Ardleigh Green given fresh hope
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Another win for Cook’s relegation battlers
After waiting so long for their first Essex League Division Two win of the season, Ardleigh Green made it back-to-back victories with success over Leigh.
Chris Cook’s men had broken their duck in a high-scoring contest at Harlow Town, thanks largely to an unbeaten century from Paul Hurworth.
But their triumph at Central Park proved more tense, as they clinched a 27-run win.
Muhammad Asif shone with bat and ball for Green, top scoring with 56 and sharing a half-century stand for the eighth wicket with Aaron Hills as the home side reached 199.
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Alex Cason (20) and Cook (22) had chipped in earlier, but Green were 132-7 before Hills and Asif dug in.
Ayaz Younis made an early breakthrough with the ball, with Cook (2-39) and Asif (4-53) reducing Leigh to 117-8.
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But a 52-run stand for the ninth wicket had the visitors hoping for a remarkable win, before Chris Haylett (2-0) mopped up.
Victory left Green 26 points adrift of safety, with six games remaining, and still dreaming of the great escape.
Fives & Heronians moved 24 points clear at the top of the table after beating Billericay in their summit meeting.
Put into bat at The Paddock, the home side were dismissed for 149.
But Billericay’s batsmen found the going just as tough as they came up short on 133.
Gidea Park & Romford maintained their good form with a comfortable win at Stanford.
Put into bat after a 90-minute rain delay, Park reached 214-9 from their reduced 38-over allotment.
Sam Hewitt top scored with 46 from 33 balls, hitting two sixes and seven fours, while George Rogers (34), Matt Tarr (32), Alan Croft (27 not out) and Kasi Hoq (22) also made contributions.
Hewitt struck two early blows with the ball in Stanford’s reply to remove the home side’s openers, then picked up two more scalps in a superb spell of 8-1-16-4 to leave them 66-4.
James Pegram (4-57) got in on the act to reduce Stanford to 109-8, before stand-in skipper Russ Collard took two wickets in seven balls to wrap up a 65-run success.