Orsett & Thurrock CC 215-8 (50)
Woodford Wells 219-5 (41.3)
OAT skipper Paul Bennett won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked to be a good pitch and quick outfield on a sunny day at Monkhams Lane, Woodford Wells.
With 250 minimum the aim, a good start was needed but this wasn’t to be as OAT lost skipper Bennett and overseas star Nawaz Jan cheaply leaving the side reeling at 24/2. In came William Gibbon who after impressing with big scores in the 2nd team, made his debut batting in the top 5 of the first XI. With the pace of G. James, Gibbon was watchful early on with numerous balls flying past him at head height. With the experienced Ayub at the other end, Gibbon started to find his feet and quickly moved on to 48no from as many balls with a mixture of well-timed drives and clever placement square of the wicket.
With the score at 95-2 and the team looking set to post a big score, OAT lost 3 quick wickets with first Ayub, then the usually reliable Mark Pavitt and Kirk Laws falling cheaply all to the left arm spin of the experienced Holmes. A rebuild was required, and it was the experience of Dan Laird who did just that. Looking in good touch, the pair started to rebuild the innings. Soon after, Gibbon reached his maiden first XI 50, a reward for his hard work and much to the relief of onlooking brother George.
With OAT looking well set on 175-5, Gibbon was caught and bowled by the spin of Wells captain Gaffney for a brilliantly played 81 from 116 balls which included 10 4s and 1 6. Laird, without much support from the tail ended on a well played 52 from 59 balls with OAT ending on 215-8, a score which looked 30 short of par on such a good pitch.
OAT knew they needed to start strongly and take early wickets but unfortunately this wasn’t to be. Baring 1 dropped catch at Gully from the bowling of Mark Pavitt, Wells openers scored freely without looking in any danger on a pitch with very little to offer. OAT picked up wickets first at 60-1 and then at 121-2. With a cluster of wickets needed in order for OAT to have a chance of winning this match, various bowling combinations and field settings were tried but it wasn’t to be as Wells chased down the total in 41.3 overs with 5 wickets to spare.
A disappointing day for OAT although with 10 points collected, they will look to bounce back next week in the opening 50/50 game against local rivals Belhus CC at School Lane Orsett, 12:30 start.