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Essex League Division One: Jon Gaffney urges Woodford Wells to handle ‘different’ tactics better next time after Harold Wood defeat

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 May 2018

Harold Wood captain Craig Perrin (middle) celebrates a wicket with his team (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Harold Wood captain Craig Perrin (middle) celebrates a wicket with his team (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

After being dismissed for 199, the visitors toiled away in the field and lost by eight wickets, but were bemused by some of oppsition’s play

Woodford Wells captain Jon Gaffney was left with mixed emotions after losing by eight wickets at Harold Wood in the Essex League Division One on Saturday.

The visitors could only make 199 with the bat despite wicket-keeper Joe Johnson (57) and Gareth James (60) passing fifty.

After not kicking on from the promising position of 154-3, Wells were looking to get back into the game with the ball, but Harold Wood openers Hafiz Afzal (96*) and Raihan Hussain (74) took the contest away from them.

Gaffney said: “It was a disappointing result and it was difficult conditions to play in. I thought actually we did okay with the bat.

“The tail didn’t wag as it could have done and therefore we were probably 30 short of where we would have liked to have been.

“We certainly had the worst of the conditions, but that’s by the by in cricket. Gareth batted very well to get his 60 and I thought we did okay given the circumstances, but Gareth and Joe Johnson both did very well.”

The Wells captain was slightly bemused by some of the hosts’ tactics during the first innings of the match.

As James was edging closer to his half century, he was subject to some defensive fields and Gaffney conceded his players failed to cope well enough with the strategy.

He added: “It was a fairly strange environment to bat in because Harold Wood had nine men on the boundary for Gareth after he reached 40-odd.

“It was difficult and it was a bit of a strange thing to see and we didn’t cope particularly well with it and whether that’s in the spirit of cricket or not? I’m not sure.

“But regardless, we didn’t deal with the situation as well as we could have done and therefore we ended up a few runs short.”

Wells tried in vain to make an early breakthrough, but were let down by some of their fielding as several catches were dropped.

Afzal took advantage of this to score 96 off 115 balls while fellow opener Hussain hit a speedy 74 before Gaffney dismissed him.

The Wells captain finished with 2-22 from six overs as he used nine different bowlers to try and push the opposition close.

Wood chased down the total with 76 balls to spare, but Gaffney revealed the game may have finished even earlier.

He explained: “Harold Wood’s openers batted pretty well, but we did our best we just couldn’t break the partnership.

“We put down a couple of catches which was disappointing, but overall I think we bowled too many bad balls and we got punished for it.

“As you can see from the scorecard, they got the runs fairly quickly, although probably not as quickly as they could have done.

“I think they could have got them faster had we not had the fairly strange situation at the end where they were trying to factor a situation where their opener could get a hundred for about four overs.

“Again not convinced about that one from their perspective and refusing to run runs to ensure he could get a 100 which he ended up failing to do it anyway.

“It was not the best game of cricket, but going forward we have to deal with them situations better than we did on Saturday.”

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