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Cricket: Late fight back not enough as 1st X1 defeated at Barking

Cricket / Sun 27th Jun 2021 at 09:28am

Harlow CC Report: By Andy Yeats

FRIDAY afternoon in the Barking and Dagenham area was rudely disrupted by a tornado with images of debris and mayhem widely circulating on social media. One can only assume that also led to Barking’s square getting a good soaking as well, as the First XI arrived at Mayesbrook Park to be confronted with an undulating green, damp well grassed strip totally at odds with the Marigolds road they played on only two days earlier.

The toss was going to be crucial. For the ninth time this season it didn’t go our way and the boys were strapping on the pads. Ben Yeats and Syed Hassan managed to survive balls jumping off a length over their shoulder and other scuttling along at ankle height to add 31 before Syed tried something slightly too adventurous and was bowled, Sadly, the conditions were showing no signs of improving as first Ben (who made 28) and then Amin (10) both got balls they could do very little about as full deliveries spat at them chest heigh taking a glove or edge.

Ant Webb and Max Baulcomb tried to dig in and whilst successful for a time in ensuring wickets were kept intake the scoring was of a minimal nature. Ant departed for 18 and Max for 22 bringing Rob Petchey to the crease. Rob looked the most comfortable of all the Harlow batsmen, striking some big blows, until he chased a wide one that took the smallest nick of the under-edge of the bat and he cut a frustrated figure departing for 28. In fairness all the tail attempted to do the right thing but a combination of some high class spin from Abdul Razzaq (4-24) and the ongoing misbehaviour of the deck brought our innings to a close at 145 all out.

The general feeling was we were definitely in the game at this stage but within 30 minutes of the Barking innings the tie looked dead and buried. How its possible that a pitch can change so drastically within a 30 minute tea break I don’t know. Maybe we just didn’t hit the right spots but Barking openers Hasnain Qureshi and Shaan Shafiq were hammering the bowling to all parts with no difficulty whatsoever. With a 10 wicket defeat looking an impending and real possibility Jake turned to fifth and sixth bowlers Callum Sykes and part time off spinner Ben Yeats. 

Sykes dismissed Shafiq for 22 and Yeats trapped Qureshi LBW for a run a ball 67 but surely it was just a small consolation. Sarfaraz Ahmed, who probably had his toughest day of the season with the ball, ran out Haris Khan with the enormous assistance of the capable hands of keeper Riddell and a small whiff of an opportunity was filtering across the sun light fields of East London. Within 2 overs Yeats had claimed two further wickets and when Sykes removed overseas Indian pro Chadha for 15 Barking were totally rocking at 112-6. It was chaos on the boundary edge as the home players couldn’t believe what was happening. The momentum was totally with the bowling side and another wicket now and we were all over the promotion chasing side. Yeats floated it up, it turned a tad, last remaining capable batsman Omar Khan miscued in the air to deep mid on where a fielder stood waiting……oh no.

Needless to say in that one moment of misfortune the game was gone. Harlow dragged their chins off the floor but try as the excellent Sykes (who had earlier seen a good chance shelled in the field off his bowling) and Yeats did the runs were chipped off and defeat confirmed.

Yeats 3-35 (9.4), Sykes 2-19 (9), Petchey 0-13 (4), Farooq 0-13 (3), Messenger 0-24 (4) and Sarfaraz 0-42 (9)

Really hard game to sum up. Credit certainly has to be given for the fight shown at the end that so nearly produced a stunning comeback win and the conditions were horribly against us in terms of the pitch but being honest I’d say for once this season Harlow were out bowled man for man.

Onto better news from Marigolds where the 2nd XI achieved the weekends only victory against Old Southendians and Southchurch. Harry won the toss and inserted the opposition. Waheed and Matt Hart took a wicket apiece before the medium pace of Amir Farooq and Tyler Dobson (pictured together) ran through the visitors batting as both claimed 4 wickets each. Old South’s had little answer to the pair and were bundled out for 134.

Amir 4-29 (12), Dobson 4-38 (11.5), Waheed 1-18 (10), Hart 1-36 (5), Quant 0-9 (5)

In reply, a second wicket partnership between Zabi Hakimi (44) and John Perry (39) broke the back of the required runs with Gull Hassan (15) and Asad Baig (17*) also in double figures as we eased to a fine 6 wicket win.

Batting performance of the day however goes to the 3rd XI at home to Hutton. The top order all made significant contributions to help make 235 batting first. Arshad made 66, Munim 50, Rizwan 40 and Dip 36. The only moment of real difficulty was Arshad rattling out his skipper LBW when well set. Riz is never a man to hold a grudge but I have Jack’s number Arshad to give to you for next weekend!!!!

Sadly Hutton didn’t feel inclined to make a real stab at chasing and settled for the draw early. Evergreen, in an old and gnarled kind of way, Dave Whelhams took 3-19 (8), Myles Baldock 1-31 (10) and Syed Ali 1-25 (7) were the pick of the bowling, Hutton closed on 180-5 and a draw.

The 4th XI travelled away to Old Souths with a much changed side (any coincidence when playing away in Shoeburyness one wonders). In the field first up Jack’s collective bowling group held the opposition to 193-9 in their overs. Stand out performers were Libby Riddell 3-32 (10), Nathan McCarthy 3-36 (7) and Jack Sykes 2-12 (8).

Haider Rasool (22) and Biju Matthews (16) made decent start but wickets fell at a regular rate with only a fighting 25 from Jon Allen really making a sizeable addition as we were all out and well beaten with 133 all out.

The carrier pigeon from Hatfield Heath has yet to arrive so no news on the 5th XI just yet.

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