Cricket: Harlow Town remain unbeaten after close win
Cricket / Sat 3rd Jun 2023 at 01:12pm
SATURDAY saw Harlow Town 1st XI welcome Goresbrook to Ash Tree Field in a tie that saw two teams who had yet to taste defeat face off.
Someone’s zero looses had to go and Goresbrook’s skipper landed the first blow in winning the toss and electing to bat on what was a magnificently prepared wicket, the weather finally allowing for the grounds-staff to show their skills.
Town were able to strike a few early blows to reduce their opponents to 67/4 after 20 overs and were feeling confident, given the wicket, weather and opposition.
As is the way with cricket, the momentum slowly started to shift as Goresbrook’s middle order attempted to rally. An unlikely source of a wicket appeared and once Daniel Baldwin was able to break the pair apart, the rest of the bowling attack followed through the door.
On a hot day, all of the bowlers contributed to restrict Goresbrook to what was a respectable, but probably slightly below par, score of 208 all out off exactly 50 overs, Tom Wilcox deservedly able to extract the prized wicket of Harris (80) off the very last ball of the innings.
After a delicious tea, Town began their chase. It started in similarly auspicious fashion, runs were not the issue but there was a considerable procession of wickets. The batters got starts but were struggling to turn these into scores and at 88/6 after 21 overs, there was a slightly bleak outlook from the boundary. Those looking on should have had far more faith. Captain Ronnie Yates joined his brother Pat in the middle, and from the get-go both looked far more comfortable than those watching.
They set about chase with calmness and panache, flawing any loose bowling and the mythical brotherly telepathy allowing them to steal singles where mere mortals may not see them. A partnership of 115 took Town to the brink of victory, before Pat was to be stumped for a phenomenal 80 off 92 balls. This brought opening bowler Wilson to the crease, with 6 needed to win from 3 overs. Then the confusion began.
It transpired that at the fall of the seventh wicket, Goresbrook were roughly a minute and a half away from running out of time to bowl their overs and falling victim to 6 penalty runs per over they were short.
Therefore, after a quick single, the usual change of ends, the batsmen having a discussion and then returning to their creases, there was a little over 10 seconds for Town to last until they had won the game.
As Wilson faced up for the first ball of the 47th over, Town were victorious. This was unbeknownst to those watching from the boundary as the game continued to play out. After an inside edge had brought a hasty two, the equation was 3 to win (or so the crowd thought).
Instead, as one might expect of an opening bowler with a scrambled mind, Wilson was bowled. As the time had run out, that was the winning moment and one most bizzarre. Those looking on were very confused as handshakes took place in the middle but it soon became clear that Town had wrapped up a fantastic chase to make it 3 from 3.
All credit goes to the brothers Yates for building a brilliant innings and partnership and seeing the team all but home.
The 2nd XI would pick up their first win of the season as they traveled to Ardleigh Green and would bowl the hosts out for 117 with Connor Teale picking up 5 wickets. In reply town would only lose 2 wickets in reach the target with Aaron Applegate top scoring on debut
3rd XI unfortunately lost out in the dying over again this week as they travelled to Woodford Wells 4XI, town would bat first and reach a target of 228 all out with middle order runs coming from Ashley Norcott (82) and Alex Manning (56) but Woodford would pick up the 20 point with 8 balls to spare with Ali Zafar picking up 3 of Woodfords 6 wickets before reaching the target.