Cricket: Harlow 2nd X1 on verge of promotion

Cricket / Mon 30th Aug 2021 at 09:40am

Report by Andy Yeats

FIRSTLY, we begin with a massive pat on the back and congratulations to everyone who has formed part of the Second XI squad this season, and above all to skipper Harry Burton. Their victory today at Old Southendians virtually assures them of promotion and the title beckons with a final game of the season against bottom side Southend CC then week.

One only needs to examine the post match photograph from todays win to see the side is packed with talent and First XI experience. Over the past two months they have been utterly ruthless in recording win after win. 

Bowling first the 2’s restricted their hosts to 154-7 in 40 overs with all the bowlers producing good economy to ensure the total was kept to a very manageable level.

Waheed 1-23 (8), Joe Riddell 0-18 (8), Amir Farooq 2-23 (8), Petchey 1-40 (8), Hart 2-46 (7) and Munim 1-4 (1)

An excellent opening stand between Atif (60) and Munim (50) put us in the driving seat to the extent that a collapse of 4 quick wickets so not a major concern. Gull Hassan was in no mood to hang around smashing 30 in no time including bringing the game to a conclusion with two consecutive sixes. Trigger the after match celebrations that included some interesting poses from Rob Petchey in the team photographs (not used on the website!!!!)

Elsewhere, the First XI lost a fantastic game against promotion challenging Barking on Marigolds. The best batting performance of the season from the side saw us make a very useful 241-9 in 45 overs. Ben Yeats was again in the headlines making a terrific 110 for his fifth century of the season. During the course of his innings, in which he offered one chance when on 54 that was put down at cover but otherwise batted beautifully, he passed the record for the highest ever First XI runs aggregate in a season by an unpaid player. The previous record had been held by Terry Rist from the league winning campaign of 2000. It was entirely by chance, but fitting, that Terry was watching on from the scoreboard seating area today as Ben passed his milestone.

Ben was fully supported by good contributions throughout the order today. Max Baulcomb looked full of confidence in his run a ball 32 including putting one onto the clubhouse roof whilst Callum Sykes produced the sort of innings we all know him to be capable of adding a superb 31. Callum took 10 balls to get himself in and then unleashed some blistering boundaries. Jake Messenger aded really important impetus in taking quick singles and putting the fielding side under pressure but everyone did their bit to reach our best total of the campaign.

Alas, it was not quite enough. A devastating second wicket century partnership by the hugely impressive Quershi and Indian overseas star Chadha did the damage as they broke the back of the run rate. In fairness to Harlow, the boys fought to the last and were always in the game as wickets fell but were left with a 2 wicket defeat from the last ball of the penultimate over.

It was probably a day for the seamers as Callum Sykes, Mark Quant and an injured Abi Farooq all bowled well.

Callum Sykes 0-29 (9), Mark Quant 1-36 (9), Jake Messenger 1-62 (7), Sarfaraz Ahmed 2-53 (9), Abi Farooq 2-21 (6) and Luke Heskett 1-20 (3.5)

The 3rd XI maintained their winning run with 14 year old Joe Radford making a second consecutive half century backed up by Rizwan (45), Arshad (27), Dip (26) and Syed Ali (37) as we posted 208-9.

Their winning run looked in danger from a very handy second wicket partnership but when that was broken the combined efforts of the bowling unit were enough to close out a tight 6 run victory with three wickets a piece for Paddy Matthews and Syed Ali.

Matthews 3-42 (8), Smith-Hughes 0-40 (8), Syed Ali 3-49 (8), Dobson 0-30 (8), Priyan 1-21 (4) and Radford 1-11 (4)

On Marigolds, Jack Sykes 4th XI won a superb game coming back from the dead to claim an outstanding win. At the very forefront was a superb all round performance from Oliver Allen with bat, ball and in the field. Also key, was an outstanding spell from Evie Matthews who saw the game home by bowling a superb final over of the game backing her tremendous spell of bowling. Such was the nature of this win there were tears in from skipper and supporters alike at the end.

Earlier on Jack Sykes had led from the front with 77 from his broad and heavy bat. All who ventured to the middle made double figures but it was Oliver Allen who did more than most beyond Jack, with an aggressive 42 that helped us to 197-5 in 40 overs.

At 114-3 and then 164-5 defeat looked an impending likelihood but a complete Colts bowling line up with the addition of the now ancient (just kidding) Libby Riddell produced wonders to drag the game back in Harlow’s favour and claim a win described by Jack ‘ As utterly brilliant and one of the proudest days of captaincy I’ve experienced’. 

Again all the bowlers made major contributions but Olivers 3-32 and Evie’s 1-15 (7 overs) arguably were the match winning efforts although all take huge credit.

Libby Riddell 2-44 (8), Harris Hamid 1-24 (8), Oliver Allen 3-32 (7), Evie Matthews 1-15 (7.2), Ronnie Fuller 1-29 (5) and Matt Fisk 1-31 (4)

A great day then of cricket. Quite a day for the younger members. Quite a day for the Second XI. Come next Saturday evening I’m really gone to miss all this you know.

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