Hornchurch captain Gordon: It was Merv's weekend!
PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 July 2019
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The former Essex bowler top scored in both of Hornchurch's low-scoring victories
Billy Gordon joked Hornchurch would be nowhere without Merv Westfield after the all-rounder helped inspire two crucial wins last weekend.
In the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division on Saturday, the Essex academy graduate scored 52 and claimed 1-15 in a 64-run win over Buckhurst Hill.
A day later Westfield was producing heroics again, this time in the Essex League Cup to send Hornchurch into the semi-final.
The former Frinton-on-Sea star scored a superb 74 not out to help the holders get over the line at Billericay, chasing down 187 to win with only two wickets in hand.
Captain Gordon said: "This weekend was the Merv weekend! We have changed the WhatsApp group chat to 'what would we do without Merv?'
"He really stepped up and showed his class and Sunday was the same as Saturday really because we didn't bat too well, but bowled really well and luckily we got over the line, so that was important."
The 2018 treble-winners had to work hard to progress in the League Cup on another tricky batting surface.
Billericay won the toss on home soil and batted first, but were dismissed for 186 with two balls left.
Lee Knight top scored with 61, but Gayan Sirisoma and Jas Bassan claimed three wickets apiece while remaining economical.
In reply Hornchurch were in big trouble on 60-5 and then 79-6, but Zeeshan Khan stuck around with Westfield.
The number five passed fifty once the youngster had departed and managed to see the visitors over the line with Mehad Khan alongside him unbeaten on three off 13 balls.
It was a similar story the day before with Westfield and Zeeshan Khan the first and second highest scorers for Hornchurch with 52 and 23 respectively.
This saw the Premier Division champions make 161 before they were dismissed in the 42nd over, but it proved enough.
Home skipper Gordon caused havoc on his way to 2-19 off nine overs and dependable Marc Whitlock ripped through the middle order to finish with 3-23.
Bassan then chipped in with 2-13 off 14 balls as Hornchurch dismissed Buckhurst Hill for 97 to remain in the hunt for the title alongside Brentwood and Wanstead.
Gordon added: "We lost the toss and we had so much rain in the build up and the covers were on, but the slope meant the water got under the covers, so the pitch was soaking.
"We got put in and we knew it would be really tough, but I was hoping to get 150 as I thought that would be enough.
"Merv batted class and hung around and people at the end chipped in with much-needed runs and when we got up to 161 I was really happy. I knew with our bowling attack it would be hard for Buckhurst Hill to get that."
Hornchurch stay third in the standings with 162 points after 11 games with Wanstead on 195 in second and Brentwood out in front on 199.