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T-Rippon Mid-Essex League Premier Division: Jas Hothi impressed with patient innings from Jon O’Neill in Rainham’s win at Rayleigh

PUBLISHED: 15:00 30 May 2018

Rainham's Jon O'Neill (left) and captain Jas Hothi at the crease (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Rainham's Jon O'Neill (left) and captain Jas Hothi at the crease (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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The Spring Farm Park club broke their duck in the top flight, but didn’t do it the easy way with Rayleigh pushing them all the way

Rainham captain Jas Hothi praised Jon O’Neill’s patient innings of 54 in their maiden victory in the T-Rippon Mid-Essex League Premier Division at Rayleigh last weekend.

The away side had failed to claim success in any of their opening three fixtures in the top flight, but ended their winless run on Saturday.

After a poor start, Rainham managed to post 219-9 with O’Neill top scoring and Hothi (35), Rushi Patel (29) and Nikhil Patel (33) all chipping in with vital contributions.

Rayleigh made a good fist of their chase and seemed set to win when Will Wheeler (29) and Ian Bryant (27) were at the crease, but Biren Patel’s 3-40 helped dismiss the hosts for 202 in the penultimate over of the match.

Hothi said: “We were 16-3 and I was thinking it is going to be one of them days again, but we had to dig deep and we just wanted to get to 20 overs first and then take it from there.

“We managed to get a partnership going and I got out at an important stage, but Rushi came in and kept the momentum going.

“Jon batted really well and patiently. I don’t think he will score many slower fifties than Saturday, but it was great and shows how we need to apply ourselves and what is needed from the other batsmen.”

Some late hitting from Nikhil Patel helped Rainham go past 200 and set what looked a decent total.

Hothi did initially want more, but given their poor start, he was content with 219-9, he said: “I thought the pitch was good.

“It was a bit slow, but the outfield was lightning quick, so I probably wanted us to get up to about 240.

“We were happy in the end because at one stage we didn’t look like getting past 170, but Nikhil’s late onslaught helped us get up to 219, so I couldn’t complain.”

Rayleigh made a strong start to their chase, but Bhavik Patel helped turn the tide and give Rainham the initiative.

After more twists and turns, it seemed like the home side were heading for victory with Wheeler and Bryant at the crease.

But opening batsmen Biren Patel was called upon by Hothi and didn’t let his skipper down with three important wickets to inspire a 17-run victory.

Rainham’s captain said: “Rayleigh got off to a flier and were about 70-0, but we managed to get a few wickets and they were 110-4 and then 150-7, but the two guys at the end tipped the game back in their favour.

“I thought it was almost over then and pace on the ball wasn’t working, so I turned to Biren and he did a superb job at the end.”

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