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Upminster draw positives in Essex League Division One

PUBLISHED: 09:00 23 May 2016

Woodford Green v Upmister with Upminster batting

Woodford Green v Upmister with Upminster batting

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Harold Wood, Billericay dig in to deny rivals

Richard Brabner of Harold Wood celebrates taking a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Richard Brabner of Harold Wood celebrates taking a wicket (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Upminster had to settle for a draw as Essex League Division One rivals Southend survived with eight wickets down at Southchurch Park.

Captain Alan Ison chose to bat after winning the toss and saw Shahbaz Butt hit his third century of the season in a notable opening stand with Shafiq Rahman (66).

Frankie Hazle (34) also made a start, but Ison fell cheaply and it was left to vice-captain Harry Jenkins (26 not out) to steer Upminster to 282-6 after 50 overs.

Will Chuter and John Curtis had early success with the ball in Southend’s reply to reduce the hosts to 21-3.

Maruf Chowdhury of Harold Wood (pic: Ray Lawrence/TGSPHOTO)Maruf Chowdhury of Harold Wood (pic: Ray Lawrence/TGSPHOTO)

Connor Whetstone (3-88) then made inroad into the middle order and Matt Tigg (2-37) nabbed a brace to raise Upminster hopes of victory.

But Callum Druce held firm for the home side and was unbeaten on 64 as they closed on 204-8.

Harold Wood held on for a draw against Fives & Heronians in their latest outing.

Wood captain Richard Brabner won the toss and put the visitors into bat, with Maruf Chowdhury taking three early wickets to reduce Fives to 17-3.

Terry Ballard and captain Ben Britton (21) steadied the ship with a 56-run stand, before Brabner dismissed his opposite number.

And Brabner then sent Ballard back, after he had hit 40 from 53 balls, to leave Fives 84-5.

Chowdhury claimed his fourth scalp of the innings soon after, but Fives were rescued by a seventh-wicket stand between Greg Summers and Ali Raza, who put on 102.

Summers hit 10 fours in his 65, before becoming Chowdhury’s fifth victim with the total on 195.

Wood’s young leg-spinner Zohran Afzal then got in on the act, but Raza went on to reach 84, from 88 balls, having hit three sixes and 10 fours to help Fives reach 253.

Chowdhury ended his innings to finish with 6-74, but Wood lost openers Chris Bennett and Raihan Hussain with just four runs on the board in reply as Irfan Sahar and Summers struck four balls apart.

Craig Perrin (36) put on 76 for the third wicket with Shahbaz Khan, before offering a return catch to Wood old boy Sarfaraz Ahmed.

And Ahmed dismissed Khan (34) and Craig Sampson without scoring soon after to leave the home side 97-5 after 20 overs.

Chowdhury and Brabner steadied the ship for Wood, but Ahmed struck for a fourth time, soon after a drinks break, to dismiss Chowdhury for 39 and make it 134-6.

And after a seventh Wood wicket fell with the score on 164, Ahmed (5-47) completed his five-wicket haul by bowling Umar Farooq.

But Brabner held firm at the other end and was unbeaten on 30 as Wood closed on 193-8 for the draw.

Billericay’s trip to Harlow also ended with honours even as their last-wicket pair held on for a draw.

The home side had solid contributions from their top four to set up a score of 237, as Adam Marchant (4-57) proved the pick of Billericay’s bowling.

The visitors were 0-2 after just four balls of their reply and lost a third wicket with only 16 on the board.

Captain David Houghton (26) and Christopher Tait (43) steadied the ship with a 57-run stand, before Lee Knight supported Ross Poulton in a 70-run partnership for the sixth wicket.

Poulton hit a six and 11 fours in his 78, but was out with Billericay still 41 runs short of their target and it was left to Gary Hynes and last man Robert Rayner to block out Harlow late on as they closed on 213-9.

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