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Cricket: Weekend of mixed emotions for Harlow Town

Cricket / Thu 2nd Sep 2021 at 09:44am

IT was a weekend of mixed emotions for Harlow Town Cricket Club. The 3rd XI sealed promotion, whilst the 1st and 2nd XI both suffered heavy defeats.

The 3rd XI sealed promotion to Division 2 of the Herts and Essex Border League, with a final record of nine wins, four losses and three no results. It was a very successful first season for skipper James Williamson helped throughout the season by player availability and improvements from youngsters Alex Manning, Sarang Kanakan and Luke Luckin along with important contributions from more experienced club members. I’m sure James is looking forward to leading his team in Division 2 next season which will be a big step up, but one the team has shown they are ready for.

At home, the 1st XI suffered a disastrous defeat to league rivals Benfleet, who by winning sealed their place in Division 2 of the Hamro Essex Cricket League.

Contrasting Benfleet’s survival Harlow Town are now precariously placed just above the relegation zone. Town skipper Daniel Farmer won the toss and chose to bowl, hoping to pressure the Benfleet batsman. However, the fired-up visitors tore up the script, although not flush with boundaries the visitors rotated the strike, picking up easy singles and keeping the Town bowlers thinking.

Munday was dropped early in the innings, and this proved costly as he ended up making 48 before being caught by Shaun Alderson off the bowling of Farmer. He was ably assisted by other batsmen Coelho (43) and Rowe (36). Farmer rotated his bowling attack, but it was to no real avail as Benfleet posted a slightly above par 208-9 from their 45 overs. The pick of the bowlers were Dev Madupuri with figures of 3-50 off 9 overs, and Jibran Azam (2-31 off 9). The other bowling figures were Suraj Chauhan (2-40 off 7), Sam Wilson (0-37 off 5), Farmer (1-24 off 8), Daniel Baldwin (0-25 off 7).

Even chasing a large total, Town felt confident in chasing this down at just over 4.5 an over, however Munday again tore up the script with bowling that was unplayable. After trapping Baldwin (0) LBW, Benfleet then got the key wicket off Chauhan for 10. The run rate at this point fell through the floor and while Shaun Alderson (1) and Darryl Pettengell (1) tried to attack the bowling, the bowling was just too good.

A mini resistance from Farmer (14) and Ashley Alderson (13) was short lived, and although Connor Teale finished 12 not out, wickets fell around him with Madupuri and Wilson both out for 0 with Town finishing with a disappointing 70 all out. Without doubt, Town lost to the better team on the day, the performance was somewhat surprising considering the recent form of the team. This week we travel to league leaders Wickford with survival still very much in our own hands.

The 2nd XI made the long journey to Stanford le Hope who are absolutely flying in the league. Like the 1st XI, the team won the toss and chose to bowl first. Unfortunately for Town they came across some in form batters. Opening batter Lewis scoring 103, number 2 bat Scutt also added 45. In the end the home side had put on a hefty 307 all out from their 40 overs.

The town bowling figures were Daniel Gleeson (0-43 off 4 overs), Marc Lowers (1-58 off 7), Om Thakeria (2-38 off 8), Simon Rowell (3-75 off 8), Paul Morrell (3-46 off 8), Rajapriyian Murugaiyan (0-24 off 3), Luke Luckin (1-20 off 1.4). In reply Town never got going with only Dan Gleeson (20), Hansal Dave (12) and Murugaiyan (11) scoring in double figures. Town ended up 92 all out on a tough day.

Unfortunately for Town it doesn’t get any easier as they face runaway champions Fives and Heronians at Ash Tree Field.

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