Harold Wood Cricket Club captain Richard Brabner hopeful of success against Woodford Wells in Dukes T20

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 May 2016

Richard Brabner of Harold Wood celebrates taking a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Richard Brabner of Harold Wood celebrates taking a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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Two Essex League Division One rivals go head-to-head in South West Group B clash this evening looking to improve their form

Richard Brabner believes Harold Wood have a lot of players suited to the shortest format of the game ahead of their first Dukes T20 South West Group B match of the campaign against Woodford Wells.

The captain can’t play in the home clash this evening, which starts at 6pm, but is backing his team to deliver against their Essex League Division One rivals.

Wood had to settle for a draw on Saturday when they entertained Fives & Heronians, after letting the visitors go from 93-6 to 253 all out.

Brabner finished on 30 not out as his side battled their way to 193-8 to ensure they weren’t beaten, but they’ll look to impress when they host Wells tonight.

He said: “The club has a lot of good players for the short format of the game. Several our batsmen are very aggressive. I’m sure it will be a really good match with Woodford Wells.

“A lot of our younger players will be excited about the game and the older guys all enjoy this format too. Last year we had quite a few people over to watch so hopefully it is the same again tonight.”

The Wood captain was one of four players to reach 30 on Saturday, but Maruf Chowdhury top scored with just 39.

Craig Perrin made 36 before he was caught and bowled while Shahbaz Khan was dismissed for 34.

Brabner was pleased with his contribution, after claiming 2-47 with the ball as well, but left with mixed emotions.

“Towards the end of our innings we realised we were a little bit too far behind to chase over 250,” said the Harold Wood skipper.

“I think to do that you need somebody in your top four to go on and get a big total and we had quite a few guys get in, but for different reasons they got out and couldn’t go on.

“From my own point of view it was nice to get a few overs under my belt in terms of batting. It has given me a bit more confidence.

“Unfortunately I’m at a Wedding on Saturday so can’t build on that, but it was good to pick up a few wickets and get some runs to contribute.

“Shahbaz might be captain tonight or it could be Tom Clarke, it’ll depend on who is available really, but on Saturday against Upminster Shahbaz is taking the team as he is my vice-captain.”

Wood will hope the short format of the game can help them earn a second win of the 2016 season. Their only success to date was against Division Three outfit Ardleigh Green in the League Cup on April 30.

Brabner’s started the league campaign with a good draw at Southend-on-Sea before losing to Billericay and then drawing against with Fives last weekend.

He added: “In the timed format to chase 250 you need to get off to a good start and we didn’t on Saturday. With this format, you can keep your best bowlers on and if the opposition start to push on you can set defensive fields.

“It can be quite difficult and it is always a challenge to chase, and looking at it - 250 was probably over par. We put down about six or seven chances throughout the innings and that is just too many.

“I’m sure if we had taken them opportunities, we could have restricted them to something closer to 150, but they managed to get a lot more, their number six and eight put on a big partnership.

“The number eight offered us a chance early and we didn’t take it, but after that they both batted really well. We need to learn lessons from Saturday and make sure we put it right, if we can do that I’m sure that first win in the league won’t be too far away.”

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