Clarke: Positives to take despite loss

PUBLISHED: 17:00 16 June 2015

Harold Wood batting at Brentwood (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Harold Wood batting at Brentwood (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 edged out in thriller against Brentwood

Tom Clarke believes Harold Wood can hold their heads high after their one-wicket defeat at the hands of title chasing Brentwood.

Batting first, Wood put on 173 after being bowled out with the final ball of their innings.

And despite restricting the hosts to 148-8, Brentwood showed why they are near the top of the table as they dug out a win but captain Clarke knows his team can take heart from the display.

“It was such a good game of cricket. It was one of the best in a while that I’ve been involved in,” he said.

“We did well against a really good team. We’re proud of our performance and there are many positives we can take from the match.

“In recent years when we’ve played them we haven’t even come close to them. It speaks volumes that we were able to push them so hard.

“It was a privilege to play in that match but of course we’re all disappointed to lose.”

The visitors chose to bat first at the Old County Ground and got off to a good start with openers Raihan Hussain (22) and Burhan Mahmood (43) putting on 53 for the first wicket.

Hamza Ahmed came in at number three and top scored with 47 before a fast 26 off 25 balls from Kristen Ali helped Wood to 173, a total Clarke was happy with.

He added: “I thought it was a good score given that the overs were reduced to 39 because of the weather. The wicket also seemed to suit the spinners.

“Raihan and Burhan got us off to a good start and then Hamza Ahmed anchored our innings before Kris’ quickfire knock.

“I was quite pleased with the total and wasn’t too worried by it. The scorecard at the end showed it was about right.”

The away team bowled brilliantly throughout but could not hang on for their first win of the league season.

Despite this, Clarke was pleased with the performance from his bowling attack against one of the best sides in the league.

“We were probably favourites to win with a couple overs to go. Zohran did really for a youngster and Burhan tied up their middle order.

“Raihan also chipped in well and asked questions of their batsmen early doors, which is what you want.

“But it was always possible for one of their guys to come in late on and hit quick runs at the end, which is exactly what happened.”

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