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Cricket: Wet weekend for Harlow with string of defeats

Cricket / Wed 19th May 2021 at 08:45am

ON the whole the performances of Harlow CC sides on Saturday matched the weather. A disappointing damp squib. The rare glint of sunshine came on Spicers where Jack Sykes 4th XI overcame Wickford 3rd XI inspired by Oliver Allen hitting 46 and Reece Galvin (pictured) performing heroics in the field with 4 wickets and 3 catches.

The main event at Marigolds was a top of the table clash between Harlow First XI and their Epping counterparts. Frankly the size of the defeat matched the gap in quality between the two sides on the day. For sure, losing the toss ensured we faced the very worst of the conditions but that fact couldn’t mask some of the failings as Harlow were comprehensively out batted and bowled by the visitors.

In driving rain Ben Yeats and Syed Hassan fought to see off the new ball with a degree of success but the key wicket was that of Gull Hassan. For the second week running Gull was run out by a direct hit when just getting going. Even at 70-2 we looked to be coming through the worst of the conditions but when Yeats was adjudged LBW for 29 the innings subsided to 123 all out with only Ant Webb, who made a hard fought 28, adding significant runs. The fall of wickets led to the innings flat lining at 3 an over from an early stage with no acceleration injected at any point. A telling stat was that there wasn’t a single boundary in the last 20 overs of the innings.

Any thought Epping would tumble embarrassingly as they did the previous week was soon put aside as they seized on some easy pickings to race along at double the required rate. Harlow didn’t throw in the towel and Farooq, Messenger, Matthews and Sarfaraz Ahmed all took a wicket but the winning runs came with more than 18 overs left to bowl.

Matthews 1-22 (2.4 overs), Sarfaraz Ahmed 1-23 (5 overs), Farooq 1-24 (2 overs), Messenger 1-43 (8 overs) and Quant 0-14 (4 overs)

The 2nd XI suffered an even greater calamity in their away fixture at Epping. Much like the 1’s they lost the toss and were invited to bat first on a wicket that had been dried by mops before the start of play which can hardly have caused much confidence for those padding up. That said 95 all out in 36 overs has to be a disappointing return with resistance primarily coming from Max Baulcomb, Amir Farooq and Priyan. Epping easy knocked the runs of in 15 overs for the loss of 3 wickets despite a good tight spell from Tyler Dobson (1-10 in 5 overs) and an amazing reaction catch by Sunni Ali off his own bowling.

Harlow’s 3rd XI put up a fight at Harold Wood despite yet another lost toss. Batting first, Joe Radford made an excellent 48 and Asad Big an attacking 42 as the Harlow side posted a competitive 161-9. Unfortunately, seven dropped catches allowed the home side an easy run to victory for the loss of just 2 wickets.

Jack Sykes completed the clean sweep of lost tosses and no surprise his 4th XI were batting in the rain on Spicers. At 45-5 they were in massive trouble but were saved by youngsters Oliver Allen (46) and Ronnie Fuller (31) as they posted 152. Jack Sykes had made 23 opening earlier in the innings.

A superb bowling and fielding effort from the 4’s saw them dismiss Wickford 3rd XI for just 101 to claim an excellent win. All the bowlers deserve great credit as they each contributed to the result. Reece Galvin (pictured after his match winning performance) took 4-14 and three catches whilst Ashen Ali took 3-27 and Ronnie Fuller 2-29. Opening bowlers Ali Zahid 0-6 in 6 overs) and Libby Riddell (0-10 in 6 overs) got the innings off to a tight start putting pressure on the batsmen later in the innings. A very good performance from the side and 20 very well deserved points.

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