Billericay sink Woodford Wells in Essex League Division One opener

PUBLISHED: 11:00 09 May 2016

Billericay players celebrate a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Billericay players celebrate a wicket (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

Harold Wood held to draw; Upminster come up short in defeat

Division One new boys Billericay began their new season with an exciting win against Woodford Wells.

Visiting captain Joe Johnson chose to bat after winning the toss, but lost opening partner Tanveer Shah relatively early.

Johnson hit five boundaries in his 34, while Michael Arblaster struck a six and 11 fours in his innings-high 84.

Jonathan Gaffney (38) also made a start with the bat, while Ross Poulton (3-35) and Adam Marchant (3-61) had the most success with the ball for the hosts as Wells closed on 220-9.

David Hinnigan played the key innings in reply for Billericay, hitting two sixes and nine fours on his way to exactly 100, from 107 balls.

Opening partner Paul Martin (24) had helped to set an early platform before becoming one of four victims for Shah (4-73), but home skipper David Houghton steered his side to a four-wicket win with an unbeaten 56, from 52 deliveries, with six fours.

*Harold Wood had to settle for a draw as Southend’s number 11 survived four balls at the end of their match.

Burhan Mahmood hit a six and nine fours in a quickfire 55, from 45 balls, to put on 91 for the first wicket with Raihan Hussain.

And Hussain added another 98 with Craig Perrin, before falling for 78 from 107 balls, having hit 10 boundaries.

Perrin saw Shahbaz Khan and Muhammad Asif fall to successive balls, before he followed them back to the pavilion for 46.

But captain Richard Brabner and Chris Bennett made it into double figures to help the visitors reach 238 before they were finally dismissed in the 49th over.

Khan and Brabner had early success with the ball to reduce the hosts to 48-3, before Southend skipper Joe Robbins dominated an 89-run stand with Sam Rowe.

Young leg-spinner Zohran Afzal (3-50) and Umar Farooq (2-28) then combined to reduce the home side to 188-8, raising hopes of a Wood win.

But Robbins remained and, although Brabner (3-35) struck again to leave his side one wicket short of victory, last man Michael Gridley held firm to see Southend to safety on 213-9.

*Upminster came up short against Orsett & Thurrock in a 10-run defeat.

Captain Alan Ison put the hosts into bat after winning the toss and saw Nick O’Dell strike early with the new ball.

But Orsett skipper Paul Bennett got to within two runs of a century to help his side go on to make 204-9, as Connor Whetstone (2-18), Shafiq Rahman (2-44) and Matt Tiggs (2-62) all nabbed braces.

Upminster suffered an early blow in their run chase as Shahbaz Butt departed without scoring, having hit successive centuries in their Essex League Cup wins over Woodford Green and Ilford.

Opening partner Rahman followed cheaply, but Frankie Hazle (32) and Ison (26) steadied the ship, before both fell to Shahid Khan.

Terry Wyatt (50) and Whetstone (56) kept Upminster in the hunt with a notable stand, but Bennett (3-48) and Khan (5-37) ended those hopes as the visitors were dismissed for 194 in the 46th over.

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