Thurrock CC 2nds – 201 ao
Goresbrook 3rds – 202-9
Thurrock’s second string were only a run away from emulating the tightest of finishes their firsts produced after a brilliant fight back with the ball was fractionally insufficient to secure them victory.
Batting first, skipper Matt Diprose’s valiant 54 was the only bright spark in a batting order that never capitalised on starts on a Blackshots track that has haemorrhaged runs this year. Batting at six Diprose’s knock was the frame around Thurrock’s stuttering effort was built, but in truth the home side knew 201 should never have been enough.
Yet for a time it seemed it might be. Thurrock came out after lunch a different side and Gelder’s craft of swing bowling did for both openers before Tom Hills smashed through two more Goresbrook batsmen at the other end. Gelder (2-21) and Hills (2-29) were followed up by Kumar who immediate bagged a brace himself.
From a seemingly sorry position Thurrock had turned the tables, and then contrived to throw it all away. Billy Chapman and Daryl forward came out swinging and the tactic paid off on the blisteringly quick Blackshots outfield and both peppered the boundary in a partnership of 83 that turned out to be a match winning one. Thurrock hit back with Ifty Ali removing Chapman for 63, but the visitor’s half century was vital. Ali struck again for figures of 2-22, but Forward guided his side into the final over needing just 3 to win. Forward perished on 41 but his work was done as Goresbrook limped how with just a single wicket in hand to snatch hope away from Thurrock along with the points.
Thurrock CC Sun 1sts – 200-4
Upminster CC Sun 1sts – 202-4
15 year old Ross Fullbrook secured his maiden century for Thurrock, but couldn’t bring victory. On a slow but true track, Upminster were always in control of this Sunday league fixture.
Thurrock batted first and, thrown in at the deep end, Thurrock’s promising youngster set about his task with great aplomb. Unflustered by the new ball, Fullbrook constructed Thurrock a stable, solid platform in the face of some stoic bowling from home side Upminster, driving off front and back foot with a class belying his years. Supported by Mark O’Neill (27) he posted his 50 before Roome’s birst pegged back Thurrock’s intention of kicking on. Roome snapped up 2-27 and Matt Hills was forced to join Fullbrook and rebuild momentum. Hills again employed lively, intelligent running in support and Fullbrook chipped away at was what to be a momentous total. Upminster gave nothing away with the ball, making the youngster earned every one of his hundred runs and his celebration all the sweeter. Though Hills closed the innings with a final burst of boundaries, bring his total to 48 unbeaten, 200 was not going to be enough as Fullbrook left the field, carrying his bat for a wonderful 105 not out.
In reply Upminster were never flustered. Quested and O’Dell calmly chipped away on a track that held no demons for the batsmen and Thurrock couldn’t find that spark they needed with the ball. The home side were always in control and though, as the hundred was posted, Quested departed for 37 and O’Dell for 32, thei way was open for Hammond to continue their inexorable grind towards victory. Jay Shojahi’s off spin proved Thurrock’s deadliest weapon, but his 2-25 from his 8 overs was the most the visitors could offer as Upminster whittled away the target to a comfortable victory, Hammond closing out the innings with 57 not out with 6 overs to spare.
Fords 3rds – 232ao
Thurrock CC 3rds – 125ao
Luck often plays its part in cricket and Fords got theirs at the right time as a spirited Thurrock display wasn’t enough against a Fords side flying high in the table.
Ashiqur Rahmen rode his luck early in the innings and the Fords opener took full advantage as he lead his side to a sizable total despite Thurrocks continued endeavours. Thurrock managed to take wickets at regular interval’s throughout the innings but it wasn’t the prize scalp of Rahman as he compiled a hundred on the batsmen friendly Fords track.
Leggie McLellan struck twice early for the visitors, capitalising on the pressure built by Dan George with the new ball. Young Jack Day added a further wicket, as did Tyrone Owen, but Raman was in his stride by then. The Fords opener finally fell just a run after posting his 100, stumped off McLellan, whose 3-38 was a continual thorn in Fords’ side. Qamar Amin supplied a late cameo of 42 before Dan Groves (3-20) removed the tail in his 4 over burst. But the damamge was done.
Thurrock’s run rate was always good, with Dan Allen mustering 31 at the top of the order. But Tariq Zaman (4-47) and Imran Rafiq (3-32) ripped out the Thurrock middle order to leave them all but down and out. Tyrone Owen put up further resistance as the visitors fought all the way to the end, but his 33 only postponed the inevitable and garnered Thurrock another couple of points on their way to defeat.
Thurrock CC 1sts – 190-8
Bow Rovers 1sts – 190-9
They say lightning never strikes twice. Well for luckless Thurrock that idiom proved false more than once as their basement battle against Bow Rovers without a single run separating the team.
Thurrock may well be placing considering going by helicopter to their next away fixture. The last time they journeyed away from Blackshots an accident on the M25 deprived them of 12 overs – this time road works in West Ham ensured they were mired in traffic for another 45 minutes. This time the cost was only 4 overs, but it was enough to deny them victory as the game ended, inexplicably, in Thurrock’s second tied game of the season.
Thurrock’s start was as disastrous as their journey as first Lea (1-31) and then Parchment (2-38) reduced Thurrock to 34-3 from their first 10 overs. Things looked hopeless on a terrible track, But O’Neill dug in and constructed an innings of grit and determination that turned the tide from Thurrock. With Stanikzai (18) doing his part, O’Neill resisted the new ball and, as the home side’s bowlers tired, gave Thurrock’s faltering innings the momentum it needed. Though he fell for 28 his efforts had brought up three figures and gave Matt Hills the opportunity to continue his impressive season with the bat.
Bow Rovers flooded the boundary, with fielders and turned to defensive lines and lengths, and so Matt Hills and his brother Andrew, simply ran the home side into the ground. They stole singles and made twos and threes out of nothing to propel Thurrock forwards with overs running out. Indeed the Hills’ all action partnership of 87 contained just 6 boundaries and a their endeavour converted a sorry position into a fighting total of 190. Andrew Hills holed out in the last over for 35, but Matt Hills carried made his fifty just in time and walked off 54 not out.
Bow Rovers’ reply got off the a lively start but that was curtailed as Chris Buckley intervened with a flying, full length catch at backward square leg. Imran Mohammed then struck twice, rapping the pads in front, and his 2-30 made honours even after 20 overs.
Things then became very tense as Coulson and Brown looked to settle into a reserved watchful mode, ticking off the runs, but Thurrocks two spinners came together in tandem and seemed to have put everything in the visitors favour. Young Steve Brooks continued to impress with a tight, probing spell of 1-15 from his 9 overs, and Jay Shojahi’s first team debut went off like a dream at the other end. He cleaned out the dangerous Coulson for 23, and then rattled off three more quick wickets in a burst of 4-37.
Bow Rovers, however, had a star of their own in Shane Best. He batted with great intelligence and resolve, turning round the strike and never letting himself become flustered, even with 26 needed from the final two overs. He timed his charged almost perfectly, smashing a succession of boundaries to leave 14 required from the final over. When the first ball was laced for four, and a scrambled three was followed by a two and a wide, all three results were possible off the final ball, with 3 needed. Best’s drive was parried by the bowler, and rolled slowly enough to long on that Best scrambled two to finish the game in a tense, thrilling tie that, in truth, neither benefitted nor hampered either side in their quest for survival.