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Cricket: Harlow Town slip to defeat by Woodford Green

Cricket / Thu 25th May 2017 at 06:10am

AFTER a week of horrendous weather, it was perhaps no surprise that the wicket that greeted Harlow Town in their away fixture against Woodford Green was incredibly damp.

Losing the toss, Harlow Town were unsurprisingly asked to bat first. Through a combination of attacking stroke lay play and slightly wayward bowling from one end, HTCC and, especially Ashley Alderson, managed to get off to a good start. Four 4’s and a six inside Alderson’s first 16 balls saw him race onto 23, however when he cut his 17th delivery into the hands of gully with the score on 30, the game swung drastically in Woodford Green’s favour.

With the wicket sticking, together with a disciplined slow attack and a well set field, run scoring became almost impossible. The batsman couldn’t use any pace in the wicket or from the attack to find gaps and the only option was to try to be positive. However, this positive mindset was the undoing of almost their entire top order.

Holland, Gladwin and Baldwin all tried to go over the top, all failing to get significant connection on the ball and all finding the safe hands of WG’s fielders. 30-1 slipped to 57-4. New man Jay Pathak, playing his first game in English conditions, couldn’t have asked for a more unnatural wicket to make his debut on. Again, both he and captain Scott Alderson were undone by the conditions and HTCC were in deep trouble at 69-6.

After a short rain break, Pat Yates and Farmer tried to get HTCC to a competitive total. With the freshened up wicket, along with a change in WG’s attack, there were a few more scoring options. Yates went for 16, leaving Farmer to bat out the innings. His 41 off 49 balls was a brilliant effort and the sole reason HTCC finished on 135-9 off their reduced 43 overs.

Needing early wickets, HTCC got the perfect start as Pathak claimed his first wicket for the club, finding the edge of Ryatt for 1. Unfortunately, this was the only wicket that fell in the opening spell as a number of chances were not claimed and WG moved on to 56-2 before Farmer claimed the wicket of captain Sayyed, cutting to the hands of Ashley Alderson. Unfortunately for HTCC, wickets never really fell in clusters as Sean Martin, batting at 3 for WG, held their innings and their victory charge, in tact. He combined solid defence with some lusty blows, connecting cleanly on anything he decided to go over the top with, as HTCC rang the changes with the ball.

88 was reg score when Has Ali claimed the first of his 4 wickets, finding the corner of Cossey’s bat, as a ball took off to catch him unawares. Palmer nicked off for 0 with the score on 94 and Richardson, after some lusty blows, went for 11 with the score on 112. Martin eventually fell for an excellent 47, but with only 3 more runs needed, he had done enough to secure WG’s victory.

A disappointing loss for Harlow Town, but one they will look back on knowing their plans were solid, just their execution wasn’t quite up to scratch.

With the sun forecast for the week ahead, moving into the weekend, HTCC will look forward to taking on West Essex and a chance to see Jay Pathak in full swing.

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