Cricket: Run feast at the Marigolds

Cricket / Tue 21st Jul 2015 at 12:01pm

Harlow clinch a final over victory in an amazing 743 run fest at Marigolds.

Harlow skipper Rehman Ahmed lost the toss again, the fourth consecutive game where the opposition have won the toss. It was no surprise to see Hutton ask Harlow to field in hot and dry conditions, with the Marigolds pitch as usual being flat and true, it certainly was a batsmen’s paradise.

Hutton opened the batting with current IPL player and captain Hanuma Vihari and Alex Tredgett. Harlow’s bowling started tight, however Vihari was putting even the good balls away for four, Hutton were on 29, before opening bowler Mustanser Meraj made the break through for Harlow, trapping Tredgett lbw for 1. Vihari continued in ruthless fashion scoring chanceless boundaries throughout his innings.
In form Harlow bowler Luke Monger, then struck, clean bowling Daniel Hagger (6), this brought ex-Harlow professional, Usman Jan to the crease. Vihari and Usman (32) went on to build a quick-fire partnership of 94, before Usman was caught sweeping to the boundary off the bowling of Ross Vasani.

Vihari then built a 105 run partnership with Jack Plom (25) in even quicker time. During this partnership Vihari reached his century inside the first 26 overs of the match. Plom was clean eventually bowled by left arm spinner Tom Ryder. Vihari now decided to take the aerial route and in doing so only gifted one chance, when on 120 to long on, he went on to score a magnificent 187 of only 109 balls before finally being caught on the mid-wicket boundary by Ahmed Khawaja, off the bowling of Meraj. With the score on 280-5 form just 40 overs, the remaining Hutton batsmen has licence to hit out from the off, Stuart Feeley (34*) , Gregory Spires (41) and Connor Whetstone (19*) needed no encouragement and dually propelled the Hutton score to 371/6 from their allotted 50 overs, Luke Monger was again the pick of Harlow’s bowlers with figures of 2/67 from 10 overs.

Harlow’s reply didn’t start so well as young Alan Jones was caught behind first ball by opening left-armer Nick Hobbs. Harlow skipper Rehman Ahmed arrived at the helm joining opening batsmen Hafiz Yawar, together the two built a solid partnership of 90 before Yawar for the second match running was run out, with his score on 51. The captain then welcomed left hand batsmen Ahmed Khawaja to the crease and together produced a quick 50 run partnership, keeping up the momentum of the innings. The score now on 130/2 for the first 15 regulated overs, the game was set up for Harlow by its top order.

Captain Rehman hit 65 before being caught at long off of a full toss by left arm spinner Danny Cocklin with score on 151-3, with Khawaja on only 19 a huge task was being asked of the rest of the Harlow batting line to chase the total set by Hutton. Khawaja took it upon himself to deal in mainly boundaries to keep the run rate going. Receiving support and returning strike from the Harlow batsmen coming in. However, it wasn’t until Luke Monger came to the crease that Ahmed had some of the pressure taken off him as Monger scored a 32 form 39 balls before being stumped from the bowling of leg spinner Connor Whetstone. With the score moving on to 280-6 from 38 overs, Khawaja batted through with the tail and reached his century in the same fashion he began his innings, with an overthrow. He then continued to deal in boundaries being particularly harsh on the Hutton Spinners.

Contributions and wickets continued to come at the other end and it was left to Tom Ryder to help make sure no more wickets were to fall. Culminating into a final over suspense, where 10 runs were required, intriguingly from the bowling of Hutton’s centurion Vihari. Khawaja cut the first ball for 4 through point, the second ball was pulled to deed mid-wicket for 2, the third blocked and the fourth pulled again, but this time into the gap for 4. Khawaja finishing on 158* and Harlow triumphant with just two balls to spare. This was truly remarkable performance by Harlow in a game enjoyed by the Harlow supporters.

With this unlikely but brilliant victory Harlow consolidated 5th place in the league table and importantly increased the gap to 18 points over their opponents from Hutton.

This Saturday, Harlow travel to inform Southend-on-Sea, who are currently lying second in the table.

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