Chelmsford CC 5th XI 168-9
Orsett & Thurrock CC 4th XI 170-6
By Michael Parker
OATs stayed calm and patient to claim another victory at a moist Chelmer Park on Saturday. With drizzle in the air, the toss looked to be vital and for the first time since the last ice age, skipper Tyrone Owen called correctly and elected to bowl first in the helpful conditions. Chelmsford openers Mukherjee and Redman had seemed to have made a mockery of that decision with some watchful batting and to be fair they scored 24 and 54 respectively. But the OATs opening bowlers of Callum Owen and Jamie Stock kept a lid on the run rate to keep the visitors well in this 40 overs per side contest. Clarke Wren claimed the first wicket when he trapped Mukherjee in front LBW. There is a saying that spinners don’t always get the decisions, but luckily the umpire had quickly worked out what we already know that Wren wasn’t actually getting the ball to turn so had no hesitation in raising the dreaded finger!
Chelmsford captain Redman fell to the combination of Callum Owen and Jamie Stock. Stock in particular had a great day in the field, typified by his diving effort to save a six on the boundary with an athletic leap and an outstretched hand. The Pep Guardiola lookalike who was out walking his dog seemed very impressed until he realised Jamie is no good with his feet!
Another young product of the OAT academy is spinner Jamie Flain, who just like Owen Junior, justified his selection in the senior teams with a great bowling display and a brace of wickets. The catches coming courtesy of Michael Parker and Wren.
Wren again was in the action when he caught Asghar to give Callum Owen his second wicket. Next into the OAT bowling attack was the other end of the age spectrum. The Viking Wayne Simmons teamed up with wicket-keeper Iain Oakley to claim his own brace as he had Connell stumped and then Taylor caught behind to a superb reflex catch from Oakley whose glovework improves with age like a fine wine. With overs running out Chelmsford were looking to hit out so the captain turned to the evergreen, erm sorry….evergrey, Michael Parker to do some death bowling. Spinks and Pearce were duly clean bowled as an all-round team display restricted the hosts to a modest 168.
OAT opened their reply with Simmons and Raj Shina. Simmons went early for a quacker, but Shina dug in and then started playing freely to an entertaining 36 to get the visitors some momentum in the run chase. Oakley, Owen and Dave Carter all chipped in with double figures to edge OAT closer to the victory target, but with overs running out Rob Bundock and Parker were together at the crease needing 15 off the last 4 overs to win. They duly done this thanks to a blistering cover drive from Bundock and then Parker dispatched the Chelmsford spinner to the rope three times in succession to avoid any late drama or tension to seal what was in the end a comfortable victory for OATs.