Orsett & Thurrock CC Match Reports
Hutton 223-7 (50)
Orsett & Thurrock 183ao (45.3)
O&T 1st XI’s middle order sings off key, as they lose to Hutton’s one-man band.
O&T arrived to a quintessentially English scene at Hutton Cricket Club in their brand new Thurrock Engineering Supplies sponsored shirts. The ground looked in immaculate condition with a south easterly breeze blowing down the ground from wicket to wicket and with the pitch looking good neither side wanted to lose the toss. It was, however, O&T that did just that and Hutton, unsurprisingly, chose to bat. George Pavitt opened the bowling with young Connor Ramm, back in to the side after back troubles in the previous season. In Pavitt’s 3rd over, Hutton skipper Hagger thick edged to Kirk laws at second slip. It was a low one and a difficult chance but Pavitt had no worries as Laws took a solid catch.
In the 12th over skipper Bennett, feeling the need for a change, relieved Ramm and brought on his ‘go to’ first change bowler Joe Mitchell. Pavitt was testing both batsmen and in the next over, with he dug one in a little shorter to Tredgett who, trying the pull shot, skied the ball. A huge call, which scared his teammates into staying well away, from Lewis Lockyer and the catch was safety taken and Hutton were 43-2. Enter Vivian Paver, Hutton’s overseas player and from the first delivery he looked confident and it was clear he meant business. Pavitt was looking a little tired after his 6 over spell, so the O&T skipper called for Redman. Despite the occasional nice delivery, the aggressive approach of Paver was clearly upsetting the 16-year old’s rhythm. After three overs from the lefty, skipper Bennett felt the need to assuage him and decided put himself in the firing line instead. At the innings break the home side were 104-2 with the two batsmen looking set. It wasn’t to last however, as Whetstone played at a Mitchell delivery and hit it low and hard towards George Pavitt at mid-on. Pavitt reacted at F1 like pace, diving forward, attacking the ball, and to a chorus of approval from the avian population in the nearby oak trees, held on to an amazing catch and Hutton were 105-3. This wicket buoyed the O&T players and they began to raise the volume of support for both bowlers.
Joseph Parry was next in, oddly wearing a Shenfield top, much to the amusement of the O&T players and it was Kirk Laws, as usual, who made the most of the opportunity to let him know all about it. It wasn’t long before Vivian Paver progressed to his 50, but his teammates sitting outside the pavilion didn’t seem to notice. The silence roared across the Hall Green Lane ground, much to the amusement of O&T vice skipper Laws who, one again couldn’t help himself, ribbing the Australian about the lack of recognition from his teammates. Bennett was now having some success at pinning down the previously free scoring batsmen and it wasn’t long before the frustration got the better of Parry as he took Beno on and sent a ball way above square to what looked like a certain six. However, George Pavitt had other ideas and with an A.B Devilliers like leap into the air seized the ball, one handed, right on the boundary, crashing to the ground but holding onto the ball. He then proceeded to do his best ‘Freddie Flintoff’ celebration, as the O&T players ran towards him with cries of ‘The best I’ve ever seen’ from Lewis Lockyer.
This was all too much for the aforementioned bird population, who took to the skies moving gracefully into formation to spell ‘P’, ‘A’, ‘V’ in the air above the now ecstatic away side.
Hutton were now 140-4, but with Paver still out there it was still going to be hard work for the visitors.
And so, it proved, and Vivian Paver retaliated in the next over with four consecutive sixes off a bemused Aggy Tahir, who two weeks earlier bagged a five-wicket haul at Buckhurst Hill. The crowd held their breath, the birds too, and O&T were fearing the worst, but he couldn’t get under the fifth ball and it went for a single much to Tahir’s and his teammates relief. 25 off the over however had now pushed the score along nicely. In the 41st over, with Bennett bowling, Whetstone attempted a drive but was nicely taken by the skipper for a caught and bowled. Hutton were five down with 178 on the board.
Vivian Paver eventually reached what was an inevitable 100 given the form he’d shown from ball one, with his teammates, this time, managing to recognise his flawless innings with a round of applause and all of the O&T players, always sporting, joined in. Mitchell finished his excellent spell having been unfortunate not to add to his single wicket and George Pavitt replaced him with a tidy over. The first ball of penultimate over of the innings Fenn swung at straight one from Beno. His bat only found thin air and the ball found the stumps, 206-6.
In the last over of the innings, with Pavitt bowling, the first ball was hit for the longest six of the day by Paver, that seemed to take an age to land and would probably have cleared another boundary the other side of the ropes. However, the 3rd ball of the over, Pavitt sent down a low full toss and with his first mis-timed shot of the day, Paver sent it to Nawaz at mid-wicket who took the diving catch. Pavitt had his third of the day, 221-7 A single off the last ball meant Hutton ended on 223-7. O&T would be forgiven for thinking this could be a great opportunity for their second win of the season and openers Umar Ayub and skipper Paul Bennett had the best of starts. Ayub’s first ball sat up and was cracked for four through the covers The only blemish to the start came in the 20th over with an easy chance put down with Bennett on 37.
Hutton changed their strategy removing the opening seamers and replacing them with first innings hero Paver and their recruit from Upminster, Connor Whetstone.
The introduction of spin slowed down the scoring and began to frustrate both batsmen. O&T began to go off key in the very next over, with Ayub trying to cut, lofted the ball to gully for a very strait forward catch, O&T 85-1. The home side continuing with the spin attack had Lockyer feeling uncomfortable and frustrated and he played one straight back to the bowler to be caught, 97-2.
Enter Nawaz Ahmed Jan, who arguably should have been it at 3 given his talent for playing spin bowling, began to show everyone how it should be done, pushing the score along nicely. Captain Bennett reached his 50 with a lovely cover drive then proceeded to hit a glorious six over long on but two balls later top edged to the fielder on the boundary, 113-3.
The talented Mark Pavitt came to the crease and must have been relishing these conditions, but a very uncharacteristic mental error had him shouldering arms to be given out LBW, not playing a shot,117-4. O&T managed to push on to169-4, with Nawaz playing some sublime strokes, but with the required run rate still at just over six an over, Kirk Laws, trying to force the issue, skied a ball that was there to be hit , mis-timed and was caught, 169-5.
With nine overs remaining and needing 55 runs to win, the game was as balanced as a see-saw with Umar Ayub at one end and the rest of his teammates on the other.
Aggy Tahir, who appeared to have a Rocky Balboa ‘Go For It’ agenda from the off, holed out to deep mid-wicket and
O&T looked unlikely at 171-6. Vivian Paver, still bowling from the east end of the ground and Connor Whetstone from the other continued to aggravate the O&T batsmen with several near misses. Joe Mitchell pushing at a dead straight delivery missed it and was bowled by Whetstone, 178-7.
Next ball, the O&T hopes of a win fell away as Nawaz, uncharacteristically swinging across the line, missed to be trapped plumb LBW by Paver. At 178-8 the chances of an O&T win had all but disappeared as George Pavitt came out to bat and shortly after Connor Whetstone finished his allocation of 16 overs with the score on 182-8. Surely O&T would now look to survive the last four overs ? But Pavitt had other ideas, seeing as Orsett could only gain one more bonus point against 20 for the win, took the bowler on and sent one out high to the deep mid-wicket boundary. There wasn’t quite enough on it though and he was caught five yards in. As 16 year old Tom Redman walked out to bat and with the field placements resembling a game of ‘One Hand, One Bounce’, it was clear the home side were intent on intimidating the young man as he arrived at the crease. However it was to be at the other end that Hutton would secure the win, with Connor Ramm looking to fend one just outside off stump , edged behind to slip and O&T were all out. Paver finished the game with 5 wickets and 118 runs and this was the difference between the sides on the day.
O&T will rue the missed opportunity however, with the batting start they had, Ayub and Bennett really did look like they could have pushed on to win the game between them but it wasn’t to be.
More lessons to be learnt by O&T, but with the continuing belief in their young players, namely Mitchell, Redman & Ramm the future looks bright.
Orsett & Thurrock 258-6 dec (42) Westcliff-on-Sea 105ao (42)
Rerun of the Little and Large show airs just before Jurassic George’s Saturday Blockbuster.
Bright and breezy described both the weather and Orsett & Thurrock’s 2nd team performance as they blew away Westcliff with only a little concern.
Play started with Westcliff inserting Orsett under sunny skies with once again the outfield looking like an extra fielder. Wren and O’Neill seemed in hurry as they zipped to 30 in little time – but neither passed a a dozen before Orsett had their first and only real scare of the day. Wren’s helpful dab to first slip was ill-advised, and then O’Neill shuffled across all three and was pinned in front. Then the same fate befell Harries – also bang in front without the slightest detectable hint of an inside edge. Nothing. Nada. And if there was it was impossible for the naked eye to detect – leaving Orsett 31-3 and flapping in the powerful crossbreeze.
Anwar and Dove dug in and set about rebuilding. Their solid 50 partnership was epitomised by the silky cover drives of Anwar, and the aggressive running of Dove. Indeed as the pair started to dominate, the outfield was proving to be Westcliff’s MVP slowing down Orsett’s run rate by slowing down balls destined for the boundary and turning them into 1s and 2s.
With the new ball softening, and the pitch proving more sluggish to Westcliff’s barrage of medium pace, it proved enough as Dove mistimed a pull and popped up a simple catch for a hard fought 18. Anwar plodded onwards though and dragged Orsett into 3 figures, before he too was early on a drive, and was caught and bowled for a 41 that was worth double that. Orsett might’ve been concerned at 103-5, but with Clark Wren joining Matt Hills at the crease their partnership the previous week bred confidence.
Wren’s approach to the strong wind, the long outfield, and Westcliff’s lack of pace was unsurprisingly belligerent – hit it over the grass, and hit it high. It was a tactic that relied on Wren’s eye, and no threat from the bowling, and both paid off. Wren began pumping balls over long on and midwicket like a range hitter at golf practise, and began accumulating deep midwickets like a pocketed toffee accumulates lint. Even with five boundary riders forming a corden between Long on and deep square, Wren continued his bombardment like a diminutive, hairy mortar.
The scoreboard became a blur, and with Matt Hills happy to bunt a single to optimise strike, Wren passed 50 in just 24 balls, and prompted crashed another 20 in typically short order. His hitting finally tired and he popped up a regulation catch at long off, but with 72 runs in a breathless 45 minutes, the face of the game was utterly changed. Demoralised, the partnership of 95 seemed to suck the life from Westcliff, and Matt Hills and the newly installed at the crease Owen plundered. Hills cruised passed 50 with nary a scare, and Owen clubbed a quick 20. The declaration came at 238-6 after 42 overs and the result felt inevitable.
And so it proved. After tea the Orsett Opener’s fired their own salvos, pinning down Westcliff’s men to outrageously attacking fields – the last time anyone on the field had seen 5 slips, 2 gullies and a short leg was in a documentary of Dennis Lillie’s 20 best bowling performances aired some years back. It was like a line for a free ice cream and money stand. The scoreboard flatlined, but despite copious ooohs and ahhs from the chorus line behind the bat, luck was not with Orsett’s new ball pair
They did, however, build pressure, and that provides idea hunting ground for Orsett’s current apex predator, Dan “T-Rex” George. With Nick Harrison valiantly trying to counter-attack, and heaving balls into Orsett’s sparse outfield, the pressure forced him to take more risks. Just as the scoreboard finally limped to 60, and Harrison slapped a flurry of boundaries to accumulate 50 of those, George burst from the undergrowth and savaged Westcliff.
First a swinging delivery was acrobatically juggled and held by the tumbling Ali at leg gully, and promptly pinned ekinyake in front next ball. Wren the struck at the other end before George dipped again into his bag of variations. A slower ball induced a slash from Harrision this swirled upwards and straight into Gully’s grasp, and a dangerous long hop was spooned gratefully to Point. 62 for none had become 74-5 in a flash.
It was then just a matter of patience. Some stout defence ensued, and Orsett’s attacking field waited. Sure enough, returning openers Andrew Hills and Muhammad Hassan Ali grabbed a wicket before George resumed his hunt for a fifth. A feathered edge later, he had it, and it was just down to Wren’s laser focus on the stumps to rattle out Westcliff’s tail and seal a comfortable 130 run win for Orsett – all ten wickets falling for 43 runs.
Ilford 68 ao (26.1)
Orsett & Thurrock 70-2 (16.3)
They say catches win matches and it was proved so as a ruthless fielding display sent Ilford packing as OAT maintained their 100% start to the league season.
The June Ridgewell Ground in Orsett was sunny yet muggy, superb conditions for growing grass, particularly the lovely long and lush outfield and Ilford won the toss and elected to bat. Skipper Owen used his tried and tested technique of opening with the seam of young Callum Owen accompanied by an experienced old man at the other end. Playing the veteran role this week was Andrew Packer and fresh from his stag do he was raring to go. Both bowlers were too good for their batting adversaries and the traditional noise of leather on willow soon turned to leather on wicket keeper gloves. Talking of wicket keepers, OAT finally managed to get a specialist behind the stumps. This week it was former boxer Scott Douglas who had swapped one set of gloves for another. He is such a specialist that he lives his entire life as a cricketer, nothing else can explain the fact a grown man turned up fully kitted in his whites ready to play straight from his car, rumour has it he even sleeps in them!
Both Ilford openers were called Ali and both went cheaply to Andrew Packer who had them caught in the slip cordon. Saad Ali was caught by Simmons for 0 and Asif Ali went for 2 to the hands of Kooyman. Number 3 was Jey Rooban and he was to prove top scorer of the innings with his 23 before he was caught by Churchyard of the bowling of young speedster Callum Owen. Churchyard took another catch, this time off of Brooks to remove Akram, no not that one, as the Ilford effort never really gained momentum. Brooks also got an LBW as he snared Anirudh for 4. Today though was the Andrew Packer show as he ripped through the order. Ilyaas was LBW and Harban clean bowled as he took 7/29. His other wickets were helped by the catching prowess of Specialist Douglas (who was still in his whites at the time), Mendham and Kooyman again as Ilford stuttered to 68 all out.
OAT deep down knew the reply shouldn’t be any problem but had a few early scares as Ilford put a few chances down to highlight where this game was won and lost. Simmons one of the people reprieved went on to hit 29 before Asif Ali trapped him LBW. Scott Douglas, (still in his whites) went out as the number 3 and had 4 to his name before Saad Ali had him caught but the game was already won in reality. This left Greg Mendham not out on 0 and last weeks hero Jack Churchyard on 21 not out before Saad Ali bowled a wide to officially win the game for OAT. The confidence in this team is growing quicker than the uncut outfield, Skipper Owen will be hoping they can maintain this as we head for silly season on the player availability front.