Cricket: Harlow CC’s bowlers dominate on last day of season
Cricket / Mon 4th Sep 2023 at 07:40am
HARLOW CC’s cricketers produced some strong performances on the final day of the season as the 2nd, 3rd and 4th XI’s all won.
Sadly, any lingering hopes of a First XI promotion were finally dashed with defeat as Leigh on Sea. The home side had the motivation of knowing they would avoid relegation should they beat a young Harlow side, something they achieved comfortably.
Batting first Harlow got off to the worst possible start with opener Abi Farooq dismissed first ball of the match. It didn’t get much better after that with only Gull Hassan (35) showing resistance until a late boundary feast from Joe Riddell (19) as Harlow were dismissed for just 141.
Early wickets for Joe Riddell and Alex Senior put Leigh on the back foot but they stabilised and reached the target with ease, 5 wickets down, despite Senior and Whitworth taking two wickets each. Harlow concluded the season in 4th place as Goresbrook and Woodford Green secured promotion. At the foot of the table local rivals Harlow Town suffered a terrible combination of results leading to their relegation to Division 4 – not helped by Harlow’s defeat to Leigh on Sea.
Also finishing in a commendable 4th place were the 2nd XI who beat Fives & Heronians (and in doing so relegated the visitors). The pace and accuracy of Abubaker Rafiq destroyed Fives top order claiming four wickets, whilst Ben Seary claimed 3 wickets in one over to mop up the tail as Fives could only muster 137 all out.
Arshad Muhammed struck a fine 70 not out as Harlow cruised to a 7 wicket win.
It was bitter sweet for Rizwan Qayyum’s 3rd XI as they won their fixture at Shenfield but news from Upminster was that their rivals had won to claim the Premier Division title. Harlow were cruelly denied their deserved opportunity to retain the title when rain wrecked their fixture whilst Upminster played to a conclusion in their match last weekend. Nevertheless an absolutely outstanding season for this side and it’s combination of experience and youth.
In a bad tempered game Harlow batted first and made just 158 with Simon Baulcomb top scoring with 35 backed up by Rizwan (26) and Alfie Jessey (29). A superb bowling effort won them the game by 5 runs with Fas Javed taking 4-20 and a brace each for Sunny Ali and Jake Hikmatshah.
The 4th XI concluded a very successful season with a fine victory against Fives 3rd XI. Fives batted first and made an excellent start until Oliver Allen turned the game on it’s head taking his first ever career hat trick. Once the door was opened by Oliver, Jack Sykes came charging through it twirling his way to a remarkable 5 wicket haul for just 8 runs.
Chasing 119 to win Harlow lost two wickets as Eliot Koopowitz (43*) and Naseer Mirza (32*) saw the side home. A very creditable mid table finish for the 4th XI in their Third XI division playing predominantly against 3rd XI sides from very strong clubs.
The 5th XI lost a very competitive fixture against Thorley 2nd’s. Thorley were dismissed for just 126 as the Harlow bowlers all produced a superb effort as everyone contributed with excellent figures. Lia Fisk took 2-14, Daniel Knight 2-11 and L. Ireland 2-16 with Emilia Allen also on top form with 5 overs for just 8 runs and a wicket.
Sadly the batting wasn’t on the same level as the bowling as Harlow made just under one hundred with Jon Allen (31) and Emilia Allen (18) the only scores of note but a fine all round performance overall against a strong Thorley side.
Pictured are the aforementioned stand out bowlers of the day with Club President Alan Howick. Ben Seary, Abubaker Rafiq, Mr Howick, Jack Sykes and Oliver Allen. Brilliant effort from you all!!!