Cricket: Newham hold off Harlow in run fest at Marigolds

Athletics / Mon 4th Jul 2022 at 07:06am

HARLOW CC First XI produced a fine display in their important Essex Senior League fixture at Marigolds on Saturday but just failed to secure the vital win against Newham CC.

Having lost the toss the home side (Harlow) were asked to bat first and they the most of a fine wicket and fast outfield despite the early set back of losing Chris Whitworth for 13. Harlow’s leading run scorer, Ben Yeats, carried his bat throughout the innings striking a career best 140 not out, with 17 fours and one six. It was the prolific opening batters fourth century of the season and ensures he remains very much on target to break the magical 1,000 run barrier in league fixtures in 2022.

Ben received excellent support from the middle order. The rejuvenated Syed Hassan made 59 (from 72 balls) before falling to a fine catch in the gully. The attacking Gul Hassan was elevated up the order to increase the run rate even further and he did so in style, hammering 59 himself, in only 44 deliveries. When Gul was dismissed Max Baulcomb joined Ben and the unrelenting run scoring continued unabated with an incredible 44 runs coming off the final 3 overs of the innings as Harlow posted 294-3 (50 overs).

As the fixture was in the ‘time’ format Harlow knew it would a stiff ask to bowl the visitors out to secure the win, especially as Newham’s strength lay in their batting department. Nevertheless, pacemen Abi Farooq and Joe Riddell both made early in-roads (aided by two superb catches from stand in wicket keeper Tom Garner) to leave Newham wobbling at 51-3. 

Newham Captain, Sajjad Mirza, found support from Kabir Rashid and the pair added 102 before Paddy Matthews trapped the latter player LBW with his first ball of the match. Newham had batted with genuine intent and were matching the required run rate to chase down the total. The ultra-aggressive middle order batsman, Khawar Khurshid, was next in and on his last visit to Marigolds the Newham all rounder had smashed the bowling to all parts (including over the pavilion roof several times) but not this time. Chris Whitworth fired a quicker ball through his defences to bowl him for just 2 and a Harlow win looked a realistic possibility.

Newham wicket-keeper batsman, Wasim Majeed, and skipper Mirza quickly dampened home spirits with a partnership that was starting to threaten an unlikely Newham victory. A crucial catch went down from the bat of Mirza. With the run rate starting to rise Joe Riddell returned to the bowling attack to knock over Mirza’s stumps, he made a very fine 107, and Farooq immediately bowled Shaukat leaving Newham 251-7.

Despite everything Harlow could muster, including some hostile pace from Farooq and Riddell, the visitors blocked the final overs to ensure a draw. Harlow achieved 11 bonus points to Newham’s 5 but results elsewhere left the Marigolds outfit slightly adrift of the top two in the division (Springfield and Barking), so work to do to close in on a promotion spot.

(Pictured Ben Yeats plays a ramp shot for 4 as runs flow late in the Harlow innings)

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