Upminster on top against Orsett in Essex League Division One summit meeting
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Hussain helps Harold Wood to see off Southend
Upminster moved 30 points clear at the top of the Essex League Division One table with a comfortable win over their nearest rivals Orsett.
Half-centuries from openers Shahbaz Butt and Shafiq Rahman set the home side up for a challenging total, after captain Alan Ison chose to bat first.
And all 10 Orsett wickets were shared between spinners Connor Whetstone, Matt Tigg, Rahman and Oliver Peck as Upminster wrapped up a 76-run success.
Butt (61) and Rahman (50) gave the home side a solid platform with a notable first-wicket partnership.
And although Frankie Hazle and Ison were dismissed soon after reaching double figures, there were good contributions in the middle order from Harry Jenkins (31) and young Louis Pickering, who fell six runs short of a half-century.
Whetstone, Tigg and Peck also chipped in to lift the total to 279-8 and Rahman (2-37) made the breakthrough with the ball as he nabbed a quick brace.
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Orsett captain Paul Bennett held firm at the other end, but former Upminster skipper Peck (2-44) picked up a pair of scalps and fellow left-armer Tigg (2-33) also got in on the act with a pair of caught and bowled dismissals.
Bennett eventually fell to leg-spinner Whetstone, who struck twice more to complete a 3-25 haul and dismiss Orsett for 203 in the 46th over.
A seventh successive win sees Upminster firmly in charge at the summit as Ison strives to lead them back to the top flight in his first summer in charge.
Harold Wood produced a good display in the field to dismiss Southend for 197.
Shahbaz Khan (3-38) and Maruf Chowdhury (3-41) struck early with the new ball to reduce the visitors to 7-2, with change bowlers Richard Brabner and Waqas Shafique also having success as Southend found themselves 91-4 in the 23rd over.
Tom Phillipe and Joe Robbins put on a 50-run stand and both scored half-centuries, before falling to Zohran Afzal and Shafique respectively.
The last four Southend wickets fell for 12 runs as they were dismissed in the 47th over and Wood saw Raihan Hussain and Mohammed Shihan (42) race to 99 inside 17 overs in reply.
In-form Craig Perrin (25) then put on 64 with Hussain to take Wood to within 35 runs of their target.
But Hussain fell moments later for 88, having faced 86 balls and hit two sixes and eight fours, and Wood suffered a few middle-order wobbles that saw three more wickets fall.
Khan kept his cool, though, and hit three boundaries as Wood reached their target with four wickets and 12 overs in hand.