Upminster book T20 finals day spot
PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 July 2017
Bowlers turn screw on Colchester
Upminster booked their place at the Dukes Essex T20 finals day with a tense eight-run win over Colchester in their quarter-final tie.
The visitors made a ‘below-par’ 124-9 from their 20 overs, but their bowlers combined well to keep Colchester’s reply in check, with Connor Whetstone and John Curtis nabbing two wickets apiece, as Louis Pickering, Shafiq Rahman and captain Matt Tigg also had success.
Pickering and Shahbaz Butt got Upminster off to a decent start, scoring 32 runs from the first five overs.
But wickets then fell at regular intervals, with several batsmen holing out to catches in the deep in search of boundaries, despite lots of open space in the outfield.
Tigg saw his first two balls sent to the rope as Colchester scored nine runs in the opening over, but Curtis struck with his third ball thanks to a stooping catch from Whetstone.
Jack Hebron went on the attack to see the hosts reach 41-1 in the fifth over, before dragging a slower ball from Pickering on to his own stumps.
The scalp gave Upminster a notable lift and Rahman got in on the act in the eighth over, before Whetstone claimed his first victim in the next.
Colchester were 62-4 at the halfway point, needing another 63 for victory, but lost a fifth wicket soon after as a backpedalling Ollie Peck held on to a catch off the bowling of Whetstone.
Tigg and Whetstone kept it tight over the course of the next three overs, which yielded just 11 runs to leave Colchester 76-5.
And Curtis returned to send the off stump cartwheeling out of the ground with his second delivery as he conceded just two runs in the over.
Tigg beat the outside edge of the bat and saw Butt complete a stumping to make it 79-7 as Colchester’s target grew to 43 off 24 balls.
But Peck was then introduced and saw the home side score 12 more runs to give themselves an outside chance, only for Upminster to tighten up again and concede just five from the 18th over.
The first ball of Rahman’s penultimate over was sent over the boundary, but the wily spinner kept his nerve to concede just four more runs from the last five deliveries.
That left Colchester needing 16 from six balls, but Pickering produced a fine last over to hold them to seven from the first four, then finished with two dot balls.
Upminster: S Butt, Pickering, Hazle, Rahman, J Whetstone, Wyatt, Peck, C Whetstone, O’Dell, Tigg (c), Curtis.
*Hornchurch are due to host Shenfield in the second quarter-final at Harrow Lodge Park on Thursday.
Wanstead then welcome Chelmsford on Friday, before Brentwood entertain South Woodford in the final tie of the round on Sunday.