Cricket: Harlow CC’s promotion challenge moves up a gear

Cricket / Mon 17th Jun 2019 am30 07:15am

Weekend Round Up 15th June 2019

THE promotion challenge of both Harlow 1st and 2nd XI’s went up a gear on Saturday as both produced emphatic performances in their latest Shepherd Neame Essex League fixtures. The 3rd XI and 5th XI’s also claimed useful wins whilst the high flying 4th team suffered a shock defeat despite dominating the opening stages of their clash at Stanford Le Hope.

The first team were in action at Walthamstow CC and despite losing the toss and being invited to bat first on a damp and worn troublesome looking strip they made a confident start reaching 53-1 by the conclusion of the first power play (10 overs). The subsequent loss of Ben Yeats (dismissed for 27) brought Rehman Ahmed to the crease to join leading run scorer Jason McNally and the pair began to exert the visitor’s dominance on a game that they would not relinquish for the remainder of the afternoon. A partnership of 107 was broken when McNally was well caught low down driving at the left arm spin of Rory Knox for a brutal 82 made off only 73 deliveries.

Rehman continued to bat sensibly in the circumstances, watchful when necessary but punishing on anything short or off line as he made an innings anchoring 59 batting alongside Charlie Coleman who ensured he had the measure of the challenging conditions before opening up to strike four sixes in his total of 35. In the late surge for runs several of the lower middle order perished selflessly attempting to force the scoring towards 300 and it took an entertaining 18 not out from keeper Andre Riddell to push our total to 280-9 in the allotted 50 overs.

The Harlow total looked significantly over par and so it proved at the home side had no answer in reply. Opening pace bowlers Joe Riddell and Luke Monger again managed to strangle the scoring whilst also taking wickets leaving Walthamstow in desperate trouble at 38-4 from 16 overs (three excellent catches from McNally) when captain Ryan Jessey decided to change things up and introduce all-rounder McNally into the attack. He too caused increasing discomfort to the home batsmen and claimed a brace of wickets whilst leading wicket taker Sarfraz Ahmed wrapped up the match with two wickets in two balls as our opponents closed on a pretty woeful 64 all out and a handsome 216 run victory for the Marigolds outfit.

Joe Riddell 3-24 (8 overs), Sarfraz Ahmed 2-11 (2.2 overs), Jason McNally 2-12 (5 overs) and Luke Monger 2-17 (10 overs)

This win takes Harlow up to third place in the table a mere three points behind Leigh-on-Sea in the automatic promotion places with the two sides due to meet next Saturday at Marigolds in what appears to be a vitally important fixture for both sides.

At Marigolds the 2nd XI entertained West Essex CC. Having been put into bat Harlow made an excellent start through openers Syed Hassan and Zabi Hakimi. Syed was to fall for 36 but Hakimi went onto to be the mainstay of the innings with a well made 71. Additional middle order contributions from Max Baulcomb (32), Callum Sykes (25) and Sunni Ali (21) along with 27 wides from the visitors took our score to 253-8 in 50 overs.

From the moment Waheed Azam broke the West Essex opening partnership with the score on 26 the home side cantered to the victory with every bowler claiming a wicket. Only a brief sixth wicket partnership of 58 held up the inevitable outcome with the visitors bowled out inside 35 overs for 148.

Lewis Aldred 3-28 (7 overs), Sunni Ali 2-24 (5 overs), Callum Sykes 2-38 (8.5 overs), Reece Galvin 1-5 (2 overs), Waheed Azam 1-12 (7 overs) and Matt Hart 1-39 (5 overs)

The 2nd XI have already opened up an 18-point gap on closest rivals Gidea Park & Romford CC (who they face next weekend) with an impressive gap of 32 points to the side in third who are sat outside the promotion places. A long way to go this season but with the weight of first team experience in the side and canny captaincy of Rob Coldwell will ensure the other sides have their work cut out to overall this side.

Over on Spicers third XI captain Faisal Javed produced the performance of the day as he struck 110 out of his sides 229-7 against Loughton. Fas received support from Atif Mustehsen (33) and Thomas Smith-Hughes (21) but experience would have told our lads that a score of that size on Spicers was no guarantee of victory unless they bowled well. Fear not, a fairly regular flow of wickets ensured Loughton were dismissed with 12 overs remaining for 146. Leading performers with the ball were Amir Farooq 3-11 (3.5 overs), Dave ‘knocking on the 2’s door’ Whellams 3-35 (9 overs), Thomas Smith-Hughes 2-25 (7 overs) and Dan Stone 1-24 (9 overs).

The 4th XI are having a great season but occasionally manage to throw away victories when perhaps they shouldn’t. Fielding a much-changed side to recent weeks due to cry offs and players moving up the sides they would have been delighted to have Stanford Le Hope 3rd XI on the ropes at 90-8 but a critical 46 not out from Andrew Love batting at 9 for the home side grabbed the initiative from our side leaving us 163 to win. Syed Ali 2-21 (9 overs), Nathan McCarthy 2-37 (9 overs), Libby Riddell 1-6 (6 overs), Harris Hamid 1-22 (6 overs), Ali Zahid 1-28 (9 overs).

As so often in sport once the momentum swings against you it’s difficult to wrestle it back and so it proved as despite several batsmen making starts no one could go on to make a significant contribution as we fell well short only posting 119 all out. Syed Ali (32), Usman Shouket Ali (21), Haider Rasool (17).

The 5th XI proved too strong for Albury CC. Batting first Harlow notched up 233-7 with Mark Green (79) and Jon Allen (66) leading the way supported by 13-year-old James Forde (26) and Chris Simpson on debut (25).

The beguiling spin of Russ Davies (not an under 13) undid four of the Albury batters as they knocked up 151 all out in reply. Russ was supported by youngsters Oliver Allen (2 wickets), James Forde (2 wickets), Matthew Fisk and Ben Hart (a wicket apiece).

Another great weekend then with four victories out of five games. The club is definitely on the up again this season. If you’re not playing why not come down to Marigolds on Saturday to watch the First XI in their huge clash against Leigh on Sea. Leigh include two of the most destructive batsmen in the division in Matthew Wagstaff and Dean Waller and it will be fascinating to see how they cope with our bowling attack who have been instrumental in knocking sides over with ease on most weeks this season.

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1 Comment for Cricket: Harlow CC’s promotion challenge moves up a gear:

Alan Howick
2019-06-17 12:37:15

Another great weekend for Harlow CC. There is a lot of good cricket being played down at Marigolds in Old Harlow every Saturday. Well worth a visit also a game tonight being T20 against an India touring side, well worth a look.

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