Mid-Essex League Division One: Jas Hothi thankful Rainham didn’t blow chance to overtake rivals Aythorpe Roding
PUBLISHED: 10:30 31 August 2017
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Spring Farm Park club edged out relegated South Weald by one wicket after mixing up batting line-up last weekend
Jas Hothi was relieved Rainham survived a late collapse to defeat South Weald by one wicket in the Mid-Essex League Division One on Saturday, especially after finding out results elsewhere after the win.
Aythorpe Roding’s loss at Tillingham meant the Spring Farm Park club leapfrogged their rivals at the weekend and claimed first spot with only one fixture left this season.
Having dismissed South Weald for 200, Rainham got over the line with Hothi and Garnet Shallow, their usual openers, seeing them home batting at number 10 and 11.
“We mixed it up. We said before the game did everyone want to do it and we agreed, but I didn’t expect it to turn out like it did,” admitted the captain.
“I think we were cruising at one stage on 142-3 and I was umpiring at this point, so didn’t ever imagine it would go so close.
“One of the umpires we had pulled out on Thursday, so I had to do it for a bit and let Jon (O’Neill) sort the batting line-up.
“Garnet wanted to go 11 and I thought I would stick myself at 10, but I never expected it to go how it did and was just relieved we won in the end.
“We came in ecstatic after winning by one wicket and then the news that Tillingham had beaten Aythorpe Roding came through, so we were even more jubilant.”
In the field, O’Neill yet again caught the eye with stunning figures of 3-10 off his seven overs, while Hothi picked up 2-18.
Abdul Altak (3-41) also proved dangerous, as South Weald only made 200 despite Danny Buttleman hitting 103.
One positive from the change in batting line-up was the chance to see Tom Herbert open the batting.
The wicket-keeper usual comes in at eight or nine, but took his opportunity at the top by scoring a run-a-ball 63.
Hothi added: “Tom normally only bats at eight, but he has been begging me to give him a chance and to be fair to him, he has given me a real selection headache going into the weekend because he batted beautifully.
“South Weald have some excellent bowlers, so I am surprised they have gone down, but Tom did really well for his run-a-ball 63.
“I have a lot of thinking to do now to decide who opens the batting this weekend, but whoever does will deliver.”
Herbert’s half century aside, no other Rainham player passed 26 with Sid Patel (19), Rushi Patel (20), Adam Savery (23) and Dipal Patel (26) all making starts.
In the end it was left to Hothi (17*) and Shallow (six*) to see their team home with seven overs to spare.
He said: “It was weird to look up at the scoreboard and know if we lost a wicket that was it and the game was over.
“We just knew we had to wait for the bad balls and we are both very level-headed, so we stayed cool.
“It was all about being patient and we did that and I can’t think of a better number 11 than Garnet!
“With Aythorpe losing we would have been gutted had we lost, so it was nice win and we all can’t wait for Saturday now at home to Burnham Sports.”