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Hornchurch hail masterful Murray

10:30 08 July 2014

Paul Murray in batting action for Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Paul Murray in batting action for Hornchurch (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Smith praises opener’s key innings

Hornchurch beat Horndon on the Hill by three wickets at the weekend and skipper Roy Smith was indebted to opener Paul Murray for carrying his bat.

Set a revised target of 175 from 41 overs due to the poor weather, Hornchurch lost wickets regularly in this Essex League Division Two match but Murray scored an outstanding unbeaten 86 to see his team home with four overs to spare.

Smith praised the opener’s innings and also the opposition, saying: “It was a close fought match and we had a bit of a wobble but come through in the end.

“Paul batted outstandingly, he was excellent and got us home. He won us the game, without him we don’t know what we would have done.

“It was a game we expected to win but Horndon surprised us a little, they are a good side and I think, well I hope, they can get out of the trouble they are in.”

Hornchurch restricted Horndon to just 188-8 from their 50 overs with Chris Sains (1-18) economical and Myles Wells blowing away the top order with 3-28 off eight overs.

Chamikara Mudalige (2-55) and Marc Whitlock (2-33) also picked up scalps and Smith was satisfied when walking off at the break.

However, a sudden downpour changed the situation, as Smith explained: “We lost the toss and they batted first on a good wicket and although we didn’t bowl that well, 188 off 50 overs? You take that all day!

“As we were coming off for tea, though, it started chucking it down and that lost us nine overs, but only 13 runs come off the total, which I thought was a bit strange.

“Then getting the covers off made the wicket a bit damp and it was tough. Horndon were putting the balls in the right areas and picking up wickets.

“You always hope with our batting line-up that somebody will get in and see us home and of course, it was Paul on Saturday.”

Aside from Murray’s 86, the next highest score for Hornchurch was 16 from number six Chris Haylett.

The only other Hornchurch batsman to reach double figures were Sains (12) and Michael Bones (11) but it wasn’t to matter too much in the end as Murray saw them home and kept them clear of nearest rivals Orsett at the top of the table.

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