Cricket: Heavy defeat for Harlow against Barking

Cricket / Sun 4th Jun 2023 at 09:17am

IT always looked a difficult fixture away at Barking but Harlow First XI’s batting struggles continued again leading to another heavy defeat. Asked to bat first on a notoriously challenging track they were immediately on the back foot with early wickets lost and never recovered. Syed Hassan (31) and Zabi Hakimi (26) briefly steadied the ship but both lost their wickets with the Harlow total in the 60’s and the innings subsided to 116 all out.

Barking reached the total in comfort for the loss of 4 wickets with Chris Whitworth (2-19) the pick of the bowling. Harlow now find themselves in the relegation zone – far from pre-season expectations.

Far better news from Marigolds and the Second XI who recovered from the early loss of frequent run grabber Abdul Munim to post an imposing 291 in 45 overs. Mainstay of the innings was Arshad Muhammed (pictured) who struck a fine 89 with tremendous support from James Forde (57). A late flurry of scoring from Muhammed Umar Raza (33) and Waheed Azam (36) pushed the total up towards the 300 mark.

Visitors Buckhurst Hill made a real game of the contest but Harlow took wickets at crucial times to record an excellent win with Muhammed Umar Raza outstanding (4-53) supported by Abubaker Rafiq (2-53) and Amir Farooq (2-46). The result sees Harlow up to second in the league table.

Maintaining their perfect early season record were the Third XI who defeated their counterparts from Frenford. Frenford batted first and were dominated by the Harlow attack. After an early Bilal Javed wicket it was Tyler Dobson (3-29), James Mitchell (3-5) and Jake Hikmatshah (3-45) who did the fatal damage as the home side reached a mere 120 all out.

Despite the early loss of skipper Rizwan, youngsters Ronnie Fuller (52) and James Mitchell (35) took the Harlow score close to the winning line and not even four late wickets could deny a comfortable victory maintaining their lead at the top of Third XI Premier Division.

A more difficult day for an inexperienced Fourth XI who hosted Gidea Park & Romford 3rd XI. Having won the toss Harlow batted first but made just 145 with principal contributions from Naseer Mirza (40) and Oliver Allen (36). The bowling unit worked hard but just didn’t have enough runs to defend despite 2-17 from Ibtisam Baig.

The Fifth XI faced league leaders Stansted Hall with just 9 players but produced a wholehearted spirited display to be proud of. None more so than Irfan Oryakhel who took the superb figures of 5-39 in 8 overs for his maiden 5 wicket haul for the club. Sam Robertson also claimed a brace of wickets with one each for Emilia Allen and Safi Sarajudeen.

Chasing 246 the nine men & ladies battled hard with Jack Sykes (33) and debutant Jamie Gordon (27) top scoring whilst Safi added 18.

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