Cook hails Ardleigh Green hero Hurworth

Chris Cook in batting action for Ardleigh Green (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Chris Cook in batting action for Ardleigh Green (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Strugglers break duck after opener’s stunning century

Ardleigh Green captain Chris Cook paid tribute to long-serving team-mate Paul Hurworth after the club’s first win of the Essex League Division Two season.

Green had lost eight of their first 10 matches and sat rooted to the bottom of the table, having only passed 200 twice so far, as they visited Harlow Town.

The home side then piled up 307-6 runs, but Hurworth hit a superb unbeaten 137 to steer Green to a six-wicket victory and Cook said: “In all the years I’ve played with Paul, and we’ve played together since we were 10, so that’s 18 years, it’s the best knock I’ve seen from him.”

Cook (3-42) and Ayaz Younis (2-55) had the most success with the ball as the home side set a challenging target.

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But Green, whose best score this summer had been 244 against Wickford, made a bright start in reply to give themselves hope.

Cook added: “Even though it was 300 and still a fair chase, I thought it was a 320 pitch to be honest.

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“It was so flat and nice to bat on. The outfield was quick and the ball wasn’t really doing anything.

“We had about 100 off the first 10 overs, so we were off to a good start, and everyone else chipped in to get us over the line.”

Younis (60) scored a half-century of his own to give Hurworth valuable support in a 126-run stand and there were cameos from Alex Cason, Choudhry Mahboob, Cook and Aaron Hills as Green got home comfortably with three overs to spare.

Victory enabled Cook’s men to close the gap on fellow strugglers Stanford, with seven matches remaining, and he said: “Paul batted really well, it was the best knock of the season, and he was well supported by Younis in their second-wicket stand.

“It’s not a bad way to get your first win of the season and there were a few jugs after! Hopefully it will stand us in good stead.”

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