Essex League Premier Division: Hornchurch captain Billy Gordon excited about format switch and chance to use pink ball
PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 June 2018
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After a draw at Chingford last weekend, Hornchurch head to 2017 champions Chelmsford looking forward to playing 50-over games
Hornchurch captain Billy Gordon knows it would be foolish for his team to take defending Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division champions Chelmsford lightly on Saturday.
The two clubs meet at Chelmer Park in the first of nine 50-over games where sides will wear coloured kits and use a pink ball.
Chelmsford have struggled in the opening five weeks of the new season and sit eighth in the table, but Gordon praised their quality.
He said: “I know quite a few of their squad and I think they have lost a few players and the Clifford brothers (Ben and James) are injured, so they will be a miss, but it is always a tough place to visit.
“I don’t think I have ever won there as a player because their pitch is quite difficult and they know how to play on it.
“We do have a very good side this year, though, and after the weekend we will go in with more confidence, especially with the bat now a few of us have got runs, so we back ourselves to win.”
Hornchurch were involved in a thrilling contest at Chingford last Saturday and saw the match go right down to the last over.
The hosts needed six to win, but struggled against Hornchurch’s new overseas bowler Muhammad Irfan (3-58) and it ended in a draw.
After being made to bat first, Hornchurch produced a strong effort and posted 259-9 from 64 overs.
Jamie Sorrell hit a patient 61 off 103 balls and captain Gordon added 54 from 117 balls, before wicket-keeper Michel Bones gave the visitors some much-needed late impetus with a rapid unbeaten 65.
Both teams pushed for the win in reply and Chingford looked on course for glory before Irfan stopped them in their tracks and it finished as a draw with the hosts on 258-7.
The Essex League format will now switch from all-day cricket to 50-over games and all-rounder Gordon is excited about batting on Saturday.
He added: “It should be good fun and especially for batsmen because the pink ball absolutely flies.
“It swings for about two overs, so the poor seam bowlers don’t have much to work with, but it will be interesting.
“It is something different and a few of the boys are happy about a later start too rather than getting to the ground at nine, so we are looking forward to it.”