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Brentwood close on leaders; Wanstead suffer first defeat

PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 June 2015

Ilford fielders wait for an edge against Chelmsford (pic: Ellie Hoskins)

Ilford fielders wait for an edge against Chelmsford (pic: Ellie Hoskins)

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Essex Premier Division round-up: Harold Wood’s wait goes on; South Woodford lose

Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal defends against South Woodford (pic; Sandra Rowse)Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal defends against South Woodford (pic; Sandra Rowse)

Ilford slipped to the bottom of the Essex Premier League after losing by 176 runs at Brentwood, who in turn close the gap to league leaders Wanstead to just four points.

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat, with openers Tom Oakley and Guy Balmford putting on 84 for the opening partnership.

Harold Wood's Richard Brabner (pic: Graham Hodges)Harold Wood's Richard Brabner (pic: Graham Hodges)

Oakley departed for 44 but Balmford proved a constant in the Brentwood innings, eventually running up a score of 142 not out from 134 balls.

Balmford’s efforts were ably supported by Joe Walford (34) and captain Joe Buttleman (59) as the home team made 302-5 from their 50 overs.

South Woodford captain Harry Shirt shakes hands with Ilford rival Shaz Hafeez after their derby win at Valentine's Park (pic: Graham Hodges)South Woodford captain Harry Shirt shakes hands with Ilford rival Shaz Hafeez after their derby win at Valentine's Park (pic: Graham Hodges)

Mukesh Bhatt was Ilford’s best bowler, finishing with figures of 2-51 while there were also wickets for skipper Tash Imtiaz (1-34), Hendro Puchert (1-56) and Reece Williams (1-65).

From the get go in their reply, the visitors always looked like they would struggle to keep pace with the required run rate.

Openers Saf Imtiaz (11) and Nigel Jacobs (7) both fell cheaply as the team were struggling on 28-3 before Puchert (26) and Gurdeep Kandola (27) tried their best to steady the innings.

Ilford were eventually dismissed for 126 inside 31 overs as their wait for win goes on.

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Wanstead suffered their first Essex Premier League defeat of the season after fellow title hopefuls Chelmsford beat them by nine wickets at Overton Drive.

The Herons won the toss and elected to bat, but their innings began disastrously when John Chambers went for a golden duck off the first ball of the match.

Fellow opener Arfan Akram departed for 18 to leave the team 28-2 but the ever-reliable pairing of Saurav Prabhakar and Hassan Chowdhury but on 91 runs for the third wicket.

But after Prabhakar (72) and Chowdhury (42) departed, Wanstead began losing wickets at regular intervals and were bowled out for 217.

It looked like the hosts had got off to the perfect bowling start when Nicholas Bailey was caught off the bowling of Adam Lord by captain Joe Ellis-Grewal for just 7 but no further wickets came as the bowlers toiled and saw the side slop to their first loss.

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Harold Wood are still searching for their first win of the 2015 Premier League campaign after losing by 100 runs at Buckhurst Hill.

Despite the best efforts of stand-in captain Richard Brabner, who took 2-45, the hosts ran up a score of 274-8 thanks to brilliant knock of 108 from Willem Scholtz.

After losing opener Raihan Hussain for 4, Burhan Mahmood (51) and Hamza Ahmed (25) put on 49 for the second wicket.

But that was about as good as it got for the visitors, who began to lose wickets at regular intervals as they were skittled out for 174.

Thankfully for Harold Wood, though, they were able to pick up enough match points to move above Ilford at the bottom of the table.

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South Woodford went down to defending champions Chingford by 5 wickets away from home.

The visitors were put into bat but wre bowled out for 194 with two balls remaining in their innings.

Chingford raced to victory inside 26 overs for the loss of just five wickets.


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