The Shepherd Neame Essex League
Belhus 1s 171 all out ( 49 overs )
Fives and Heronians 1s 173 for 3 (36 overs)
Fives and Heronians won by 7 wickets.
50 over match
BELHUS won the toss and elected to bat first on a sweltering afternoon in North Stifford. The wicket offered significant assistance to the fives bowlers during the first hour of play and the home side made a steady but sedate start to their innings. However wickets soon began to fall at regular intervals and none of the Belhus batters could impose themselves on the game.
Kay , Laird and Perry all bowled with accuracy and resolve and ended up sharing the wickets fairly evenly as Belhus folded to 171 all out in one over less than the allotted 50 per side.
By the interval the sun had burned through the early cloud cover and the wicket and outfield had become far more batsmen friendly. Belhus would need to strike early to be in with a winning chance. Several chances were missed however and the final victory by 7 wickets for fives was achieved with a fair degree of comfort. The visitors were guided home by a patient and watchful innings from R.Akram who finished on 76 not out. Connor Day bowled well to take two wickets for Belhus.
Belhus 2s 95 all out
Hutton 2s 96 for 1
Hutton 2s won by 9 wickets.
Belhus batted first and were given a solid start by skipper Mark Sansom – who would finish up as their top scorer in the match with 37. With the score on 55 for 1 at one stage there was hope of a high first innings total. These hopes were cruelly shattered however by a hat trick of wickets from Hutton’s Spooner. His devastating spell reduced Belhus to 55 for 7. The innings received life support from young Sheraz Suhail who chipped in with 17 vital runs. Spooner finished with match figures of 5 for 15 . The Belhus total of 95 was drastically below par as conditions for batting improved throughout the day. Hutton needed only 17 overs to knock off the runs and to complete a thudding victory by 9 wickets.
Belhus 3s 67 allout
Old Southendians 3s 67 for 4
Old Southendians won by 6 wickets.
Belhus batted first on a wicket which had been heavily affected by overnight rain. The movement and bounce of the ball from the surface was highly unpredictable making batting extremely difficult. The Old Southendian bowlers, much to their credit , pitched the ball in the right areas to cause problems and the top scorer for Belhus was Mark Fogg with 14 runs.
Old Southendians wasted no time in chasing down the 67 needed for victory and romped home with ease despite losing four wickets to the seam bowling of George Maidment. , Maidment was richly rewarded for making use of the pitch conditions . Something that the support bowlers failed to do.