Cricket: Yeats impresses with century in first game of the season

Cricket / Sun 11th Apr 2021 at 07:50am

IT might have been freezing and without spectators (bar the assistant ground staff) but the First XI’s of Harlow and Maldon produced a tremendously exciting opening day fixture ending in a tie with Mark Quant striking the last ball of the game for four.

Having won the toss new First XI skipper Jake Messenger would have been delighted with new ball spells from Callum Sykes and Wahid Azam backed up by 17 year old Abdullah Farooq and Mark Quant left armers. 

Some careful batting by Maldon recovered a dire 18-3 to post what looked a very handy 225-7 as we drifted slightly in the middle overs with 16 year old visiting batsmen MacKenzie Jones striking an excellent 94*. (Sykes 3-53 (9), Azam 1-31 (9), Farooq 1-31 (9), Quant 1-37 (9), Messenger 0-35 (5) and Webb 0-33 (4)).

In reply, 18 year old opener, Ben Yeats and Syed Hassan got us off to a fantastic start with 129 for the first wicket before Syed fell for 41. The run rate slowed as Maldon used pace off the ball but Yeats was in imperious form making 138 from just 124 balls with 18 fours and 4 sixes. His dismissal with in the penultimate over looked to have ended our chances with 11 needed off the final over bowled by the previously difficult to get away Matt Anderson. 

Some scrambled running from Mark Quant and Jake Messenger dragged us to 5 needed to win off the final ball. Quant on debut for the club did superbly well to get the full face of the bat on a attempted yorker and it raced to the square leg boundary to secure a tie . Arguably a fitting result for a real good game of cricket.

Lots of positives for the 1st XI. It was their largest total chasing for over 2 years and Yeats’ knock was the first century by a home grown player for several years. at this level. With spinner Sarfaraz Ahmed still to join up with the squad there are some promising signs and some good foundations to build on.

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