Key wins for Harold Wood, Billericay in Essex League Division One
PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 August 2016
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Rivals maintain promotion and survival hopes
Harold Wood maintained their hopes of promotion in Essex League Division One with a seven-wicket win over Harlow.
Richard Brabner’s men remain in third place, three points behind Southend, in the race to join champions Upminster in the top flight next season heading into the last two matches of the summer.
And they host Orsett in their penultimate match, before a closing-day trip to Hadleigh.
Brabner put the hosts into bat after winning the toss and saw new-ball bowlers Maruf Chowdhury and Shahbaz Khan pick up a wicket apiece to make it 39-2.
Waqas Shafique dismissed the dangerous Ahmed Khawaja with the score on 77, before a 57-run stand for the fourth wicket held Wood up.
Young leg-spinner Zohran Afzal made the breakthrough, with Chowdhury (4-67) picking up three more wickets in his second spell to make it 166-7.
A 61-run stand for the eighth wicket helped Harlow reach 233-8, though, and give Wood’s batsmen something to think about.
And the visitors lost Mdaminul Isalm Shihan to a fifth-ball duck, with Craig Perrin following cheaply to leave them 37-2.
Raihan Hussain and Khan put on 126 for the third wicket, though, to put Wood firmly on track, before the latter was run out for 67, having hit nine fours in his 76-ball innings.
New batsman Chowdhury then launched an attack that saw him hit two sixes and four fours to finish unbeaten on 45 from just 26 deliveries, while Hussain reached exactly 100 not out from 113 balls, with 12 fours, as Wood reached their target in the 42nd over.
Billericay claimed an important win over Hadleigh in their battle to avoid relegation back to Essex League Division Two.
David Houghton put Hadleigh into bat after winning the toss, but the visiting openers put on 68 before Andy Smith made the breakthrough.
A second wicket fell soon after thanks to a run out and Smith claimed his second wicket to make it 115-3 in the 31st over.
Ross Poulton then got in on the act, before Smith (4-41) took two wickets in three balls to make it 140-6.
And Poulton (4-32) then claimed two wickets in the 46th over, which also saw Hadleigh suffer another run out, before wrapping up the innings on 160 with his fourth scalp.
In-form Nick Van Lint fell for 13 in reply, with David Hinnigan and Houghton following to leave them 49-3.
Paul Martin dug in to score 27 from 82 balls, before he was fourth man out with the total on 88, but Ross Poulton had support from Chris Tait and Lee Knight as his unbeaten 65, which included a six and eight fours, steered Billericay to their target.
Victory lifted Billericay up to fifth place in the table, but they are still only 22 points above the relegation zone with two matches remaining.