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Cricket: Orsett and Thurrock CC beat Thundersley

Hadleigh & Thundersley 125 all out

Orsett & Thurrock 4th XI 127/9

Orsett & Thurrock (OAT) continued their recent good form with a narrow 1 wicket victory at John Burrows Park in Hadleigh last Saturday.

As well as the opposition, OAT also had to beat the weather as reports of abandoned games across the league come flooding in, excuse the pun, on social media.

As usual, skipper Owen lost the toss, but to his amazement the home skipper elected to bat, when surely the best chance of winning would be to bowl the opposition out cheaply and chase before the rains arrived?

The hosts sent out Davison and Upton to open, while OAT started with Mal Umfreville and Bill Pepe West taking charge of the new ball. As well as the enthusiastic OAT fielders, the batsman also had to contend with overhead conditions containing towering cumulonimbus clouds that were circling the ground like menacing alien star ships. Umfreville took the first wicket of Davison with a sharply taken caught and bowled dismissal. This bought Hadleigh star player Luke Smith to the crease. The first teamer had luckily been able to offer his services after the First XI fixture was called off!

Despite a painfully slow run rate, skipper Owen knew he needed wickets if he was going to force a result so he turned to the distinguished silver fox all rounder Michael Parker. Parker has added a new dimension to his bowling this season by adding non turning spin to his medium pace. This new piece of his arsenal was to play a part in the next 2 wickets. Upton was bowled through the gate and the big prize in the meat raffle of Luke Smith was also bowled for a modest 20 when a long hop failed to leave the ground and rolled under the bat. This resulted in big hitting Ricky Shepherd entering the action and his battling half century bought Hadleigh back into proceedings. With the rumbles of thunder getting closer, Stuart Warren (3) and Jamie Mitchell (2), took 5 quick wickets between them to turn the game back once again in OAT favour. With the tail now in, the Janitor, Parker, removed Rossiter with help from the hands of Dean Wright and Dean Spud Henry wrapped up the innings by bowling Baker as the hosts posted 125 all out.

The much anticipated rain finally arrived but luckily it was in the form of a quick shower during the tea interval and the visitors reply started on time. Despite the modest target, Owen wanted the team to play in a quick positive fashion to avoid any more showers rolling in and stopping the game. He opened the batting along with the in form Danny Groves and got the team off to a good start.

Owen was first out for 23 before Grovs followed him back to the pavilion with 29. Wicket Keeper and amateur Carl Froch body double, Iain Oakley made a useful 10 but a run of single figure scores for Boreham, Wright, Henry and Mitchell out the game back in the balance. Luckily for OAT, they have another season all rounder up their sleeve, he inexplicably is not a silver fox, despite being well into his forties and he claims his dark hair is entirely natural?

Anyway, a quick fire 23, because he’s worth it, with a little support from Parker (11) got OAT agonisingly close to the victory target before they were both dismissed. This left number 10 and 11 in the shape of Umfreville and West to get the last 10 runs for victory. Hadleigh sensing their moment bought the opening bowlers back on thinking they had the game in the bag. Little did they realise that Bill Pepe West is more stubborn than a French trade union and he admirably kept out the seamers while Umfreville at the other end used his wealth of experience to leave until the bad ball come along.

In fact like London buses, 2 came along in succession and Umfreville smashed them for consecutive boundaries to seal the victory for Orsett & Thurrock in what, thanks to the weather, was a profitable day in the league standings!

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