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Cricket: Harlow Town open season with victory against Benfleet

Cricket / Tue 7th May 2024 at 01:30pm

AFTER a one-week delay, the cricket season finally began on Saturday with Harlow Town hosting Benfleet, on an unexpectedly sunny day after the poor weather earlier in the week. The ground staff deserve some early credit for preparing a pitch and an outfield that did not appear sodden given the rain the day before.

Skipper Ronnie Yates won the toss and elected to bowled first, and the opening bowlers were soon into their work, keeping their visitors honest and after 10 overs the score was 15-1. Benfleet’s batsman settled into a groove and began to rotate the strike, putting together a partnership of 137 for the second wicket. However, once the door was opened at 150-2, Town began to exert more pressure and wickets began to fall at regular intervals as Benfleet chased quick runs. They settled on 224-7 off of their 45 overs, Yates being the pick of the bowlers with 4-24 off his 9.

A lovely tea was followed by the run chase, and a positive start from the openers was quelled by the fall of the first wicket at 24-1 in the fifth over and a second quickly followed. The third wicket partnership of Pat Yates and Ben Tyne put on 72 before Yates was to fall for a fluent 49. At 118-3 Tyne took the reins and once he was in and set he never looked back, punishing any loose bowling as well as battling muscle cramps and nosebleeds on his way to a superb 95 that anchored the chase beautifully. He was to go with the score at 211-5, wherein his partner Taylor Wood took over, finishing 37* and ending the game with a 4 in the 44th over.

A well paced chase against an opposition in the division above them is an excellent way to start the season and Town will hope to build on this when their league season finally gets started in a couple of weeks.

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