Upminster maintain pole position; Harold Wood ease to win

PUBLISHED: 09:00 04 July 2016

Alan Ison in batting action for Upminster at Woodford Wells (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Alan Ison in batting action for Upminster at Woodford Wells (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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Billericay slump to defeat on the coast

Shahbaz Butt in batting action for Upminster (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Shahbaz Butt in batting action for Upminster (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Upminster maintained their hold on top spot in Essex League Division One with victory over Harlow in a rain-affected clash.

Captain Alan Ison put the visitors into bat and saw Will Chuter strike two early blows with the new ball.

Louis Pickering also had success, as Ison pouched two catches, to leave Harlow three down, but Ahmed Khawaja and Ubaid Ur Rehman Kiani then hit half-centuries to set up a useful total.

Both batsmen eventually fell to left-arm spinner Matt Tigg (2-47), but Harlow reached 254-5 at the end of their 50 overs.

Shahbaz Khan celebrates a wicket for Harold Wood (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Shahbaz Khan celebrates a wicket for Harold Wood (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Shahbaz Butt (50) and Shafiq Rahman (46) got Upminster off to a solid start in reply, before rain began to fall with the total on 120-2 in the 26th over.

After an 80-minute delay, the home side were set a revised target of 194 in 38 overs and lost Frankie Hazle soon after the restart.

But Ison held firm and steered his men to a seven-wicket win with 11 balls to spare, finishing unbeaten on 64 alongside vice-captain Harry Jenkins.

Victory sees Upminster reach the midway point of the season with a 16-point lead over Orsett at the summit.

Harold Wood claimed a comfortable five-wicket win over Hadleigh in their meeting.

Captain Richard Brabner put the visitors into bat and saw Shahbaz Khan (3-16) strike with the second ball of the match, before picking up two more scalps to make it 17-3.

Brabner (2-38) ended a dogged fourth-wicket stand and claimed another victim after Waqas Shafique had got in on the act to leave Hadleigh in trouble at 79-6.

And Shafique produced a run out for the seventh wicket, before young leg-spinner Zohran Afzal got some reward for a controlled 10-over spell that yielded jsut 24 runs.

Maruf Chowdhury (2-28) mopped up with the last two wickets to end the innings on 141 in the 43rd over, before Raihan Hussain set the tone in Wood’s reply.

Burham Mahmood and Craig Perrin gave support, as Hussain hit a six and eight fours in his 49 off just 32 balls as Wood raced to 87-3.

And although the home side lost two more wickets, Khan (24 not out) and Chowdhury (20 not out) maintained the high-scoring tempo as they reached their target in only the 22nd over.

Billericay slumped to a 95-run loss at Southend, after producing a solid display in the field to hold the home side to 170-9.

Gary Hunes, Greg Hammond and Stuart Hynes all nabbed braces for the visitors, but they were soon in trouble as Ashleigh McCafftery wreaked havoc to reduce them to 22-5.

Ross Poulton, Paul Martin and Gary Hynes managed to reach double figures for Billericay, but McCafferty finished with 6-33 as they were skittled for just 75.

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