Cricket: Dropped catches lose matches for Harlow CC 1st X1

Cricket / Sun 23rd May 2021 at 11:38am

THE weather impacted on Harlow Cricket Club’s members for another week as the persistent wet weather played a crucial factor in this weekends fixtures.

The First XI game at Marigolds against Old Brentwood’s was delayed for almost 4 hours as heavy overnight rain led to the wicket and run up’s only becoming barely playable after several hours of sunshine. Ironically, when the game did start, as a reduced 24 over contest, it immediately rained again but the umpires allowed play to continue to a finish.

The visitors batted first and Harlow fought back well after the opening pair added 60 for the first wicket. Pace off the ball seemed to be the tactic most suited to the conditions as Sarfaraz Ahmed and Jake Messenger both tied down the scoring rate and took wickets. Part time off spinner, Ben Yeats, was also deployed late on.

Skipper Messenger would have been reasonably satisfied to restricted Old B’s to 140-9 in 24 overs although the side were to rue four dropped catches and two very clear missed run out opportunities.

Sarfaraz Ahmed 2-18 (5 overs), Jake Messenger 2-24 (5 overs), Ben Yeats 2-34 (4 overs), Callum Sykes 0-13 (2 overs), Abi Farooq 0-20 (3 overs) and Mark Quant 0-27 (5 overs)

Quite how costly those errors in the field were it is difficult to say but Harlow were to fall short of their target by a mere 5 runs. Destructive batsman Gull Hassan opened, due to the shortened format, but fell early. Yeats made 36 and Syed Hassan 34 to put us in contention. Ant Webb (40) looked as if he might take Harlow to the win but in the final overs the home side lost their way suffering a succession of five runs outs to fall just short.

An entertaining game but certainly a missed opportunity for the win although the side had the minor consolation of collected maximum bonus points. Credit also to Cliff Clark and Paul Fisk (groundsmen) their efforts in getting the pitch playable at all.

In contrast to the First XI, literally on the next field, the Third XI started on time in their home fixture against Orsett. Captain Rizwan won the toss and put the visitors into bat. Opening seamers Myles Baldock and Aju started the innings superbly. After 6 overs Orsett were already in trouble at 1-1. The scoring never got above 2 an over as Thomas Smith-Hughes (pictured) and Priyan continued the excellent start. Thomas in particular ripped through the batting order with some excellent full length deliveries that proved too much for the batsmen as he ended a superb spell of 8 overs 4-16.

Chasing a mere 84 to win Harlow cantered home by 8 wickets for maximum points.

The only other Harlow fixture to go ahead was the Second Xi at Westcliff. Having lost the toss Harry Burton’s side collapsed to 94 all out in the damp conditions. The bowlers fought superbly having the hosts panicking at 22-4 and 65-6 but the seventh wicket partnership saw the home side to the win.

Fingers crossed for a bit of dry weather in the week and some warmer conditions in the week ahead.

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