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Hornchurch land spot at T20 finals day

PUBLISHED: 08:00 07 July 2017 | UPDATED: 08:32 07 July 2017

Hornchurch cricket team (Pic: Jacob Ranson)

Hornchurch cricket team (Pic: Jacob Ranson)

Archant

Hornchurch booked their place at the Dukes Essex T20 finals day with a close three-run victory over Shenfield in their quarter-final tie.

The home side lost the toss and were put into bat first – but the partnership of Paul Murray (28) and Chris Sains (28) got them off to a good start with the pair both hitting four fours each and the later also smacking a six.

They were pegged back when Murray was run out by Shenfield’s Haris Mahmood and Sains was caught out by the opposition skipper Jack Kliber.

Soon after Hornchurch captain Billy Gordon (5) fell cheaply to Arshad Ali to make it 36-1.

Roy Smith (49) dug deep and got the home side out of a rut by hitting three fours and one six and formed a strong partnership with Michael Bones (26) who hit three fours before falling to Harsh Kumar (2-21) to make it 141-5.

Hornchurch’s Mehad Khan and Marc Whitlock both managed a run each to finish their 20 overs at 144-5.

In reply Shenfield got themselves off to a flying start and found themselves 42-1 in four overs, with Jack Potticary (36) and Ali (14) forming a strong partnership, before Ali was caught off Mark James.

Potticary went on to hit seven fours to keep the visitors in the chase, but Hornchurch’s Zeeshan Khan (3-13) managed to put his side back on top by claiming the wickets ofShenfield’s Ollie Ekers (24), Haris Mahmood (10) and Jack Kliber (7) to make it 95-5.

It was a nervy finish, though, with the visitors seeing Tom Ballington (4) run out, before Ryan Plom (26) and Harsh Kumar (15) added crucial runs to make the last two overs interesting.

Kumar was run out by Mehad Khan and team-mate Mike Hindley (0) was bowled by Khan from his first ball.

Plom dug deep and Richard Abson-Bennett came in at 140-8 for the final throw of the dice but only managed one run leaving his side short and meaning Hornchurch squeezed through to the finals.

Hornchurch captain Gordon said: “It’s brilliant, it was a close game and at first we didn’t think we’d got enough runs to be honest, but I can’t fault the lads, the effort in the field and the bowling was brilliant.

“We defended our modest total really, so I couldn’t ask for more.

“‘Z’ bowled one of the best spells in Twenty20 that I’ve seen, he just keep it so tight they couldn’t get them away. All the lads chipped in though and we bowled really well.”

Hornchurch will now face Upminster in the Twenty20 semi-finals.

“Yeah it’s a nice local derby against Upminster in the semis, so that will be good and you never know what could happen on the day.”

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