Cricket: Orsett and Thurrock go so close against Wanstead

Wanstead & Snaresbrook 206/9

Orsett & Thurrock 3rd XI 205

OAT fell to a heartbreaking defeat by the narrowest margin possible at the June Ridgewell Ground in Orsett on Saturday.
Wanstead won the toss and elected to bat first in arid conditions and cloudless skies.

Skipper Owen opened the bowling with the veteran duo of Andrew Packer and Mal Umfreville, you could say the Rolling Stones of cricket such is their combined age and erm wisdom. In between comparisons between today and the summer of 1963, they actually managed some bowling and to be fair they rolled back the years and kept the scoring down and Packer removed the opener, Narid, for just 4 runs thanks to the safe hands of Lee Kooyman. At the other end though was Iqbal and he was playing the patient game of hanging around before enjoying a partnership with Mahood in at number 3. Owen wanted a wicket and introduced Alfie Feeney as first change and it proved an inspired choice as the still relatively young speedster picked up 3 wickets during his spell. Mahood was caught and bowled for 29, Patel was caught by Haden for 5 and Feeney’s final wicket was K Vyas for 6 to give Kooyman his second catch if the day. Wayne The Viking Simmons was plundering away at the other end and he pillaged himself a wicket as Saeed was trapped LBW for 19. Amongst the carnage Iqbal was still going about his business up the other end until on 85 Runs he was removed by Jack Hart via the hands of Feeney to end a magnificent knock in sweltering conditions. Haden dismissed Bradley LBW for a duck before a flurry of run outs ended the visitors innings on 206/9 in their 45 overs.

During the tea break the OAT ground staff had to cut down a couple of Cacti that had sprouted up due to the heat and also shoe away a flock of vultures that were circling the OAT fielders during the first innings. Apart from the odd piece of tumbleweed blowing across the pitch everything was set for the second innings.

The OAT reply got off to a disastrous start as both openers went for a golden duck. Haden was first to go before Hart quickly followed back to the portacabin pavilion. Greg Mendham steadied the good ship OAT to a degree as he scored 19 before he himself perished. Wayne The Viking Simmons was dismissed for 4 or should that be Thor as he hammered the ball to Mahood. The big hitting Elliot McCartney was next up to the plate but he went on 9 and just like the bowling it was the old guard who stepped in to try and drag OAT back into this game. Lee Kooyman scored 23, Skipper Owen got 33 and this inspired the tail to wag. Jordan Owen and Alfie Feeney scored 35 and 30 respectively to turn the pressure back onto Wanstead and put OAT in sight of an unlikely victory. Mal Umfreville and Andrew Packer teamed up again, this time with wood in their hand and all seemed well until Umfreville was caught on 10 to give Wanstead the victory by just one run and it was heartbreak for the OAT rearguard action. Congratulations to Wanstead for the win in a match that was played in an excellent spirit and OAT now refocus and move on to the next game.

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