Essex League: Harold Wood get better of Gidea Park & Romford

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 September 2017

Maruf Chowdhury of Harold Wood (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Maruf Chowdhury of Harold Wood (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Harold Wood got the better of Gidea Park & Romford in their Division One derby to ensure their safety, while leaving their neighbours to face a nervous final day of the season.

Put into bat, Wood lost Afra Malik without scoring and Craig Perrin for just four runs as visiting captain Jamal Francis struck early blows with the new ball.

Francis also accounted for Raihan Hussain, but Mdaminul Isalm Shihan (22) and Shahbaz Khan made starts for the hosts.

Wood were indebted to their middle order, though, as Maruf Chowdhury (40), Hamzah Ikram (52 not out), Craig Sampson (42) and Wasim Khalid (36 not out) combined to see them close on 229-7 after 45 overs.

Francis finished with 5-33 from his 14-over spell, but Park saw Zisan Abedin, Michael Pegram and Mahmudul Hassan all fall cheaply in reply.

Kasi How (30) had some support from Francis, but Wood kept taking wickets at regular intervals, as Khan (2-22), Chowdhury (2-31) and Khaliid (2-11) impressed.

Sam Hewitt and number 10 Aditya Kumar (23) were the only other Park batsmen to make it into double figures as they were eventually dismissed for 110 in 35 overs, with Joe Stallibrass (3-28) the pick of Wood’s attack.

Victory leaves Wood 31 points clear of the drop zone, while Park have a 17-point advantage over the bottomm two of South Woodford and Harlow, as they prepare to visit promotion hopefuls Billericay next weekend.

Park need to collect nine points to be sure of avoiding relegation, as South Woodford and Harlow meet in a match where the winners could yet pull off a great escape.

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