STANFORD captain Lee Knight won the toss in bowler friendly conditions at Chalkwall Park as his team came up against Westcliff-on-Sea. With overcast and extreme windy conditions, Knight had no hesitation in inserting the opposition into bat . Stanford openers Greg Cohen and Matthew Higgins both kept it very tight and gave the openers no loose delivers as they piled on the pressure. Cohen (1-23 off 11overs) bowled the best he has all season and in doing so managed to bowl 4 maidens on the trot to the dangerous Pratt (25) from WOSCC.
With pressure building on the WOSCC batsman, Knight rested his frugal openers and introduced the match winning partnership of Gary Sanderson and Ross Poulton. The grey haired Sanderson looks like a man of many years but this didn’t deter him from running in hard into the wind. 2 wickets in consecutive balls (one of which was Pratt) placed SLHCC in pole position at drinks with the score at 52-3. From this point onwards it was very much the Ross Poulton show. Poulton bowled with venom, hunger and spun the ball at right angles to bamboozle the WOSCC batsman. Poulton ripped through the WOSCC batting line up to record impressive figures of 6-22 off 14.1 overs.
In reply, Stanford struggled to consolidate their strong position in the game. Westcliff had seen what Poulton had done to then so opened with spin themselves. This proved to be effective as Luke Abbey and Chay Hedges were back in the pavilion with the score 8-2. Martin Leslie joined Captain Knight at the crease with some re-building to do. Both batsman took their time and punished the loose deliveries bowled to them and they started to knock off the runs. Once Leslie was bowled for an elegant 29, the score was now 68-3 with Stanford in total control. The level-headed Knight held firm to see his team home with an gutsy 51 not out and a win by 5 wickets.
Captain Lee Knight said ‘This win showed we had a fantastic work ethic as a team and I cannot praise the bowlers enough. The bowled us into a winning position and the batsman stuck in to back them up in the chase’.