Friday, December 2, 2022

Cricket: Thurrock go to the top of the league

Burnham Sports CC 1st XI – 121 all out
Thurrock CC 1st XI – 203 all out

ANOTHER resounding win for Thurrock 1’s saw them go top of the table at the halfway point of the season as they triumphed by 81 runs away to Burnham Sports on Saturday. After electing to bat on a pitch offering assistance to the bowlers, the visitors got off to slow start and as the home side struck early with a couple of early wickets for home skipper Hamilton. The visitors then rebuilt the innings through Laird and Matt Hills as they counter-attacked for a quickfire 50 partnership before Hills was unluckily given run out for 22. Laird reached his 50 and fell soon after for 54, but contributions all the way down the order meant the visitors put a more than competitive 203 on the board after 45 overs.

With the pitch still offering assistance for the bowlers, openers Matt Hills and Madder ran through the top order with the new ball to leave the hosts 25-5 with the aid of some excellent catching in the slip cordon and leaving the hosts effectively out of the game . Hamilton counter-attacked and made an aggressive 35 before falling to LBW to Andrew Hills, who then ran through the lower order on his way to 4-45, before Clarke Wren wrapped up the innings and the win by picking up Ahmed for a well made 33.

Thurrock CC 2nd XI – 158/5
Sandon Sports CC 1st XI – 155 all out

The 2’s joined the 1’s at the top of their respective divisions with a 5 wicket win over Sandon Sports at Blackshots on Saturday. After electing to bat on a good pitch for batting, opening bowlers George and Gelder struck a couple of early blows to put pressure on the visitors batting line up. The spin twins of Jordon Warren and Steve Brooks kept applying the pressure and chipped away with further wickets with Warren taking 3-34. Dethridge held the visitors batting together before he was bowled by Dan George with an excellent 73 to give them something to bowl at, as skipper Terry Hills wrapped up the innings for what seemed to be a below par 155.

After tea the visitors struck early as Mills bowled Buckley for 8, the second wicket pair of in-form Mason Wren and Jordon Warren combined to put on a century partnership to calm the nerves, as Wren made an excellent 84, and Warren a well made 45 to leave the hosts on the verge of victory, which was claimed after a few wobbles with around 15 overs remaining to leave them 6 points clear in Division 5 at the halfway point of the season.

South Woodham Ferrer’s CC 3rd XI – 89/5
Thurrock CC 3rd XI – 87 all out

The 3’s batting frailties came back to haunt them again as they fell to a 5 wicket defeat away at South Woodham Ferrers. After being asked to bat first by the hosts, Hatcher struck early to remove Slaney and Radford cheaply, before Groves (18) and Shahmeer Qureshi (26) consolidated and put on 40 for the 3rd wicket. Once they fell the middle order came and went cheaply to leave the visitors on the ropes with only Mal Umfreville putting up any resistance with 17 as the home side caught and fielded well, with home skipper Cruickshank claiming 6 catches as well as 3-13 to leave the visitors on the ropes.

With knowledge of having successfully defended meagre totals the last couple of weeks the visitors knew they had to strike early as Umfreville bowled impressively to claim 3-14 off his 12 overs to give the Thurrock side a sniff of victory, unfortunately the pressure couldn’t be maintained once the change bowlers came on as Pittman (33 not out) and beck (38) broke the back of the target before leggie Mclellan picked up 2 wickets with the score on 83, but unfortunately left themselves too much to do as the hosts won by 5 wickets.

East Essex Stallions – 201 all out
Thurrock CC Sun 1st XI – 202/8

Thurrock travelled to Old Brentwood’s for a Essex Sunday League encounter with East Essex Stallions and recorded a 2 wicket win in a tight, nervy contest. After the home side elected to bat first, openers Andrew Hills (1-35) and Dan George (2-32) picked up 3 wickets between them to put pressure on the home side, from there on in the spinners kept the pressure on as Rob Neal (4-18) and Stephen Brooks (2-34) bowled excellently on a turning track. Some lusty hitting towards the end from Yaqub who made 56 ensured the hosts put a competitive score on the board going into the second innings.

The hosts struck a couple of early blows, removing openers Mason Wren and Rhys Hymas cheaply, but a 3rd wicket partnership of 147 between Nick Henry and Mark O’Neill put the visitors well in control of the game before O’Neill fell for 49. At this point Thurrock needed 37 off around 6 overs with 7 wickets in hand, when Henry was bowled for an excellent 99 the hosts capitalised on the opening and some determined bowling, combined with some ordinary batting saw the game poised evenly, as 7 were required off the final over with 2 wickets left, but Rob Neal and Andrew Hills calmly saw the visitors over the line for the win.

Thurrock CC Sun 2nd XI – 86 all out
Lyndhurst CC – 73 all out

It was a good day for the bowlers as Thurrock once again demonstrated their penchant for defending low scores as they emerged victorious by 13 runs at Blackshots on Sunday. The hosts batted first and only Elliot McCartney could make any kind of significant score as he made 28 as the hosts folded for what looked to be below par 86. A determined effort with the ball inspired by Alex Mclellan who took 4-18, combined with excellent back up by Catherine Hodge (2-21) and skipper Dean Henry (2-16) saw the hosts to what seemed an unlikely win at the interval.

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