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Cricket: Harlow CC’s promotion hopes continue with win against Stanford

Cricket / Mon 15th Jul 2019 pm31 01:14pm

Another mixed weekend of results for the Marigolds based club with victories for the First and Fourth XI’s but defeats elsewhere.

It’s as you were in the First XI Shepherd Neame Essex Senior League Division 3 as despite the First XI comfortably beating (in the end) Stanford le Hope CC other promotion rivals also secured straightforward wins leaving things very much wide open with Harlow currently sitting in second place. Ryan Jessey won the toss and elected to bat although it must have been a tricky decision under grey skies. Stanford le Hope have had a mixed season and sit near the bottom of the division but in their South African overseas player, Josh Fransman, they arguably have the quickest bowler at that level. His openly salvo alongside medium quick Matt Higgins quickly reduced the baggy greens to 28-3 and alarm bells were ringing in the home dressing room. Thankfully, Harlow were indebted to a second superb century in a fortnight from the hugely talented Alan Jones who went on to dominate the innings and change the direction of the game.

Batting initially with Rehman Ahmed the ship was well and truly steadied with a partnership of 126 before the former skipper mishit a full toss straight to mid-off for a simple catch when on 47. It had been another confident display from Rehman who has looked in excellent touch all season and his all-round technique is something the younger members of the club would do well to replicate especially his total commitment when defending on the front foot.

However, it was young Jones who, despite losing his batting partner, accelerated the scoring supported by Luke Monger (22) and Ryan Jessey (17) reaching his hundred in only 95 balls and then going on to make as superb 134 before holing out to the worst ball of the day from part time bowler Jack Carter. Nevertheless, his efforts had gone a significant way towards Harlow’s imposing total of 280 all out.

The visitors made a confident start in their reply and it took a stroke of ill fortune as far as they were concerned to break to opening partnership when Alex Ellis had to retire ill with a migraine. This allowed paceman Jason McNally a sight of a new batsman and he took full advantage capturing two quick wickets to put Harlow back on top. Mitch Howarde was introduced into the attack and he removed Matt Page for 25 thanks to a superb catch by substitute fielder, Reece Galvin, and then bowled the returning Ellis with his next delivery leaving Stanford le Hope up against it at 100-4.

The decisive and concluding period of the match was the bowling of leg spinner Sarfraz Ahmed who bowled a superb unbroken spell of almost 10 overs from the Pavilion End taking the last six wickets as the visitors stumbled to 191 all out with ten overs to spare providing Harlow with a winning margin of 89 runs.

Sarfraz Ahmed 6-47 (9.3 overs), Jason McNally 2-39 (10 overs), Mitchell Howarde 2-50 (10 overs), Luke Monger 0-44 (10 overs)

In truth, this was not the complete performance of the previous week but it’s probably too much to ask that the standard of the Westcliff game be replicated every week. At this stage of the season winning and maintaining the promotion position is everything and that had been achieved.

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A disappointing week for the Second XI as their promotion hopes were dented at Old Brentwoods CC. The home side won the toss and having elected to bat made 234-9 in their 45 overs. Unfortunately, Rob Coldwell’s side were unable to chase the target down having been dismissed for 188 in the 42nd over. (Further details not available at the time of writing)

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The 3’s suffered a similar fate on Spicers. They decided to bat first but only lasted 34 overs in which they made a very much below par 161 all out. Asad Baig (53), Atif Mustehsan (31) and Harry Burton (21) the only batsmen to make double figures. Despite an early wicket for Tyler Dobson, Woodford Wells Third XI comfortably knocked off the runs in 29 overs with 66 from Ashish Gandhi and 60 from Ben Munson.

Daniel Whelhams 1-17 (4 overs), Reece Galvin 1-23 (4 overs) and Tyler Dobson 1-30 (7 overs) the wicket takers

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A far better result for the 4th XI who having made the long journey to Hadleigh & Thundersley CC put the home side into bat and proceeded to reduce them to 196 all out with every bowler contributing by taking wickets or maintaining good control.

Syed Ali 4-32 (9 overs), Nathan McCarthy 1-30 (5 overs), Ali Zahid 1-31 (6 overs), Abbas Shah 1-32 (6 overs), Harris Hamid 1-34 (6 overs), Paddy Matthews 0-12 (6.2 overs) and Irfan Shoukat 0-15 (4 overs).

Harlow were taken to victory by a fabulous innings from Rizwan Qayyum who made an undefeated 97 supported by a tidy 38 from Nathan McCarthy as the 4’s won by 7 wickets and maintained their second position in the league table.

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The 5th XI started in great shape against Thundridge CC reducing the opposition to 80-6 in the 14th over but two dropped catches allowed a batsman to go on and punish them with an unbeaten century in a total of 257-8.

Wickets were shared between Colts players James Forde (2), Ronnie Fuller (2), Ben Seary (2) and the evergreen Russ Davies (2).

In reply, Harlow’s young side struggled to reach 126-7 despite 69 from James Forde and 19 from Ronnie Fuller (both aged only 13).

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