Good wins for Fives & Heronians, Billericay in Essex League Division One
PUBLISHED: 09:00 29 August 2016
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Five-star Ahmed shines in slender success
Fives & Heronians kept their nerve to beat Harlow and maintain hopes of avoiding relegation from Essex League Division One.
A one-wicket win at The Paddock kept Fives nine points clear of the bottom two with one match remaining, at Orsett next weekend.
Captain Ben Britton put the visitors into bat after winning the toss and saw Greg Summers strike two early blows with the ball to reduce Harlow to 14-2.
First-change bowler Ali Raza had success at the other end with the score on 53, before Sarfaraz Ahmed ran through the middle order on his way to a five-wicket haul.
Ahmed Khawaja held firm for Harlow, hitting 118 as they were eventually dismissed for 210.
Ahmed finished with 5-60, while Summers returned for a second spell and claimed the last two wickets to fall and claim figures of 4-31.
Fives lost Terry Ballard and Gary Edwards to find themselves 43-2 in reply, before Gary Norris and Fahad Iqbal put on 120 for the third wicket.
Norris was run out for 72, with Iqbal dismissed for 71 as the home side suffered a late collapse, falling from 163-2 to 196-9.
But Rahul Bhome and last man Ahmed stayed cool to knock off the runs required and keep them ahead of Woodford Wells and Hadleigh in the battle to avoid the drop alongside Loughton.
Fahad Anwar’s side lost by six wickets against Billericay at The Uplands.
Put into bat, they saw Anwar run out cheaply, with Robert Rayner (2-29) dismissing Taqi Abbas and Mahmad Ali Khail to make it 42-3.
Bilal Butt dominated an 84-run stand with Vithullan Sapaetharan, hitting three sixes and seven fours in his 63 from 79 balls before falling to Andy Smith.
And Asim Aslam (32) and Neal Jani (21) helped keep the scoreboard moving before both fell to Ross Poulton (2-63), as Sapaetharan finished unbeaten on 56 from 81 balls, having hit seven boundaries.
Loughton closed on 219-6 and saw Butt and Manny Ahmad dismiss Paul Martin (24) and Nick Van Lint to leave the visitors 48-2.
But Billericay captain David Houghton dominated a 117-run stand with Lee Knight, hitting three sixes and five fours in his 63 off 75 balls before offering a return catch to Butt (2-71).
And Poulton added a quickfire 37 off 23 deliveries, hitting two sixes and three fours, to take the visitors to within 10 runs of their target.
Knight finished unbeaten on 46 as Billericay secured victory in the 44th over and climbed up to fourth place ahead of their last match of the season against promotion hopefuls Southend at Blunts Wall Road.