Cricket: Harold Wood skipper Richard Brabner wants to pile pressure on promotion rivals in closing weeks

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 August 2016

Harold Wood skipper Richard Brabner celebrates a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Harold Wood skipper Richard Brabner celebrates a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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Wood captain knows team need as many points as they can muster at Woodford Wells

Harold Wood’s Richard Brabner knows it is vital his team continue to pick up a large amount of points on a weekly basis if they are to win promotion from Essex League Division One.

Wood are 13 points adrift of Southend in second place and host Woodford Wells tomorrow (Saturday), with four games to go in the season.

Brabner knows it will be tough for Wood to bridge that gap, but has called on the team to keep piling on the pressure in the closing weeks.

“Thirteen points is not an insurmountable gap, but we know we have to collect a lot of points on a weekly basis from now until the end of the year,” said Brabner.

“If we can get a win this weekend or even get a load of points, it ensures there is still a lot of pressure on Southend and Orsett.”

Matches now revert to the all-day format having spent the last nine weeks as 50-over contests.

Wood won only one of their five all-day matches earlier in the season, but while Brabner believes the 50-over matches suit them more, he feels they are in a better place for the longer format now.

“We’ve got a lot of good bowlers which comes into play more in the 50-over matches,” he added.

“But we’re playing a lot better now than we did at the start of the season when we last played the all-day games.

“We’re confident throughout the team with bat and ball. We’ve got four good teams left to play, but if we bring our best, we can beat them.”

Woods beat Loughton by eight wickets at The Uplands last weekend after Burhan Mahmood took five wickets to help dismiss the hosts for 176.

Raihan Hussain and Craig Perrin both hit half centuries in reply for the visitors, who won inside 29 overs.

The seconds, though, lost out to their Shenfield rivals by 34 runs with former Wood player James Kliber taking four wickets against his old team.

The fourths fared much better against their South Woodford counterparts in a four-wicket win, with Ali Choudhry hitting 47 not out after figures of 4-49 with the ball by Murugesh Mohanasundharam.

Wood’s fifths lost by 78 runs to Oakfield fourths, even after veteran Steve Ashlin had recorded a five-for with the ball.

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