Cricket: Hornchurch maintain hold on top spot

PUBLISHED: 21:11 28 July 2018 | UPDATED: 21:11 28 July 2018

Monty Panesar of Hornchurch celebrates with teammates (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Monty Panesar of Hornchurch celebrates with teammates (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Hornchurch maintained their two-point lead at the top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division with a seven-wicket win over Southend.

The visitors chose to bat first at Harrow Lodge Park and saw their openers make a solid start.

But Mehad Khan made the breakthrough with two wickets in quick succession and former England Test spinner Monty Panesar (3-32) added three more scalps to leave Southend 71-5.

Muhammad Irfan got in on the act to claim the sixth Southend wicket with the score on 85, with Marc Whitlock (2-39) nabbing a brace to leave them 120-8.

The tail wagged a little bit, with a 46-run stand for the ninth wicket holding Hornchurch up until Khan (3-24) struck again and Michael Bones run out last man Ihsaan Syed-Hussain to end the innings on 167.

Hornchurch lost Jamie Sorrell cheaply in reply and were also delayed after the sightscreen was blown over by high winds.

Captain Billy Gordon (21) put on 53 with Bones (33), before Zeeshan Khan and Roy Smith shared an unbroken 78-run stand to seal victory in the 31st over.

Khan was unbeaten on 31 at the close, while Smith hit six fours in his 48 not out off just 40 balls.

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