Orsett & Thurrock CC Match Reports – Saturday 19th May.
Orsett & Thurrock 1ST XI – 228/7 (50)
Colchester & East Essex CC 1st XI – 220ao (43.4)
O&T won the toss against visitors Colchester & East Essex and decide to bat on a beautiful day at The Rec in School Lane. The outfield was freshly cut thanks to club members Tony Mowatt, Roger White and Ty Owen with more help from 1st XI players Kirk Laws and George Pavitt, who cut it with garden mowers, after the local council neglected to mow it this week.
After a solid start, an attempted cover drive by Umar Ayub went straight to a fielder and it looked like it didn’t carry to all of the spectators, but after a consultation between the umpires the finger was raised, 29-1.
In came Lewis Lockyer, who in typically confident fashion alongside skipper Paul Bennett went about attacking the Colchester bowling line up, which included pacy Zimbabwe international Taurai Muzarabani.
Eventually Colchester made bowling changes both ends with Lockyer taking a more aggressive approach and Bennett looking comfortable until a delivery from Darren Eckord lifted off the pitch a little more than the skipper expected and was edged behind and taken easily by Ollie Lovejoy for a well-played 39.
Overseas player Nawaz Ahmed Jan strode to the crease stroking a delightful four to opened his account. Shortly after, OAT lost Lockyer who chopped on for 20 . The classy Mark Pavitt walked out to join Nawaz and they both looked to be a bit tied down by the two spinners that were now bowling and at the half way point in the innings Nawaz and Mark Pavitt took their refreshment with the score at 91-3 from 25 overs.
With Nawaz now looking comfortable and playing some attractive shots, Nawaz turned away from the onrushing bowler, collapsing to the ground, his teammates running to his aid. With what looked like a worrying situation, he was carried off the pitch by his teammates.
After a brief delay Danny Laird replaced Nawaz with the O&T players looking worried for their teammate. Some chaotic running between Laird and Pavitt gave Colchester an easy wicket, as Laird drove behind the bowler and the indecision left Laird in no man’s land and O&T were 124-4, but with Nawaz unwell, effectively 124-5.
Kirk Laws, hours earlier mowing the very outfield he was now hoping to pierce with some tasty shots, strode to the crease. With M Pavitt looking comfortable at the other end, Laws started to open his shoulders hitting a four followed by a nice six over mid-on. Pushing the score to 166-4 from 42 and moving himself onto a quick 24.
With the news from the pavilion that Nawaz had made a recovery from his collapse and was ready to bat if needed, Laws began taking the game to Colchester. He was supported at the other end by the ‘Gower Like’ Pavitt playing a splendid stroke over deep mid-wicket. He reached his 50 in the following over, again caressing a straight delivery over the opposite deep mid-wicket boundary for six.
With Kirk laws maintaining his aggressive approach, he swung and missed looking to hit one over cow corner and was bowled by Denson Narayan for a valuable 33, 196-5.
Enter the big hitting Aggy Tahir who lived up to his reputation hitting a six over mid-on to open his account and move O&T onto 213-5. A well constructed innings of 63 by Mark Pavitt came to end and OAT finished up at 228-7 from their 50 overs.
The Colchester openers went about their chase using the drop and run tactic to good effect. George Pavitt, without a 1st team wicket for over a year (through injury) was finding some good early swing and seam movement. This led to an early chance for OAT but skipper could not hang on to an edge at 1st slip – much to Pavitt’s anger.
With Umaad Sultan bowling a little loose, Bennett went to his ‘go to’ change bowler Joe Mitchell who so often nicks a wicket with his variation bowling. And so it was with keeper Ayub standing up and Kieran Dale trying to smash one over long-on, mis-timed and was caught by Tahir,38-1.
Pavitt then came steaming for the first ball of the next over, he sent a slight out swinger down and found the edge that headed towards Bennett at 1st slip. After his now customary ‘Coco the Clown’ juggling act, the skipper held on, delighting Pavitt with his first wicket in what felt like a decade and relieving Bennett of what would have been another calamitous drop. After some more good bowling, another drop this time by keeper Uyub, Pavitt finally got his 2nd wicket to leave Colchester on 50-3 and OAT well on top.
OAT firing with confidence, Mitchell and Bennett picked up wickets along with a fantastic bit of fielding and run out from Lewis Lockyer leaving Colchester at 146/7 and although within sight of OAT’s 228, only having 3 wickets remaining. In
A loose over from Bennett meant Colchester pushed on to 167-7, and he called for George Pavitt from the allotment end and dropping himself, introduced Joe Mitchell to resume running in from the pavilion end. 175-7 with 9 to go, then 178-7 with 8 to go skipper and Bennett sticking with the Mitchell / Pavitt attack the game looked like it might be slipping away from O&T as Colchester pushed on to 202-7 with 5 remaining.
Another change saw Tahir return with a tidy over, leaving Colchester needing 25 off 4 overs then the skipper decides to take responsibility at the point Colchester needing 15 off 3 overs.
Aggy was to make the breakthrough and the batsman dollied it to Umaad at midwicket, 215-8.
13 now needed from 12 balls.
Eckford reached his 50 and with Beno bowling the batsmen, moving forward, blocked the ball, but it ran behind into the hands of keeper Ayub and with the batsman was out of his ground, Umar managed to field the ball and Eckford was out, 220-9. Next ball Bennett steps up with a straight one, the batsman swings, misses, and is bowled and O&T had an unlikely victory.
Lessons must be learnt from missed chances, but a great win for OAT 1s in dramatic fashion. The 1sts travel to Hutton next week looking to build on their growing confidence and get another win on the board.
Orsett & Thurrock CC 2nd XI – 239/6 dec (43)
Horndon 2nd XI – 122ao (53.4)
Orsett & Thurrock arrived at Horndon for this local derby to be met with much the same sight as they had last seen leaving their School Lane ground, mainly that of an outfield not cut by the local council being frantically prepared by club members with lawnmowers. When the coin came down heads O&T decided to avoid chasing on the freshly shorn outfield and what would hopefully be a worn pitch and decided to bat.
Will Gibbon was quicker into his work than his opening bowling opponent and the first two balls over the over were dispatched to the boundary. When the 7th ball of the innings was smashed back down the ground by the older, more diminutive Wren (in what to passing dog walkers must have looked like a grown fast bowler being taken apart by an under 11) the tone of the opening partnership was set, and indeed when it was finished by superb off-cutter by Clark to dismiss Wren in the 9th over the score was already in the sixties. Gibbon soon followed, dismissed as so many opening batsmen are by the opening bowler, caught at long on in the 10th over.
After such a frenetic start the experience (old) 3,4, 5 of O&T set about making sure that the time was put into a pitch which was showing early signs of wear and tear, but when O’Neill fell LBW to a ball that kept a little low and Anwar was caught at midwicket, O&T had slumped to 87-4. The Horndon change bowlers were now getting an alarming amount of spin and bite in the pitch with one Wills slower ball hitting the skipper in the gentleman’s area having spat from below like a U-boat torpedo. 15 year old Brad Greene played a mature innings of 22 to put on 50 with his skipper to take the sting out of the recently buoyed Horndon attack and his dismissal sparked the traditional comments around this time of the innings of “we’re through them now” and it did indeed prove to provide a catalyst in the visitors innings, just not in favour of the hosts.
Out strode Clarke Wren, a man universally known for having the head to body ratio of a very hirsute infant, completely change the complexion of the match. After carefully watching his ten balls off of the left arm spin of Laurie, he found the slower balls of Wills, which although targeting the grundle of the much taller Hills now sitting up chest high to be deposited over the square leg boundary. He then extended this trick to Laurie and the returning Piggott hitting seven sixes in all amongst his 66 of just 42 deliveries enabling O&T to declare in the 43rd over following the dismissal for 56 of skipper Hills who paced his innings in a far more befitting manner of a man his age.
So Horndon had a minimum of 52 overs to chase a target of 240 for victory. That soon became a minimum of 52 overs to survive as excellent bowling from Ramm with good support from George meaning that when opener Hutcherson was dismissed for 3 he had faced 31 balls. But for an Orsett & Thurrock side seeking nowt but 25 points the slowing going in the wickets column was a mounting source of frustration. Enter Tom Redman, galvanised by a long revision session before tea (honestly Tom’s mum) the stubby-fingered teenager struck with his 2nd ball to remove the other opener and then Clarke Wren dismissed Crow with a full toss that his brother caught high above his head a full 5 feet above the ground, and Redman struck again the momentum was starting to build.
A period of incredible inertia then began as the Horndon batsmen realising that the win was no longer an option dropped anchor, Redman reeled off six consecutive maidens before dismissing skipper Cutts. Ramm returned for a short spell of ‘head or toe’ target practice and claimed the 6th wicket caught at leg gully, and Will Gibbon yorked young Harry Philpott to end his admirable rearguard albeit with a quicker so ill-disguised it may as well have had FAST painted on the side, O&T were on a roll. This brought together what O&T thought was the last partnership that would be of any consequence as Mark Wills came to the crease every inch the scale model of Oliver Giroud. But a combination of his beloved United being 1-0 down in the cup final and having no interest in blocking out for a draw and missing the end of said cup final, he came in smashed the only maximum of the innings and then holed out trying to repeat the trick off Mason Wren, always a difficult bowler to get under.
Clark and Laurie then began to block and nudge as O&T tried all manner of bowling changes and fields to break through and as the fielding side sprinted between overs they survived past the minimum allotted overs.
Unfortunately so much blocking tends to mean the bowlers get through their innings fairly swiftly and so it proved with 15 minutes of the last hour still remaining, but there was still an sense of the frantic in the field, but sometimes experience and calm heads come not through old men and it was 15 year old Redman who collected himself in his last over and bowled Clark to give his side probably 3 or 4 overs to dismiss the last pair. It took him two balls and he ended the game much as was happening in the first team game a couple of miles away with a yorker. Sadly for all concerned in his excitement he sprinted off Panesar style into the ambiguous embrace of Gibbon, and was soon mobbed by the rest of his team mates.