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Essex Division One: Harold Wood captain Richard Brabner pleased to do what was needed to beat Orsett

PUBLISHED: 14:00 31 August 2016

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

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

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Wood bowler knows importance of victory to keep promotion race alive

Harold Wood skipper Richard Brabner was happy to keep the pressure on Essex Division One promotion rivals Southend with a seven-wicket win over Orsett.

Having lost the toss, Wood were put into the field, but performed well to bowl the hosts out for 170.

In reply, unbeaten half-centuries from Raihan Hussain and Maruf Chowdhury guided Wood to victory and keep them three points behind Southend, who are second.

And Brabner was pleased to collect another important win to take the battle for promotion down to the final game of the season.

“After losing the toss, it was important to get the win and the 20 points that came with it,” said Brabner.

“The whole team did well and it was good to see Joe Stallibrass impress on his debut for the firsts.

“He came on at a crucial time and broke a key partnership for Orsett before going through their middle order.

“It’s always pleasing when you see someone come into the side and do so well.”

Indeed, Stallibrass enjoyed a great debut as he took 4-30 to finish as the top Wood bowler.

He is not the only teenager to have shone for the firsts this season, with Zohran Afzal another to catch the eye for Wood.

And with both youngsters still only at the start of what will hopefully long cricketing careers, Brabner knows the future looks bright for Wood.

“Joe and Zohran are both 17 and exciting spinners that the club can look forward to over the coming years,” added Brabner.

“Joe came up through the Colts and started the season in the thirds and has played for the seconds too.

“When players come into the firsts, they always seem to perform above and beyond and stand up to the occasion.”

It was not all plain sailing for Wood in reply, with Hussain and Chowdhury taking the club on from 33-3 to victory without the loss of any further wickets.

And Brabner admits there were a few moments when he did worry that Wood would be unable to reach the target.

“You always are a little nervous when you’re three down for such a low total, but we have a good batting line-up.

“We bat long, with someone like myself only batting at seven, but Maruf and Raihan were in top form.”

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