Cricket: Frustration for Harlow Town as they fall to basement side

Lifestyle / Wed 22nd Jul 2015 at 11:40am

HARLOW Town hosted basement side Ardleigh Green on Saturday knowing that a win would propel them into virtual safety in Division 2.

Winning the toss, Harlow Town elected to bat first on a flat track with the sun beating down. Ashley Alderson was partnered with Dan Baldwin in the absence of Shiraz Ali who was celebrating Eid.

Unfortunately Baldwin fell without troubling the scorers, feathering a catch behind. Upadhyay joined Alderson at the crease, with Alderson flying through to 23 before his attempted hook shot was plucked out of the air by Mahboob. The fielders obvious disbelief was further proof to how unlucky Alderson was.

Holland and Upadhyay slowly took stock of the situation, establishing a mighty partnership. Both players look resplendent when in full flow and this was the case in their 223 run partnership. Upadhyay with his flicks and singles, punctuated by cover driving, whist Holland’s back foot cutting, driving and pulling meant the bowlers had to change their lengths to the two players. Both players deserved to reach three figures and both did, safely negotiating the mid 90’s to make sure they reached their milestones. Upadhyay first, celebrated by a double hand salute to his teammates. In the next over, Holland reached the same figure, first pointing to his father in the heavens, just over a year after his passing, before acknowledging his teammates. The run rate picked up again as Harlow Town targeted 3 figures, even with Upadhyay, Gladwin, Gleeson and Holland falling in the last 5 overs, Harlow Town reached 307-6 in their allotted time.

Ardleigh Green knew they needed a flying start in pursuit of such a daunting target. For the second week running, Harlow Town suffered a first over hammering. This time Farmer was struck for 21 off the first over of the innings, drifting into opener Hurworth’s pads and being dispatched over the mid wicket boundary. His constant onslaught, turned what should’ve been a really tough run chase into one within their grasp as he, with the support of Cason and Younis, plundered 110 off the first 10 overs, leaving their required run rate at a little under 5.

Gladwin rotated his bowlers and his field without much joy, until Upadhyay found the leading edge of Hurworth’s bat. The chance fell to captain Gladwin, but in a game changing moment, Gladwin somehow let the simple chance fall from his grasp. Hurworth survived the chance on 74. Gladwin knew that this moment may well be decisive.

Harlow Town battled on picking up 4 wickets along the way, but Hurworth knew it was going to be his day, he carried on batting with aggressive nature, bringing up his own century with a leap and a punch of the air.

Ardleigh Green rounded off their victory with 4 overs and 6 wickets to spare with Hurworth unbeaten on 137.

Gladwin said after the game “It was great to see Ramya carry on his fine form and with Joe scoring his first hundred for the club, we should’ve won this game at a canter. The bowlers tried hard, but with the wicket so flat, anything off line was punished today. The dropped catch by myself was absolutely crucial. If that had been taken I have no doubt that we would’ve pushed on and claimed the victory. For someone who sets the standards for myself and my teammates so high, to make such a basic error in dropping that catch is hard to take. I apologised to the boys in the changing room, but its of no consolation. We need to pick ourselves up and head to Belhus on Saturday.

Our future is still in our own hands and we need to ensure that we pick up enough points to maintain our position in this league.”

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