MCC 220-9 declared
HISTORY was made at North Stifford when the Marylebone Cricket Club – the world’s pre-eminent private cricket club with headquarters at Lord’s, made their first visit to Thurrock in the 200 years that cricket has been played in the Borough.
Alex Tredgett (Hutton CC) and Jed Cawkwell (Copdock and Old Ipswichians CC) opened the batting for the representative team and put on an opening partnership of 129 before Tredgett was caught by Max Osborne for a fine 63 from 61 deliveries. Spin bowler Roy Heffernan made this breakthrough in the 26th over and he went on to claim five wickets at a cost of just 31 runs from an eleven-over spell.
Cawkwell was next to be dismissed with just two runs added to the total. He was caught by Daniel Dreher in the second spell from Danny Norris (1-38). Billy Winter weighed in with three wickets for just ten runs from 2.4 overs. In all, eight catches were taken in the Belhus field as MCC, captained by Belhus member John Lewis, declared on 220 after 49.4 overs.
The home batsmen from Thurrock’s leading club fought hard to reach the required target. With Matthew Doran and Joe Joyce absent on representative duties of their own, playing under Essex’s floodlights in a T20 match for the Shepherd Neame Essex League, the hosts opened with Michael Fogg and Winter, who weathered well against the MCC attack. The pair produced a 59-run opening stand, Winter hitting a fine 56 and Fogg contributing 19. Mark Sansom, drafted in to the match following the league’s call-ups, provided valuable support with 36. However, Belhus suffered a damaging middle order collapse from 93-1 to 120 for the loss of six wickets. Ultimately, a respectable draw was earned after an exciting finish which saw Danny Joyce and Matthew Williams undefeated on seventeen and nine respectively.
It is understood that MCC will be returning to North Stifford in the 2021 season with Belhus official and MCC member Denis Reed commenting: “It was a memorable day that saw a match, as one would expect, played in the true spirit of the game. Many spectators witnessed the historic event that brought much credit to our Borough”.