David Webster reports
Hadleigh and Thundersley CC will represent the South Essex District Cricket Board at the Essex County Indoor Finals after defeating Pegasus and Corringham. Both teams had won their respective senior indoor cricket leagues in Southend and Thurrock to qualify for this stage. Pegasus and Corringham were dismissed for 76 with Hadleigh and Thundersley reaching their target without loss in a very competitive match. Although Hadleigh won by a wide margin there was plenty of good cricket from both sides in the game staged at the Graham Gooch Indoor Cricket Centre, Chelmsford. Batting first, Pegasus never really recovered from two early run outs as they tried to force their score along with some sharp singles. Both wickets fell to swift fielding from Paul Tibbenham who also picked up a sharp catch in his key fielding position at short point. But Pegasus fought back hard through Ian Turnbull (31) and Martin Sayer (19). Turnbull in particular took the fight to Hadleigh with two superb straight sixes and they maintained a good scoring rate in their stand. However, the introduction of left arm spinner Luke Smith brought the resistance to an end. He extracted some turn from the surface to bowl two batsmen and take 2-9. The innings finished as it started when the final batsman was run out to leave Pegasus all out for 76, after using only 8.4 of their allotted 12 overs. Hadleigh skipper Paul Baker (1-26) chipped in with the other wicket.
Hadleigh took a more measured approach in their innings against tight bowling from Pegasus, notably from Turnball who went for only 15 runs in his 3 overs. Brothers Mike and Paul Tibbenham showed all their experience as opening batsmen in this form of cricket by calmly accumulating runs. Although there were only 3 boundaries in the innings they timed their response to perfection by keeping the scoreboard ticking over with good running between the wickets and some deft shots. Keen running also enabled the brothers to boost the score with some well taken extras. Mike retired at 25 not out shortly before the end, and Paul finished on 24 not out as Hadleigh passed the target without loss at 77-0 after 10.3 overs, to win by six wickets. This is the second consecutive year in which Hadleigh’s impressive six-a-side squad has won through to the County Finals, which will take place at the same venue in January.