Cricket: Harlow’s First X1 lose critical promotion battle

Sport / Tue 22nd Aug 2023 at 07:40am

THE First XI lost their critical promotion battle with Goresbrook at Marigolds, eventually losing by 6 wickets. Asked to bat first having lost the toss the home side saw both openers depart rapidly only for youngster James Mitchell (47) and Zabi Hakimi (35) to stabilise the innings. Max Baulcomb added 35 and each of the last four batters made double figures but the final score of 196-9 in 50 overs looked 30 runs light.

Harlow needed to take early wickets at they did just that reducing the top of the table visitors to 18-3 as Alex Senior and Joe Riddell both made inroads. Sadly for the home side, Shame Barwick (65) and Danny Gilliam Junior (73*) saw Goresbrook close to the finish and even a third wicket for Senior wasn’t enough.

Harlow drop to fourth in the table and frankly need two wins to conclude their season and a series of helpful results to stand any chance of Division Two cricket next season.

Equally disappointing news from the Second XI who now have to settle themselves for a season in the same division in 2024 after a knife edge finish at Hornchurch went against them with their hosts winning by 1 wicket.

Harlow batted first and made 185 all out with Mohammed Umar Raza top scoring with 55. Atif Mustehsan opened with 30 to continue his good form.

A heroic effort with the ball saw Harlow favourites at one point with Hornchurch 105-6 as Paddy Matthews (3-27), Amir Farooq (2-27) and Mohammed Umar Raza (2-40) led the bowling effort. Harlow took the 9th wicket with 5 still needed for Hornchurch who staggered over the line to claim the win and end Harlow’s promotion hopes for the Second XI as well.

Far better news from the title chasing Third XI. Despite missing a raft of regular players Rizwan’s young side blasted Hutton all out for just 102 in 30 overs as Bilal Javed bowled a superb spell of 4-31 backed up by wickets for Harris Hamid (2-14), Sunny Ali (1-10), Tyler Dobson (2-18) and George Jessey (1-12). 

Skipper Rizwan Qayyum (pictured) and Dip Basnet both made scores of 38* and 37* respectively as Harlow cruised to an 8 wicket win. This victory leaves Harlow top of the table but rivals Upminster are hanging on to their heels just a few points behind but Harlow know two wins and the title will be retained again.

The Fourth XI also kissed goodbye to any hope off promotion with a hoke defeat to Chelmsford. Batting first Harlow made 196-7 with John Allen making a fine 62 and scores of 20 odd from Oliver Allen, Nathan McCarthy, Safi Sarajudeen and Jack Sykes. Sadly the lack of a really big innings from one of the set batters proved costly as Harlow’s 196-7 was comfortably overhauled by the visitors who reached the total in just 32 overs despite a brace of wickets for Jack Sykes and Libby Riddell. 

Once again the Fifth XI fixture had to be conceded due to the availability issues across the entire club.

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