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Woodford Wells defend 115 in low-scoring Essex League Dukes T20 South West Group B opener at Harold Wood

PUBLISHED: 10:30 26 May 2016

Action from Harold Wood's Essex League Dukes T20 South West Group B clash with Woodford Wells

Action from Harold Wood's Essex League Dukes T20 South West Group B clash with Woodford Wells

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Essex League Dukes T20 South West Group B: Harold Wood (101 all out) lost to Woodford Wells (115-8) by 14-runs

Woodford Wells edged out Harold Wood in a low-scoring Essex League Dukes T20 South West Group B clash last night (Wednesday).

It was the first match in the shortest format of the game for both teams this season and the slow wicket at Harold Wood Park contributed towards a tight contest.

After losing the toss, Wood restricted their Division One rivals to 115-8, but were unable to chase it down and eventually dismissed for 101 with four balls remaining.

Shahbaz Khan, standing in for the absent Richard Brabner, saw opposite away number Joe Johnson decide to bat first.

He opened the innings alongside Tanveer Shah and it was slow progress as Wood’s skipper and Muhammad Khan produced tight spells first up.

The first change of bowling resulted in Harry Thompson entering the fray and he backed up the good work of his captain by restricting the flow of runs.

Tanveer Shah and Joe Johnson continued to pick off ones and twos while finding the boundary on occasions and brought up a fifty partnership for the first wicket.

But that was brought to an end when Burhan Mahmood was introduced by Shahbaz Khan and dismissed one of the Wells openers in his first over.

He pinned Tanveer Shah lbw for 30 off 32 balls to bring Jack Johnson to the crease with the visitors 59-1.

It wasn’t long before Mahmood was in the wickets again as Joe Johnson was stumped by Stuart Connor for 35 to leave Wells on 76-2 in the 14th over.

Jack Johnson almost followed in identical fashion to his brother when on eight, but Connor missed the stumping off the bowling of Waqas Shafique.

But Wells then suffered a collapse as Mahmood grabbed his third scalp by getting Farzand Shah lbw for five.

Shafique dismissed Matthew Nobes and Tevin Sterling, both for ducks, in the 17th over to leave the away side struggling on 89-5 with just 24 balls remaining.

Jack Johnson took it upon himself to get his team up to a competitive total and creamed two fours off Billy Mortimer’s first over.

But the Wood bowler had the last laugh as the Wells number three picked out Craig Sampson to depart for 25 off 31 balls.

Shahbaz Khan brought himself on at the death and it would prove to be a wise decision as he bowled Charles Scott and Alex Gilbert in quick succession.

Number nine Tim Jolly smacked two fours off Mortimer’s last over, however, to finish on 12 not out and get Wells up to 115-8 from their 20.

It looked well within reach for the hosts, but they would have to battle against a fading light in addition to a slow surface.

Similar to the visitors, Wood made measured progress first up as Raihan Hussain was watchful in the first over.

Opening partner Mahmood wasn’t, though, as he smashed six off his first ball, but soon departed after picking out a fielder off the bowling of Gilbert.

Wells realised this was their chance to get on top and Usman Sahar bowled Craig Perrin for one before captain Shahbaz Khan followed him back to the pavilion.

The Wood skipper was harshly adjudged to be out lbw off the bowling of Gilbert for one to leave his team on 26-3.

Hussain and number five Craig Sampson began to rebuild the innings, although the latter was visibly struggling with a back injury.

But the pair carried on and the hosts’ opener was looking more comfortable at the crease after hitting a couple of boundaries.

Wood brought up their fifty, although Sampson had a close shave when he was nearly run-out, but after some confusion it was confirmed as not out.

Just before the end of the 12th over disaster struck for the home team as Hussain picked out Farzand Shah off the bowling of Tanveer Shah.

He went for 29 off 29 balls and the 35-run partnership for the fourth wicket was finally broken by Wells.

The scoring rate of Wood began to slow now and it wasn’t long before Tanveer Shah got rid of Sampson for 17 with conditions getting worst out in the middle.

It was left to Connor and Mortimer to try and get their team home, and with five overs remaining they needed 35 runs to get the points.

Just as the duo were beginning to get accustomed to the poor light, Connor was stumped by Jack Johnson as Tanveer Shah’s spell was proving to be devastating.

Nobes then virtually ended any hopes Wood had of winning the game by dismissing Ajay Sahni and Mortimer cheaply.

Shahbaz Khan’s men were on 87-8 with 18 balls left needing 29 more runs to secure a second win of the season in all competitions.

Thompson gave them some hope by picking off a few singles with Nobes losing his direction and bowling a couple of wides.

But Wood’s number 10 was caught for seven and Sahar returned to bowl Muhammad Khan in the final over of the match in dark and gloomy conditions to give Wells a 14-run opening win in Group B.

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