Cricket: Harlow CC 4th X1 review of the year

Cricket / Sat 14th Oct 2023 at 02:51pm

ANY reporting in respect of Harlow Cricket Club’s 4th XI must be understood in the context of their elevated league status. The success of the side under the likes of Rob Coldwell and Jack Sykes led to their promotion out of 4th XI cricket into the 3rd XI divisions where they currently have established themselves in Third XI Division 2. Their opponents are frequently Third XI sides from some of the largest and most successful clubs in the county. It’s remarkable that they should even compete at their current level never mind be pushing for another promotion and yet that is exactly what this side did for the majority of the 2023 season.

The season opened with a wash out but was followed by roundly thrashing Loughton 3rd XI in the first effective fixture with all seven Harlow bowlers used taking at least one wicket. In fact, other than Libby Riddell (hardly an old timer!) all the rest of the attack that day were Colts players, further evidence of the depth of young talent at the club.

The following week Wanstead were well beaten thanks to George Jessey taking 5 wickets for just 3 runs and Tijo George knocking a very useful 52*. However, reality bit hard seven days later as Buckhurst Hill triumphed against our young charges and a second consecutive defeat followed immediately afterwards.

Form with the bat returned at Harold Wood 3rd XI with Mark Quant making the only 4th XI century of the season (108*) supported superbly by Alfie Jessey (54*), Ben Seary (42) and 13 year old Bill Clark (38) as Harlow posted an insurmountable 276 to ease to victory.

Results continued to fluctuate but a sound win against Belhus had Harlow back on track (Ben Seary 72 and Harris Hamid 46* helping us to a large total before Quanty 4-23 and George Jessey 3-26 did damage with the ball) . Whilst wicketless in the game the opening spell of Jack Fuller was typical of his impressive efforts throughout the campaign. Jack on this occasion bowling 5 overs conceding just one single run to set the tone superbly as he frequently did throughout.

Libby and Jake Hikmatshah took three wickets apiece in a comfortable win over Fives as the side enjoyed a wonderful unbeaten spell throughout July with 3 wins, one draw against top of the table Buckhurst Hill and a unavoidable washout due to the rain.

Entering August the side sat second in the table and with every chance of challenging for promotion however two defeats and two rained off games saw us slide out of contention before a final day romp with Jack Sykes spinning his way to figures of 5-8 to totally outplay Fives.

Ultimately a hugely creditable fourth placed finish for the side that meant they ended as the THIRD highest ranked Fourth XI side in the entire county. Perhaps even more important than the results was the continuing development of younger players with many of the Colts performing so well they excelled when asked to play 3rd XI later in the season as evidence of their progression. 

Mark Quant ended as the leading run scorer but huge credit to Naseer Mirza who joined the club late in the season and averaged over 50 with the bat. 

Quanty also took the most wickets (17) but impressive hauls from many of the younger players amongst them George Jessey, Harris Hamid and Jack Fuller. Special mention for Ibtisam Baig who did not get the wickets he deserved but returned a remarkable economy rate of 2.85 runs per over which is pretty special at this level. 

Alfie Jessey had an impressive season behind the stumps and also looks a talented bat.

Many congratulations to all who featured this season – you each did the club proud!

Leading Run Scorers
Mark Quant 245 runs (ave 49)
Eliot Koopowitz 209 runs (ave 34.83)
Naseer Mirza 155 runs (ave 51.67)

Leading Wicket Takers
Mark Quant 17 wickets (eco 3.59)
George Jessey 12 wickets (eco 3.98)
Jack Sykes 11 wickets (eco 3.41)
Libby Riddell 11 wickets (eco 5.73)
Jack Fuller 11 wickets (eco 3.22)

Most Catches 
Alfie Jessey 9 catches

Best Innings
Mark Quant 108* v Harold Wood

Best Bowling
George Jessey 5-3 v Wanstead

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