Cricket: Orsett and Thurrock 4th X1 are too hot to handle!

Horndon On The Hill 3rd XI 192/7 dec

Orsett & Thurrock 4th XI 196/3

OAT beat local rivals and league leaders Horndon to keep themselves in the hunt for the title at Orsett on Saturday. OAT are now 25 points behind the previously unbeaten Horndon and with a maximum of 25 points for winning a game it is now all to play for as the season enters the run in.

Under sunny skies skipper Owen won the toss and elected to put the visitors into bat. Horndon have been in great form, especially with the bat but Owen did not want a repeat of the previous meeting when despite OAT putting on a good score, the talented batsman and umpires of Horndon managed to chase it down.

It looked to be a great decision when both openers for Horndon went cheaply. Gamman managed just a single before Dean Henry had him caught by the returning Mason Wren. Wren has not played in Thurrock for nearly three seasons since moving to Yorkshire but the OAT 4th XI scouting network found out he was in the south east for work at the weekend and registered him in time for the game. It was just a shame that Wren didn’t have time to clean his kit that looked and smelt like it had also not seen cricket for three seasons!

The other Horndon opener, Cain, was not very able as he was bowled by Klay as OAT looks to turn the screw. Horndon are not top for nothing though and Witts hit 45 before Parker had him caught at backward point by Redman. The next contribution was by Gibbs who scored 29 before the Henry brothers combined as OAT chipped away. Pike and Collis went cheaply as Michael Parker took two more wickets. In fairness the dismissal of Pike was lucky for Parker as the batsman was not skilful enough to put away a bad ball and young debutant Brad Green done the rest. Parker could have turned the game even further in the hosts favour had he not dropped Challis early on. It was almost a carbon copy of Dean Henry’s effort the previous week and is perhaps an area the team can work on. Anyway it was dropped and Challis went on to score an unbeaten 61. Wren took the final wicket of Outten before Horndon finished on 192/7.

Despite the target being higher than it should of been, the hosts were confident of chasing it down on an excellent wicket, quick outfield and with a strong batting line up of their own. With it now being the hottest part of the day, Owen’s decision to field first seemed a master stroke as the talented but ageing batsman of Horndon now turned into a creaking set of tired fielders as OAT put the bowling to the sword. Grove, Owen and Nick Henry made double figure scores and wicket keeper Oakley made 4 not out but the star of the show was Wren at the top of the order.

Having driven from Sheffield in the early hours for work and also having not picked up his bat for three years, Wren blasted his way to 125 not out of 52 balls that included 12 sixes and almost as many lost balls as the new houses on the former Orsett Hospital site took a pounding! OAT knocked the total off in just 23 overs and are now right back in the title hunt if they can keep this form and not forgetting, excellent scouting network going, until the end of the season! They return to action next week with another home game against another Thurrock side, Stanford le Hope.

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