Both were rewarded early as each picked up a wicket leaving Ardleigh Green on 35-2. This could’ve been better reading had the Town not spurned a number of opportunities, a thmese which carried on throughout the innings.

The introduction of the two Harlow Town spinners allowed Gladwin to set aggressive fields, giving Harlow Town the opportunity to take wickets as well as giving Ardleigh Green the incentive that the win was still there if they chose to accept it.

Simon Rowell finished with figures of 13-1-69-3, but his figures do not reflect how well he bowled. He could and probably should have taken 6 wickets.

In the end, in the desperate pursuit of taking the last few wickets, very attacking fields allowed Ardleigh Green to score freely at the end of the innings, leaving them on slightly flattering 193-6 and Harlow Town frustrated by their own missed opportunities.

Gladwin said after the game “The way the 4 guys bowled today, they deserved to be walking off the field having bowled us to victory, unfortunately we were unable to push the result home that our bowling deserved. We will need to improve our performance for next week when we take on early pace setters Belhus, who have yet to lose a wicket in their two run chases. If we can bowl like we did today, I am more than confident that we will compete well and hopefully get our campaign fully up and running.”

Harlow Town CC 2nd XI lost to Old Southendians CC 2nd XI

The 2nd XI still missing several key players were simply not strong enough against a powerful looking Old Southendians side. The Town batted first and the returning Matthew Hurley kicked his season off with a solid 56, but received little support with only Captain Ben Eversden (23), Max Poulter (17) and a late order 20 from Aaron Simpson were the only other real contributers in a well below par total of 141 all out. Sam Hodgson was the pick of the visitors attack claiming 6 Town wickets for just 45 runs from 13.1 overs.

Town never really threatened to make a game of it as Old Southendians ran out comfortable winners with 8 wickets and plenty of overs to spare. After an unbeaten season in 2014 the Town 2’s look short on confidence and need to find some form soon and need a few injured players to return quickly.

Harlow Town CC 3rd XI Beat Wickford CC 3rd XI

After last weekend a win for the 3’s was very important, and with a stronger team available the Town batting first and secured 25 points in a comfortable 99 run victory. The baulk of the scoring (207 for 7 declared) was done by Brian Lall (consecutive league 50’s) with 52, Kevin Tilleard (32), Vic Goddard 38 and the returning Ashley Norcott (21). Club legend Nick Teal made 17 not out to make sure the Town reached their target of 200 before declaring)

A strong bowling line up made regular inroads into the Wickford line up, as Alfie Elston’s 14 overs of hostile pace claimed 5 for 35. He was well supported but the experienced Tristan Rees (2 for 30), Kevin Tilleard (1 for 7) and the evergreen Vic Goddard (2 for 6) as they mopped up the visitors for a meagre 108 inside 40 overs.

Old Southendians CC 4th XI Beat Harlow Town CC 4th XI by 6 wickets

The 4th XI travelled to the seaside to play Old Southendians. Town won the toss and elected to bat, both openers were out quickly bringing John Simpson (43) and Paul Smith (63) to the crease. Simpson playing in his first league game after missing the whole of last season due to injury batted superbly along with Smith for a hundred partnership. Simpson was caught at cover just before drinks with the score on 122 and his wicket resulted in carnage for the rest of the under strength 4th XI who limped to very disappointing 137 all out.

The hosts made very light work of the chase and closed the game out with 6 wickets in hand. Matthew Parsons bowled more overs in this one innings, recording figures of 13.2 overs 2 for 35, than he bowled all last year reflecting the understrength nature of the team, although on this evidence he should undoubtedly bowl more often.

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