Bowler Panesar says promotion may be too soon for Shenfield

PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 August 2019

Monty Panesar of Shenfield (L) looks on during Upminster CC vs Shenfield CC (batting), Shepherd Neame Essex League Cricket at Upminster Park on 18th May 2019

Monty Panesar of Shenfield (L) looks on during Upminster CC vs Shenfield CC (batting), Shepherd Neame Essex League Cricket at Upminster Park on 18th May 2019

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Former England International bowler Monty Panesar feels another season in Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One could help Shenfield’s young side blossom.

Roy Smith's side make the short trip to Gidea Park & Romford on Saturday as they look to get back to winning ways and remain in the promotion hunt with two fixtures remaining.

The Chelmsford Road outfit currently sit third in the table, just 10 points behind Woodford Wells in second place.

Although experienced bowler Panesar is not sure going up to Premier Division would benefit the young side following his experiences of playing at that level with Hornchurch last season.

"It's a young team, I played in the Premier with Hornchurch last year and I don't think we are ready to get promoted," the 37-year-old said.

"We are not strong enough. We need another year in this league to understand our game.

"It's a good Division One team, but the Premier is a lot stronger."

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The left-arm spinner does however feel they still have a very good chance of bagging second place although losing by three wickets to leaders Colchester last weekend may have made it a harder challenge.

"We still have a chance, but it will be difficult. Saturday was a big game and we lost," he added.

Shenfield will then host Woodford Wells in the final match of the season which could be a winner-takes-all match - depending on the results this weekend.

Last weekend they were put into bat by Colchester and lost Jack Kliber to a second-ball duck and Max Bear followed soon after to make it 12-2, but Jack Potticary put on 61 with Ollie Ekers.

Captain Smith and Tom Ballington fell in quick succession, with Ekers eventually dismissed for 72 to leave the hosts 128-6.

Tom Austin (32), Khail Muhammad (44 not out) and Rob Petchey (20 not out) scored quick runs late on to lift the total to 224-7, but Colchester got off to a flying start as Feroze Ahmed hit 35 off 17 balls, including eight fours.

Panesar made the breakthrough, but Joe MacGregor (40) then put on 91 with Guy Haines before falling to Ballington.

Panesar (2-72) picked up a second scalp, with Muhammad (2-46) also nabbing a brace, but the visitors reached their target in the 44th over of their reply with three wickets in hand.

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