O&T 1st XV win as Double Centurions Bennett and Jan set the standard
THE Orsett Rec ground was looking fabulous on this gorgeous Saturday afternoon as the sun beat down on O&T’s new sponsors advertising boards. Scorer ‘Boots’ Stevenson was delighted with his new sun shade, and all were hopeful that it would help him to identify a few O&T players for a nice change. The team took to the field with a great mixture of youth and experience which included seven home grown players!
This was a day to win the toss, and vice skipper Kirk Laws duly obliged with a winning toss in the middle, O&T would, obviously, bat and visitors Gidea Park & Romford were to spend the next few hours in the field under the heat of the sun.
O&T were quickly reduced to 17-2 with openers Ayub and Anwar falling cheaply. In came skipper Paul Bennett and overseas star Nawaz Ahmad Jan.
Nawaz Ahmed Jan, looking determined after being dropped to six in the order last week because of some below par performances, began to play some nice shots but was struggling, managing to find the well-placed fielders with most of them. Eventually he began to find the targets and in the 28th over a lovely cover drive split the field and he reached his 50. O&T had recovered well to 131-2.
Gidea Park continually changed bowlers in the hope of a breakthrough, but this was without luck as in the 40th over, Jan drove towards long off for a single and got to his 100 and showed how happy he was by leaping into the air, 220-2 off 40.
Bennett, on 89, edged behind, but was dropped by the keeper and shortly afterwards, Nawaz, trying to send one over cow corner, was caught brilliantly by Mckie on the boundary for 103, 225-3.
Mark Pavitt must have been looking forward to a run fest as he strode out but was run out for 0 without facing – diamond duck! Will Gibbon came and went before Kirk laws made a quick aggressive 20 but holed out to mid-off and O&T were 264-6 with Bennett stuck on 99.
In the 47th over Benett managed to push one into the offside for his 100 and received rapturous adulation from his fans outside the pavilion. A brilliant innings from the skipper. O&T finished their innings on 291-8, with captain Bennett on 116 not out.
It was clear that the Romford players were looking a little tired after spending 50 overs in the heat of the sun, but O&T knew they had ‘Becs’ Owen’s tea to look forward and must have been thinking the total would be a tough one to chase down.
Mark Pavitt opened the bowling at the allotment end, enjoying the down hill, down breeze conditions in the absence of senior bowler George Pavitt (no relation), with young Connor Ramm from the pavilion end.
O&T had the best possible start as Pegram, slashing at a wide one, saw Will Gib diving down to his left, catching the ball one handed, just above the ground. A fantastic catch and Romford were 9-1. With tight bowling coming from Ramm at the other end, building pressure, the wicket soon came with the leading edge finding J Mitchell at short mid on. Mark Pavitt, still bowling with good pace then managed to find 3 more wickets including that of the dangerous GPR skipper Jamal Francis leaving the away side reeling at 66-5.
Pavitt then with his last 2 balls of his 10 over spell and look for a first 1st team 5-fer, twice wrapped the new batsmen on the pads straight in front of the stumps but these were adjudged not out by umpire Saunders. A brilliant spell of 10 overs, 4 wickets for 31 runs.
O&T then took their foot of the gas much to the annoyance of skipper Bennett, with some loose slow bowling and lacklustre fielding leaving GPR in with the slightest glimmer of hope. This was not helped by a well-played, although unconventional innings of 85 from number 6 Kumar. Up stepped centurion Nawaz Ahmad Jan, still fuming from Argentina’s exit from the world cup, mopping up the tail with a glorious 2 overs of slower deliveries leaving the batsmen without a clue and handing himself a 3 fer to go alongside his earlier ton!
Another good batting performance from O&T including a great opening bowling spell from Mark Pavitt meant the team won their second match on the spin by 55 runs. O&T travel to Hainault and Clayhall next week looking to continue the momentum and make it three wins from three.