Pegasus 1st XI – 239 ao
Thurrock CC 1st XI – 171ao
Thurrock CC’s first run out under their new name proved to tread a well worn early season path. Pegasus played host for this Saturday friendly fixture and Thurrock found themselves on the wrong end of the result.
Pegs had much to thank the bat of Paul Bennet for. In the opening overs, it was Bennet who both kept up one end an almost single-handedly propelled the Pegs innings along. Both new ball bowlers struck early for Thurrock, exposing Pegs middle order, and it was here Bennet found the handful of cameo’s he needed to drive Pegs toward a competitive total. Bennet’s first fifty was peppered with his trademark hard hitting, and then Laird (38) supported him as his and Peg’s total grew. Indeed it looked to be a thankless toil for Thurrock as Bennet found his straps and from an auspicious start a huge total looked on the cards.
The dismissal of Laird allowed Thurrock to open an end up and, although they couldn’t halt Bennet before he smashed his way through three figures, his downfall for 109 allowed the visitors to peg back the Peg back for a time. As the innings closed a cameo 31 from Gavin Sharpe pushed pegs past 200 in a flurry of wickets as Thurrock spinner Sajid Jawed tore through the home side and closed down the innings with 4-41 and overs to spare.
In reply Thurrock debutant Umar Ayub and Abdullah Yasini got Thurrock off to a flyer. With pace on the ball the pair were happy to slash through the peg infield and were soon bearing down on three figures for the team and individual half centuries. For a while the Peg looked woefully short of runs but when they took the pace off the soft ball the game turned in a few overs. Yasini (44) and Ayub (41) both holed out while looking set and wicket takers Sharp (2-48) and Cairns (2-13) struck again to expose Thurrock middle order. 4 quick wickets were bad enough but when the experienced Matt Hills was deceived by a stopping delivery from Tester on 15, it was the beginning of the end.
Thurrock’s demise was quick. Tester finished with 2-30 as Stanikzai guided a full toss to cover, and Diprose smashed 23 in a handful of deliveries before holing out to freeman who gratefully took a popup off his own bowling to finish with 2-17. Perhaps fittingly, Paul Bennet claimed the final wicket with his 2nd ball drawing the line under a win that was comfortable – for most of the game anyway.