Park look to pick up momentum
PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 June 2014
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Captain Collier pleased to get first win
Gidea Park & Romford opened their Essex League Division Two account with victory at Westcliff last weekend.
And captain Chris Collier wants them to carry that into their meeting with Fives tomorrow (Saturday).
Nigel Fretwell (3-33) and Sarvesh Damle (6-31) shared the wickets as the home side were dismissed for 148.
And several of the Park batsmen contributed, before Milan Desai (26 not out) and Chris McKie (24 not out) clinched a four-wicket win.
Collier said: “It’s been a bit of a strange season so far, with a lot of games rain-affected or washed out.
“There has been a lot of midweek rain as well, which has meant practices have been called off, but it was nice to get our first win.
“We played well as a side and hopefully we can carry some form forward.”
Left-armer Fretwell made inroads with the new ball, before off-spinner Damle turned the screw later in the Westcliff innings.
Collier added: “Nigel has been with us for a few years now and is available more often.
“He’s our spearhead and he bowled well, swinging the ball and putting it in good areas.
“Sarvesh had been a bit rusty in the first few games but it was good to see him get six wickets and long may it continue.”
Youngsters Jamal Francis and Sam Hewitt opened the Park innings, hitting three boundaries apiece, but Damle fell cheaply.
Alan Croft (35) and Collier steadied the ship, before Desai and McKie completed the task.
“We made a positive start, but then had a mini collapse. There were a few poor shots from us and some good balls from them.
“Alan and I put on a partnership, but then got out, but Milan and Chris saw us home. We had more batting to come so it wasn’t panic stations, but they took responsibility and everyone was pleased to get that first league win.”
As for the visit of Fives, Collier admits he does not know what to expect.
But he wants his side to focus on their game, adding: “After getting that win under our belts we want momentum.
“I don’t know much about Fives this season, but we’re looking for continuity.
“Availability has been a bit of a problem, but we’ve got a few guys back and are looking to step up and perform.”
Park enjoyed a hat-trick of wins over Westcliff opposition last weekend, with the seconds claiming a six-wicket victory at Gallows Corner.
The visitors were dismissed for 131, with Russ Collard (39) among the runs in Park’s successful run chase.
The thirds shot out their rivals for just 59, with Nikhil Bhandari (3-13), Rajesh Kanojia (3-20), Harry Thompson (2-3) and James Brown (2-13) sharing the wickets.
Ammar Zahid, Mughir Qureshi and Hassan Khan knocked off the runs with little alarm to seal a nine-wicket success.