STANFORD-le-Hope’s U14 team raced to 95 for 3 after just 8.2 overs as indoor youth cricket returned to Grays School following its extended Christmas break. Jack Carter, 34 not out, and William Pearn, 27 not out, were the main punishers of the Belhus attack as they helped their team score at nearly two runs per ball and ensured a three-wicket win in double-quick time.
Carter was particularly savage, his first three scoring shots all went for six runs and he supplemented those runs with four further boundaries. Meanwhile, Pearn hit two sixes and two fours, in reply to the Belhus score of 93, also for the loss of three wickets. Earlier, Belhus opening twins Billy and George Maidment scored 13 and 24 respectively, while Harry Pacey played an end-of-innings cameo with 13 runs to his name. Stanford’s Callum McCarthy, Michael Edwards and George Howard picked up one wicket each while George Maidment claimed all three wickets for Belhus to complete a fine all-round display with 3-13 from three tidy overs.
The runs continued to flow as Connor Ramm and Kieron Gore were both unbeaten in the middle order with 37 and 38 respectively as Thurrock “B” reached a massive 142 for the loss of three wickets against Horndon on the Hill. Harry Dove gave valuable support with 17 runs to enable his side to attain the second highest team score in the competition so far. Horndon appeared to be on the right road until Dan Stone’s fierce drive was confidently caught at mid-on close to the boundary wall for 21, while Sam Smith hit 26 before he was bowled by Ben Northfield (2-15). Ramm and Gore picked up 2-12 and 1-8 respectively as Horns capitulated to 82 all out, though Carys Hammond offered stubborn resistance with a nine-run contribution.
In the remaining match, Tom Duck hit 35 not out for Orsett “B” to earn his team a slender one-wicket win over Thurrock “A”, who had earlier posted 95 for the loss of four wickets. Bilal Qureshi was the Thurrock “A” top scorer with a fine 29 not out while Sheraz Shahid produced a fine all-round performance for Orsett “B” with 21 runs and one wicket at a cost of just three runs. Shameer Qureshi collected three wickets for 26 runs for Thurrock “A” as Duck kept Orsett afloat as they finished on 97 for the loss of five wickets.