Upminster find Wright stuff
PUBLISHED: 21:54 13 June 2015 | UPDATED: 21:54 13 June 2015
Second string ease to success
Upminster’s second XI claimed a comfortable win at picturesque Castle Park on a grey, drizzly day, after some bowling heroics from Billy Wright.
Fourth-team captain Wright, having picked up a pair of wickets in a draw at Chingford on his first call-up a week earlier, claimed three in one over to turn the match Upminster’s way.
And he added a fourth scalp thanks to a caught and bowled effort, as Colchester slipped from 121-2 to 168-9.
Although the home side’s last-wicket pair lifted the total to 193, it was below-par on a good pitch and Upminster went on to seal a seven-wicket win after a fine innings from the returning Andrew D’cruz.
Captain Nick Ison won the toss and had little hesitation in putting the hosts into bat under gloomy skies, with the threat of rain in the air.
Andrew Berry made the breakthrough with the new ball as Elliot Bussey held onto a low catch at mid-on, then struck for a second time with a leg before decision to leave Colchester 70-2.
Opener Greg De Silva, dropped by Frank Hazel early on, and Mark Gaisford looked largely unpeturbed in a 51-run stand, though, as the hosts set a decent platform for the second half of their innings.
But Upminster wrested back control after the drinks break, as Wright – with his ‘busy’ action – trapped Gaisford, Chris Wheeler and Gareth Fisher all in front of their stumps in the space of five balls to leave the hosts rocking.
Mark D’cruz returned for a second spell, after beating the outside edge several times with the new ball, to claim some deserved reward when bowling Shane Lottering.
But there was no taking the spotlight off Wright as he got in the way of a full-blooded drive from home skipper Nick Gibbs, having bowled a full toss, to block the ball with his right forearm before instinctively grabbing it with his left hand.
That made it 141-7, but De Silva got some support from number nine Andrew Cairns, before falling 11 runs short of his century as Hazel made amends for his earlier spill by holding on to a steepling catch off the bowling of captain Ison.
Hazel then swooped to run out Cairns to leave the hosts nine down, before Shuan Hassan and Steve Green provided some late defiance.
D’cruz, having been hit back over his head by no.11 Green, saw wicketkeeper Adam Quested pouch a top edge from the very next ball to end Colchester’s innings four balls early on 193.
And the visitors made a solid start in reply through Myles Timoti and Andrew D’cruz, who was making his first appearance of the summer.
The pair put on 68, with Timoti hitting one glorious cover drive to the boundary and another through mid-on along with four other fours for his 34, before top-edging leg-spinner Hassan.
Hazel survived a close call to hit five fours in a well-paced 35 off 43 balls before finally edging one behind, after an 85-run stand with D’cruz left Upminster just 41 short of their target with 15 overs remaining.
Jack O’Dowd followed without troubling the scorers, but Bussey helped D’cruz finish the job in the 41st over.
And D’cruz finished unbeaten on 90, having faced 133 deliveries and struck 11 fours in an impressive innings of concentration, to send the visitors home in high spirits.