SNEL Premier: Brentwood, Wanstead both win; Hornchurch chase at Chingford
PUBLISHED: 19:02 31 August 2019 | UPDATED: 19:02 31 August 2019
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Brentwood will take a 16-point lead at the top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division into the final day of the season after beating Belhus.
And nearest rivals Wanstead, after winning their derby with relegated Ilford, must hope the table-toppers slip up at home against Chingford as they themselves visit Hornchurch to have any chance of snatching the title from their grasp.
Belhus captain Joe Joyce chose to bat after winning the toss and put on 106 for the first wicket with Matt Doran.
But Ian Belchamber made the breakthrough, dismissing Joyce for 43, and Charlie Griffiths struck at the other end soon after.
Doran (69) also fell to Belchamber (2-58), with Griffiths (2-49) getting rid of former Brentwood player Max Osborne to make it 119-4.
Tom Oakley (4-22) then took centre stage for Brentwood, claiming the next four wickets to fall before Ben Allison got in on the act as the hosts closed on 184-9.
Brentwood lost Guy Balmford to a duck in reply but captain Aaron West (30) put on 60 with Will Buttleman, who added another 74 with Jack Hebron.
Buttleman hit two sixes and nine fours in his 76, but Tom Oakley and Joe Buttleman fell cheaply to leave Brentwood 153-5.
James Redwood gave support to Hebron, who finished unbeaten on 53, from 53 balls, having hit 10 fours, as Brentwood sealed a five-wicket win in the 36th over.
Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal chose to bat first against Ilford and Arfan Akram hit a run-a-ball 33 in a 56-run opening stand with Tom Cummins before falling to Prahathen Jayarooban.
Cummins hit three sixes and 15 fours on his way to 106 off 95 balls, putting on 142 for the second wicket with Robin Das.
And Das had support from captain Ellis-Grewal (25) as he went on to score an unbeaten 100 from 115 balls, with two sixes and 11 fours, to lead Wanstead to 296-7 declared in 50 overs.
Jayarooban (2-69), Kamaljit Singh (2-68) and Kanchana Dassanayake (2-31) nabbed braces for Ilford, who saw Haaris Ayub fall to Ellis-Grewal after a 45-run opening stand with new captain Nigel Jacobs.
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Zain Shahzad dismissed Jacobs three runs short of a rapid half-century and also accounted for Mohammad Ahktar, Akash Raji and Hamza Muhammad in quick succession to leave Ilford 86-5.
Ellis-Grewal dismissed Harsh Kumar for a duck without addition to the total, but Akhil Anil and Kalpesh Chandracant rallied with a 74-run stand.
Anil hit seven fours in his 39 off 32 balls before offering a return catch to Ellis-Grewal, who then picked up his fourth wicket to leave Ilford 181-8.
Chandracant went on to reach 55 off just 61 balls, hitting two sixes and six fours before falling to Ellis-Grewal (5-63), as Shahzad finished with 4-71, before Naiveedyam Dwivedi claimed the final wicket to wrap up an 87-run win.
Last year's champions Hornchurch were sent into the field at Chingford but Billy Gordon dismissed the dangerous Alfie Taylor for a duck and saw new-ball partner Merv Westfield (2-27) strike twice at the other end to leave the hosts 31-3.
A 52-run stand for the fourth wicket was broken by Jas Bassan (4-58) who proved the pick of the Hornchurch bowling, with Mehad Khan also getting in on the act as Chingford closed on 214-9.
Jamie Sorrell put on 72 for the first Hornchurch wicket with Ronnie Saunders, who hit a six and 12 fours in his innings of 73.
But the visitors slipped from 114-1 to 119-4 as Saunders, Billy Gordon and Kieran Scarlioli departed in quick succession, leaving Merv Westfield and Michael Bones to rebuild the innings.
And they combined to great effect in an unbroken 100-run stand to seal victory in the 53rd over, with Westfield finishing unbeaten on 54 from 69 balls, as Bones reached 46 off 54 balls.
Billericay lost by 31 runs at Buckhurst Hill, where they were sent into the field and struck at regular intervals to dismiss the home side for 200 in the 64th over.
Ross Poulton (4-56) finished as the pick of the bowling, as Andy Smith (2-23), Robert Rayner (2-26), David Houghton and Darren Ironside also had success.
But Nathan Khelawon fell early in reply, with captain Lee Knight and Ironside following to successive balls from Thomas Kelsey (3-23) as they slumped to 30-3.
Wickets continued to fall at regular intervals to leave them 98-7, before Ross Poulton got support from Andy Smith (37 off 32) in a 56-run stand.
Poulton fell to Hendro Puchert (3-33) for a top score of 44 with the Billericay total on 164, though, and Dhanosh Kaludewa (3-53) sealed victory or Buckhurst Hill moments later.