Fives get better of Billericay in Essex League Division One
PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 August 2016
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Woodford Wells, Loughton come up short on travels
Fives & Heronians were emphatic 121-run winners over Billericay in their Essex League Division One showdown at The Paddock.
Both sides were promoted last season, but have found life at the higher level somewhat difficult this summer and are flirting with a quick return to Division Two.
Fives gave their survival hopes a boost, though, as victory saw them cut the gap on Billericay above them and safety to five points.
Fives captain Ben Britton chose to bat after winning the toss and saw Gary Norris hit 13 fours in his 65 off just 49 balls.
Fahad Iqbal struck 11 boundaries on his way to 87, off 99 balls, and Jake Poulter hit a six and 14 fours to finish unbeaten on 105 from 111 balls as the runs piled up.
Gary Hynes (2-74) and Adam Marchant (2-87) nabbed braces for Billericay’s underfire attack, but the visitors were never really in the hunt in reply.
Openers Paul Martin (21) and David Hinnigan (33) made starts, with captain David Houghton (24), Ross Poulton (44) and Lee Knight (38) also getting in, but none could go on and make the big score needed as they were dismissed for 206.
Bowling honours were shared between Fahad Iqbal (2-23), Sarfaraz Ahmed (2-30), Poulter (2-37) and Ali Raza (2-39) as Fives completed a comprehensive victory.
Woodford Wells came up short in their mid-table meeting with Hadleigh.
Sent into the field after losing the toss, Wells were made to work hard for their wickets.
Hadleigh’s openers put on 45 in a solid start, before Nabel Shaikh finally made the breakthrough.
But a 94-run stand followed, before Jonathan Gaffney got in on the act.
George Ellis was the next to strike, to make it 165-3, and Louis Poynter ended the resistance of opener Paul Tibbenham (76) soon after.
Poynter (2-46) picked up a second scalp, before Gareth James (2-65) nabbed a late brace and Ellis (2-42) grabbed his second victim as Hadleigh closed on 256-8.
Wells lost Jack Johnson cheaply in reply, with captain Joe Johnson (20) dismissed with the score on 42.
But Australian import Michael Arblaster put on 107 for the third wicket with Tanveer Shah, hitting nine fours in his 67 from 95 balls.
Shah held firm as wickets continued to fall at the other end, with Luke Clarke and Shaikh both reaching double figures.
But his efforts proved in vain and he was eventually dismissed from the penultimate ball of the match for 88, having hit two sixes and five fours in a 103-ball innings, as Wells went down by 12 runs.
Loughton remain rooted to the bottom of the table after a 40-run defeat at Southend.
The visitors were sent into the field after losing the toss at Southchurch Park, but Jordan Ramsden claimed a wicket in the fifth over.
It proved a false dawn, though, as Southend’s second-wicket pair put on 139, before Taqi Abbas removed Oliver Wagstaff.
Phil Gray went on to reach 107 before he became a second victim for Abbas, with Southend’s total on 206.
And Abbas also accounted for Tom Phillippe and Joe Robbins in the space of three balls as the hosts slipped to 217-5 in the 44th over.
Some late fireworks from Matthew Wagstaff allowed the home side to reach 294-8, although Abbas finished with fine figures of 6-59 for Loughton.
Ashfaq Parvez fell without scoring in reply, but Nishad Gabhawala (23) put on 52 with Vikrant Venkatesan, who his eight fours in his 56 before he was third man out with the total on 113.
Bilal Butt fell cheaply, with Mahmad Ali Khail following him back to the pavilion after hitting a six and four fours in his 43 to leave Loughton 139-5.
Vithullan Sapaetharan chipped in with 24, before captain Asim Aslam dominated a 63-run stand with Harry Watson, hitting a six and four fours in his 36-ball 47.
But Loughton were always up against it and came up well short of their target on 254-9, taking eight points in defeat.