Southend EMT 4th XI 138-10
Orsett & Thurrock 4th XI 221-8
By Michael Parker
WAYNE Simmons proved he does like to be beside the seaside as he was the rock of the OAT bowling attack in a comfortable win at Southchurch Park on Saturday.
On a warm, sunny day it was a surprise to most when Southend skipper Dean Johnson asked OAT to bat first on the proverbial road of a pitch. OAT made the home skipper pay for this decision with the top seven batsman all reaching double figures, even though Raj Shina and Wayne Simmons did offer a few chances before eventually making 22 and 21 respectively.
Iain Oakley briefly entertained with some powerful and aggressive shots before he was caught out on the last ball before drinks. Skipper Tyrone Owen meanwhile, was quietly accumulating runs at the other end, but he was eventually put to bed with a 69 to his name.
Essex veteran Dave Carter, Oaks veteran Dean Wright and just plain old veteran Rob Bundock made 13, 11 and 4 as OAT looked to up the rate towards the end of their 40 overs. Young speedster Callum Owen made a quacker before Jamie Stock (9*) and Michael Parker (33*) guided the side past the 220 mark to set 222 as a victory target for the home side to chase.
OAT opened their bowling attack with Callum Owen and Jamie Stock, but despite a steady line and length from both this was not to be a day for the seamers. On a dry white pitch covered, Owen turned to his spinners Wayne Simmons and the promising young talent of Jamie Flain. Simmons is known as The Viking, so it was no surprise that he invaded and pillaged his way through the Southend batting line-up to claim six wickets, while Flain spun his way to three himself to what look liked an emphatic victory.
Dean Johnson offered stubborn resistance at the end but Stock returned to take the final wicket before the game got twitchy. In the end, a fine and much-needed win for the 4th XI who were rewarded with their decision to play two spinners on a dry, bouncy pitch.
Next week they travel to Chelmsford.