Cricket: Great weekend of victories for Harlow Cricket Club

Cricket / Mon 3rd Jul 2023 at 07:15am

SATURDAY produced the best weekend series of results of the season to date. A Chris Whitworth inspired First XI defeated Leigh on Sea to jump into promotion contention after a third consecutive win. Elsewhere there were three emphatic victories for the 3rd, 4th and 5th XI’s whilst the 2nd XI dominated but drew at Fives & Heronians.

At Marigolds visitors Leigh on Sea won the toss and elected to bat first. They made a strong start but Chris Whitworth helped Harlow fight back in the latter part of the innings taking four wickets whilst Alex Senior claimed a brace and skipper Tom Garner grabbed a rare wicket. 

Chasing 232 to win Harlow lost the Syed Hassan for 15 but Whitworth was in imperious form supported superbly by Abi Farooq (44). That second wicket partnership had placed Harlow in a glorious position and decent knocks by James Forde and Sergio Fedee continued to back up opener Whitworth as he reached his first century of the season making a match winning 107.

The recent run of wins in the Time format, so elusive in previous seasons, has boosted Harlow from a side looking likely to be in trouble at the foot of the table to genuine promotion challengers.

The Second XI are also in a huge promotion battle but left Fives frustrated after the home side blocked out for a draw. Batted first Harlow made a huge 323-3 with Abdul Munim once again in the runs with 119. Arshad Muhammed (40), John Perry (91*) and Zabi Hakimi (44*) also piled on the runs as Harlow chose to bat the full 50 overs without declaring.

In reply, Abubaker Rafiq used his express pace to claim early wickets, including the highly dangerous Terry Ballard for just 15, but Fives clearly felt the total was beyond them and shut up shop concluding their innings on 228-6.

The Third XI bounced back from a rare defeat with a comprehensive win at home to Shenfield. Rizwan won the toss and put the opposition in first and his bowlers all were outstanding with a wicket for all. George Jessey (3-30) and Waheed Azam (3-36) led the way but the bowling was universally good including Sunny Ali taking 1-11 in 8 tight overs of swing.

In reply, Harlow were in a heap of trouble losing six early wickets but a crucial partnership between Waheed Adam (59*) and Sunny Ali (47*) took them to the all important 20 points.

The Fourth XI are exceeding all expectations and sit 2nd in the table (they play in the Third XI divisions already!) after a thumping win over Fives. Skipper Quant won the toss and inserted his opponents who could only muster 110 all out. Libby Riddell and Jake Hikmatshah both took three wickets a piece whilst the captain grabbed a brace and Jack Fuller and Nathan McCarthy also chipped in. Post match captain Mark was quick to praise both Libby and Jake. Libby bowled superbly for the second week running to turn the fixture whilst Jake showed great maturity to deal with a difficult issue relating to a highly controversial incident after which he came back to complete the destruction of the remainder of the batting lineup.

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