Goresbrook CC 1st XI 203-9
Thurrock CC 1st XI 198ao
Thurrock are getting closer and closer to victory, but the title winning form of last year, which proved the difference in games as tight as these, continues to elude them. Thurrock fell just 6 runs short of the win.
Thurrock won the toss and elected to chase and for a time that decision proved sound. Goresbrook, an early dismissal aside, got off to a solid, if turgid, start as skipper Kurt Whisker (31) and Michael Rooke (19) were helped on their way by a flurry of wides from the visitors. Andrew Hills yorked Whisker and Rooke fell to the powerful throwing arm of Ross Fullbrook to seemingly put Thurrock in control.
But a series of cameos turned the innings in Thurrock’s favour. First Calverly (20) and Friend (22) picked up the pace against Thurrock’s two young spinners, Fullbrook and Brooks. Brooks (1-27) picked up Calverly and then run out Friend in the space of a few overs, and Fullbrook’s legspin twice tempted batsmen down the track for stumpings on his way to 2-44. But Kurt Messenger came in and blazed a quickfire 26 unbeaten to see Goresbrook past three figures.
In a chase so close as this Thurrock could point to a number of turning points. First was the dismissal of Tony Hans who, on 27, got a half-tracker that didn’t get above his boot laces, or Matt Hills who became Rooke’s second victim, bowled via inside edge, ground and the toe of his boot. Other incidents were much of their own doing. Both Umar Ayub (40) and Rob Baker (30) got themselves into excellent positions to win the match for Thurrock, and both flicked leg stump full tosses from Lawrence Walsh down deep square legs throat. Walsh then picked up a 3rd wicket for 39 thanks to a generous LBW decision.
But ultimately Thurrock had no one to blame but themselves after Imran Mohammed exploded into action. With three figures only recently posted and Mohammed promoted to number seven, he went into T20 mode, smashing sixes and fours to all areas of the park. His blazing innings seemed to turn the game in an instant and, although he fell for 51, Thurrock looked sure to coast home. But needing 3 an over they contrived to fall short when a disastrous run out brought them nine down with 6 needed from the final over and the first delivery evaded a hopeful swipe and smacked into middle stump, shattering Thurrock hearts.