Cricket: Thurrock’s batsmen have fun in the sun

All three Thurrock league teams lie in the promotion places in their respective divisions of the T Rippon Mid Essex League after victories last weekend and remain unbeaten so far this season.

Saturday 26th May

The 1st XI entertained Brookweald at Blackshots in Division 2 and batted first after winning the toss. Skipper Mark O’Neill opening made 25 but the home side lost regular wickets to the bowling of Joyce (3-48) and Aziz (3-42) until Matt Hills (72) and Ross Fullbrook (63) got to the middle. The pair put on 116 for the sixth wicket enabling Thurrock to post a formidable 257-9 at the break. The Brookweald reply never really got going thanks to Abdul Stanikzai (2-37), Matt Hills (2-10) and Umar Ayub (2-10). Only Bryan (60*) posted anything of note for the visitors as the innings petered away somewhat and they finished up on 170-7 which saw Thurrock win by 87 runs.

The 2nd XI travelled to Margaretting to play the 1st XI in Division 6.Thurrock were inserted after losing the toss at Wantz Road. Kevin Birch and Chris Buckley had an opening partnership of 93 before Buckley (25) was adjudged LBW. Birch then cut loose and went on to make a fine century finally out for 129 as the visitors posted 222-9 off of their 45 overs. The pick of the Margaretting attack were Austin and Preston who returned 4-56 and 3-16 respectively. In reply the top three all reached 20 with skipper Brazier (33) top scoring for the home side. Thurrock skipper Paul Gelder picked up 4-30 off of his 12 overs and there were two wickets apiece for Terry Hills and Wayne Simmons as Margaretting were bowled out for 141 giving Thurrock victory by 81 runs.

The 3rd XI visited South Woodham Ferrers and bowled first. The home side made a steady start seeing off the new ball but then struggled against the leg spin of Alex McLellan. He removed the top 5 Woodham batsmen and finished with figures of 5-62 off of his 12 over allocation. Number six Kez proved to be the backbone of the innings making 83 and they finished on 187-8 off of their 45 overs. The Thurrock openers Danny Groves and Manwinder Singh then pretty much knocked off the total putting on 172 for the first wicket. Singh hit thirteen fours and a six in his total of 84 and Groves made 77 not out including seven fours and two sixes as the visitors cruised to victory by 8 wickets with more than five overs to spare.

The 4th XI hosted a Rayleigh 6th XI at Blackshots for a 40 over a side friendly. Rayleigh batted first and made 118-7 in their innings with Smith making 25 before he was run out and Godfrey was 20 not out at the end. The wickets fell to the colts with the pick being Kieron Gore with 3-25. There was also a wicket each for Billy Oggles, Connor Ramm and James Millsom. In reply it was Millsom who shone with the bat making an excellent 77 not out which saw the home side to a comfortable victory.

Sunday 27th May

The runs were flowing again on Sunday when the 1st team played a 40 over friendly against Robinson Lakeside from Kent at Blackshots. It was Saturday captain Mark O’Neill who filled his boots batting through the innings for a splendid 136 not out. There was also support from Matt Hills (40) as the hosts posted a total of 245-7. The visitors struggled early on against Ryan Madder (3-11) and there were also wickets for Steve Brooks (2-23) and Ross Fullbrook (2-16) as a comfortable victory was secured with Robinson Lakeside all out for 125.

The 2nd team travelled to Woodham Mortimer where the hosts batted first and declared on 197-6. After tea Ackam Singh made 87 not out and there were also runs for Lee Downes (35) but the visitors ran out of time in their chase finishing on 170-6 and the match was drawn.

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