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Cricket: Harlow Town take another step towards safety

Cricket / Tue 20th Jul 2021 at 07:42am

HARLOW Town 1st XI took another big step towards safety in the Hamro Foundation Essex League Division 2. Captain Farmer lost the toss and Town were, perhaps surprisingly considering the sweltering conditions, asked to bat first by the visitors Orsett and Thurrock.

Even with the recent good weather the wicket was not as batting friendly as it seemed, the opening bowlers bowling good lines and Town opening batsmen Dan Baldwin and Ronnie Yates struggling to get the ball away. In the 4th over Baldwin was trapped LBW for 3, bringing Suraj Chauhan to the crease. The bowlers continued to bowl well, however the heat soon took a toll and Chauhan was able to dispatch loose balls to the boundary. Chauhan and Yates continued to pick up runs off the bowling, however at the start of the 22nd over Yates holed out for a well-earned 27, and the very next ball Chauhan was stumped for 30.

This left Town with 2 new, young batters, Connor Teale, and George Richardson at the crease. Both batters showed good technique to move the score along nicely, picking up 1’s and 2’s when available. Connor eventually fell for 27, bowled by Redman. Richardson and new partner Azam continued to move the scoreboard along. Richardson, after heaving a mighty 6 over cow corner was caught the next ball for 35. After Azam fell for 16 in the 45th over, the Town tail saw out the 50 overs with contributions from Shaun Alderson (11), Daniel Farmer (4), Ronnie Yates (1), and Sam Wilson (4 not out) and Om Thakeria (2 not out), finishing on a creditable 167-9.

The visitors attempted to start fast, knocking the first Chauhan over for 7. This plan by the visitors did not last as Wilson took the important wicket of L Lockyer with his very first ball, the catch being well taken by Farmer. The opening partnership of Wilson and Chauhan suffocated the batters with excellent line and length bowling. As Wilson had done earlier, Farmer took the wicket of the other opening batsman thanks to an extremely agile catch by Ronnie Yates in the slips.

Town were now well in the ascendancy as more batsmen came and went without troubling the scorebook. Azam getting the third and fourth wicket courtesy of an LBW and a bowling wicket. The 5th wicket of H Lockyer was something of a masterpiece from Farmer, who while fielding at short leg made a brave block which squirted back to the bowler Azam who took the catch. Town continued to take wickets, Farmer bowling the visiting keeper, Pat Yates taking a catch off his brothers bowling leaving the opposition at 55/7. In the 30th over, Farmer who started the over fielding at short leg moved to short mid-wicket, with the batsmen finding him with the very next ball. Ronnie Yates then dismissed Redman LBW and was on for a hat trick. As Yates approached, the visiting bat took a big stride forward and nicked the ball to Pat Yates, who then missed the catch denying his brother a hat trick! In the end the last wicket fell to Azam in the next over completing another solid Town performance. Azam was the pick of the bowlers (4-15 from 10.3), ably assisted by Chauhan (0-13 from 5), Wilson (1-8 from 5), Farmer (2-7 from 6), and Yates (3-14 from 4).

Harlow Town 2nd XI travelled to Benfleet knowing a victory was a must to move up the table. Scott Alderson lost the toss and the home side elected to bat first. Benfleet scored at a fast rate, but Town were always taking wickets and stopping any partnerships being built. Town eventually bowling out Benfleet for 137 after 35.1 overs. The wickets shared around between the bowlers. Toby Goddard (2-29 from 6), Vineet Jain (3-33 from 11), Taylor Wood (0-22 from 7), Simon Rowell (2-23 from 7), Dev Madupuri (2-11 from 4.1).

In response Town showed excellent composure and technique to knock off the runs for the loss of only 2 wickets. A great 2nd wicket partnership of 109 between Jay Lowles and Dev Madupuri really settled this innings, Lowles eventually falling for 55, while attempting to score the winning runs, courtesy of a great catch in the gully. Taylor Wood, finishing 4 not out after hitting the winning runs, and Dev Madupuri finishing 65 not out. Aaron Simpson (3) was the other Harlow Town batsman. A fine team performance from the 2’s with the wickets, catches and runs being shared across the entire team.

Harlow Town 3rd XI travelled to top of the table Matching, in a great back and forth contest Town eventually lost by 46 runs. Matching eventually finishing on 221/7 with Sarang Kanakan taking 3 wickets, Luke Luckin, Dan Pullen, Paul Smith and captain James Williams all taking a wicket apiece. In reply Town could not really build any solid partnerships with batsmen falling at regular intervals. Paul Smith top scored with 40, Kanakan with 27 and Brian Lall with 22 all helped Town push along, unfortunately falling short and finishing 175 all out.

This week Town have 2 T20 games, away at Frenford on Tuesday 20th and we visit our local rivals Harlow Cricket Club on Thursday. Both games are due to start at 6pm and I’m sure spectators will be welcomed at both games.

Next weekend both the 1st and 2nd XI have important games against teams one place below them in the league. The 1’s welcome Frenford and the 2’s travelling to Walthamstow. Harlow Town 3rd XI welcome Little Munden to Ash Tree Field.

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