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Cricket: Missed chances prove costly for Harlow Town

Cricket / Tue 10th May 2022 am31 06:51am

ANOTHER scoring blitz from Adi Shukla was not enough to see Harlow Town 1st XI to victory against Westcliff-on-Sea in a game where extras dominated the scorecards. Setting the day for successful coin tosses skipper Ronnie Yates won the toss and asked Westcliff to bat first, with some drizzle in the air and rain the night before the wicket was going to be tough to score on. So, it proved early as Westcliff were unable to score at any sort of decent rate and Town were on top with the score at 37-3.

As in previous games Town were unable to reinforce their good start, with Wright and Robbins putting on a partnership of 88 for the 4th wicket. Robbins was dropped early in the partnership by Shukla, although it was not an easy catch, Shukla is an accomplished fielder and will have been disappointed not to catch it. Wright eventually fell for 44, however the previously mentioned dropped catch proved to be costly with Robbins eventually making 56 before being bowled by Sib Hussain. Opening bowler Nabeel Akhtar returned for his second spell and immediately responded with 2 quick wickets, however the away side continued to score freely and finished on 238-7 from their 50 overs. Whilst Robbins was the top scorer for Westcliff, the second biggest scorer was wides, with Town eventually bowling 4 extra overs due to this. The wickets for Town were shared between Akhtar, Sam Wilson, Hussain and Yates.

Chasing down the total was going to be difficult, and Town did not make life easy for themselves with only 4 batsmen getting in to double figures. Last week’s hero Shukla made a quick fire 66, but nobody was able to support him at the crease with wickets falling in regular intervals. Nabeel Akhtar again showed he is a decent hand with the bat finishing 45 not out, and along with Sam Wilson (26) really dragged Harlow Town to a semi-decent total with a partnership of 66 for the last wicket. Town eventually finished on 205 all out from 47.2 overs losing by 33 runs. In the end taking into consideration extras Westcliff only scored 8 more runs off the bat than Harlow Town, and Harlow Town were above the required run rate for almost the entirety of their innings. There is still work to be done for Ronnie Yates and his team to find the best options for the bowling and batting attack, but there is no reason to think when these are tightened up Town will undoubtedly improve. This week the 1st XI travel to Orsett and Thurrock.

Harlow Town 2nd XI lost by 59 runs to Stanford Le Hope 2nd XI. Captain Aaron Simpson chose to field first, a decision which bought early wickets for the opening bowlers Sam Charles and Vineet Jain. Town were unable to keep the pressure on and some big scores from two of the Stanford Le Hope middle order plus some wayward bowling lines allowed Stanford Le Hope to reach 235/8 from their 45 overs. Charles finishing with 2 wickets for 40 runs from 9 overs, Jain (4-45 from 9) and Rowell (2-29 from 8). In reply Town lost early wickets themselves, before a mini recovery from Dan Gleeson (42), Tom Wilcox (29) and Kishore Kumar (41 not out) threatened to pull Harlow back in to the game, however it was not to be as wickets fell around Kumar and Town were all out for 176. The second XI are hosting West Essex at Ash Tree Field this weekend.

It was better news for Harlow Town 3rd XI who hosted Matching Green 2nd XI. The opposition who had been so strong last season going unbeaten all season, struggled with availability, turning up with 9 players. Completing a hat-trick of successful coin tosses for the Town captains, Captain James Williamson also elected to field first in the slightly damp conditions. Town’s bowling attack tore through the depleted Matching Green batting order, with wickets for Sarang Kanakan, Luke Luckin and Paul Morrell with the visitors reaching 35 in 10.4 overs. Electing to ‘turn around’ straight away Town were able to knock the runs off 5 overs for the loss of 1 wicket with runs for Paul Smith, Adam Stott and Dan Dewey. The 3rd XI travel to Woodford Wells on Saturday looking to keep up their fine form.

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