1st XI vs Colchester (Away) – League.
Colchester 105 all out from 40.2 overs.
Chelmsford 109/4 from 22.4 overs.
Chelmsford win by 6 wickets.
Chelmsford Cruise Past Colchester to Catapult to the Top of the League Table!
Both sides met at Castle Park, the home of Colchester Cricket Club, in the morning of a bleak and damp Saturday, 10th July. Due to the weather, which consisted of patches of light rain and winds, the covers were still on for the scheduled 11am start. Therefore, a delayed time was set and play eventually began at roughly half past twelve.
Chelmsford named a squad with two changes. Aaron Beard came in for opening batsman Dan Hagen, who missed out due to COVID isolation protocol and 2nd XI star James Liddiard replaced spinner Ben Waring, who was unavailable due to national county commitments with Hertfordshire. So, Chelmsford took just the one spinner to Castle Park in James Clifford.
After the covers were taken off at midday Colchester's opening batsmen, Joe MacGregor and Feroze Ahmed, headed out to the crease whilst Chelmsford's Aaron Beard took the new rock and limbered up to open the bowling for the away side. With Colchester getting two runs from the first over, Liam Keaney opened the bowling from the other end and claimed the first wicket of the game in what was just the ninth ball. Keaney put one into the dirt which nipped up causing MacGregor to react and edge it to Oliver Devenish in second slip, who took a brilliant diving catch to secure the wicket. Colchester were off to poor start at 3/1 after the first two overs.
Dan Wolf joined Ahmed and made 7 runs off 20 balls before he was bewildered by Keaney's bowling as a leading edge landed into the hands of James Clifford, after another great diving catch from a Chelmsford fielder. With the hosts at 19/2, Simon Fernandes was the next batsman in but he didn't form a partnership with Ahmed as the opener departed in the next over; finely edging one to keeper Brad Green off Andy Styan's first over, for 4 runs off 21 balls.
Charlie Fernandes headed to the crease but again no partnership could be formed for Colchester as S. Fernandes was out in the next over. Keaney charged in and delivered an exact ball which had Wolf out two overs previous, full in length and pitching toward leg stump that this time had S. Fernandes attempting to flick it off his pads but only to the result of a leading edge into the hands of Beard.
Colchester were at a seriously alarming 21/4 after 10 overs with Chelmsford picking up 3 wickets in each of the 8th, 9th and 10th over, having only conceded one run in each.
C. Fernandes was joined by Jack Hobbs and the pair plugged the flow of wickets and steered the hosts' innings towards a better target. Having reached the 20th over, C. Fernandes and Hobbs put on a partnership of 30 in ten overs, but it was finished when C. Fernandes tempted at one outside off-stump from Styan's delivery and a thick outside edge landed into the hands of keeper Green. Colchester 51/5 after 20 overs.
Oliver Allison was the next batsman in and joined a settled Hobbs, who was on 22 from 38 balls. The two were looking good and were in their seventh over together when Styan had Allison out LBW in the 27th over. A wicket-maiden from the Chelmsford seamer, which was an important one, as it stopped Colchester gaining any momentum and caused them to start fresh with another partnership. Colchester at 64/6 after 27 overs.
Darren Eckford joined Hobbs but the all-rounder failed to add any sufficient runs to the scoreboard as he was adjudged LBW from the bowling of James Liddiard in the 33rd over, leaving the pitch with 1 run off 8 balls. Meaning Colchester were worryingly at 78/7 when Oliver Hills was due in to bat for the hosts.
Hills helped to guide his team-mate, Hobbs, to the half-century mark- reaching 50 in 89 balls and by quite some margin was easily the best Colchester batsman. But like many others, Hills didn't stay for long and on his seventeenth ball he mistimed a delivery from Liddiard which resulted in him chipping it to Devenish at mid-on for an easy catch. Hills departed in the 37th over for 6 runs off 17 balls and his side at 94/8.
Charlie Watts survived two overs before he was on his way back to the pavilion after he chipped one to Robert Catchpole at mid-on from the bowling of James Clifford, who claimed his first wicket of the day. Watts left on a mild 2 off 8 and continued Colchester's pattern of losing easy wickets and not occupying the crease for a long enough period of time. Colchester 99/9 off 39.1 overs.
Hobbs, with pretty much all of it to do on his own (like most of the innings), was joined by number 11 Vikas Agarwal. After a couple of singles and maintaining the strike for the over, Hobbs decided to unleash himself and score quickly. On the first ball of the 41st over he smashed Liddiard's delivery past mid-wicket to the boundary for a four, but in the next ball took two strides down the wicket and pumped one into the hands of Styan at long-off; another wicket for Liddiard. In the context of Colchester's innings, it was a brilliant knock of 58 off 98 from Jack Hobbs as the rest of the batsmen never kicked on and Hobbs was the only one to reach double figures! It would've been interesting to see what Colchester were to finish on without Hobbs' major input.
Keaney, Styan and Liddiard shared the wickets for Chelmsford in a very good bowling display, reinforced by J. Clifford's spin to give the seamers a rest in-between spells.
With the absence of Dan Hagen, due to COVID protocol, Ben Clifford joined his captain Jack Sterland and opened for Chelmsford with Darren Eckford opening the bowling for Colchester. Considering it was B. Clifford's first time opening not only this season but for a very long time, he looked sharp and supported Sterland very well with the pair hitting five 4s in the first five overs and reaching 32 without loss after 5 overs; scoring very quickly.
After settling into the game well, the excitement seemed to have rushed to B. Clifford's head after he attempted to heave one over the top of Agarwal only to spoon it into the air and into the hands of Eckford at 'deepish' cover. B. Clifford departing for 17 off 16 and Chelmsford 46/1 after 8 overs.
All-rounder Devenish was next in at three, which was a rare sight, but the calm and composed temperament of his natural ability suited what Chelmsford's innings needed on a tough wicket: someone who could support Sterland- allowing him to score freely and soak up deliveries whilst keeping the pressure on Colchester to defend their substandard score of 105. Sterland and Devenish looked like a strong partnership and the pair put on 22 runs between them with the number three guiding his captain towards a potential half-century. But in the 13th over Sterland was given out LBW by the umpire from Watts' bowling, which meant that the Chelmsford captain had to depart the field with a very decent score of 43 from 44 balls. Not quite reaching 50 but he put his side in a comfortable position of 68/2 after 12.4 overs.
Devenish greeted J. Clifford to the crease and the pair put on a 13 run partnership which included three fours in four overs. But in the 17th over, Watts banged one into the pitch outside off-stump which surprised Devenish and had him playing at it on his tip-toes only to edge it to wicket-keeper S. Fernandes. A fairly good score of 14 runs off 32 balls from the number three considering the innings that the Colchester batsmen had.
Catchpole joined J. Clifford but only for three balls as J. Clifford picked out C. Fernandes at cover-point from Agarwal's bowling, departing for 5 runs off 13 balls and swiftly joining Devenish back at the pavilion, having only seen the back of his team-mate three balls ago. Chelmsford were 81/4 after J. Clifford lost his wicket with Colchester claiming two wickets in quick succession so it was vital for the new batsmen Catchpole and J. Cook to settle down, get themselves in and steer their side to what should be a comfortable victory.
Catchpole, an experienced batsman who is also resident captain for the Chelmsford 2nd XI team and J. Cook, although young, with an incredible cricket brain and raw talent were faced with seizing Colchester's momentum and bringing the victory back to Chelmer Park- in which they delivered.
The pair needed 24 runs to win and got them in just over 6 overs in which they put on a 28-run partnership that included a few fours and the rest ones and twos, with smart running between the wickets, to secure the win for Chelmsford at Castle Park. Catchpole finishing on 15* off 15 and J. Cook finishing on 13* off 17; a neatly disciplined batting display from the number 5 and 6.
So, with Chelmsford beating Colchester by 6 wickets, they take 20 points from the match with Colchester taking 1. A huge win for Chelmsford which means they are now top of the 1st XI Division 1 table by 18 points. Chelmsford 1st place on 170 points, Hornchurch 2nd place on 152 points and Colchester at 6th place on 112 points.
Next week sees a crucial game between first and second place as Chelmsford host Hornchurch in what could be a vital crunch game for the race for the title!
2nd XI vs Buckhurst Hill (Home) – League.
Buckhurst Hill 109 all out from 27.1 overs.
Chelmsford 111/4 dec from 22.1 overs.
Chelmsford won by 6 wickets.
12.30 Saturday, a damp Chelmer Park and a fine drizzle descending.
Eventually, the drizzle desists, and it brightens up (a little) but by then the other 2 games at Chelmer - 3's and 6's have been abandoned.
Captain today is Rob Hayto, who gets agreement from the Buckhurst Hill skipper, that we will attempt to start at 2.50pm.
Having lost 2 hours 20 minutes of playing time equates to 40 overs lost from the game, which means a 28/27 over split will be played.
Chelmsford wins the toss and put the visitors in on a pitch, which is damp down both edges, but dryish in the middle.
Again, the youthful and venerable seam attack combination of Rishi and Fergs (the quick and the not) have first use of the new ball.
Success for Rishi in his second over and one opener is gone, caught by Tom Halsey at deep mid-on.
After 8 overs, the visitors score is advanced to 38-1, most of them scored by Number 3, Solomonides.
Rishi (4-0-23-1) and Fergs (4-0-13-0) are replaced by the leg-spin duo of Everard and Halsey.
This has the effect of initially slowing the scoring rate, and then producing 3 quick wickets.
Stuey bowls Solomonides (30) in his third over, and then does the same to the other opener in his next over.
Next over, Tom removes the new batsman, also bowled. 52-4 from 16 overs, 12 overs left in the innings.
Buckhurst Hill mount a fightback, adding 38 in the next 7 overs. On 90-4, Stuey (and Tom, with a catch at long on) put a stop to this, and Tom twists the knife, the very next over, a double wicket maiden, by removing Srinivasan (34) caught Fergs at mid-off and having the next man caught by Stuey at mid-wicket. 90-4 has become 90-7.
Tom's next over is a bit of a curate's egg containing a: wide, a no ball, a boundary, 2 wickets, and both stumpings by Nick Bailey.
Tom, (a fox in the chicken coop), with his first ball of his next over, bowls the last man, thereby terminating the Buckhurst Hill innings with a hat-trick. Tom has figures of (9.1-2-34-6) and Stuey (10-1-36-3). Buckhurst Hill 109 all out.
Rob Hayto (36) and Nick Bailey (34) waste no time in posting 57 off the first 9 overs. Dutchy (20*) and the middle order finish the job with 5 overs to spare, to complete the win by 6 wickets.
20 points for the win. Momentum maintained, and so is the 31point lead over Wanstead who also claim a 20 point win at home to Hornchurch.
And it is to Hornchurch, that Chelmsford travel to for next week’s game.
3rd XI vs Billericay (Home) – League.
4th XI vs South Woodford 3rd XI (Away) – League.
South Woodford 69/2 from 11 overs.
Chelmsford 68 all out from 27.4 overs.
South Woodford win by 8 wickets.
- Barry Clayden – 22.
- Usama Ahmed – 18.
- Shona Keaney– 5.
- Usama Ahmed – 5 overs, 25 runs and 1 wicket.
- Shona Keaney – 5 overs, 31 runs and 1 wicket.
- Charlie Hagger – 1 over, 9 runs.
5th XI vs Billericay 4th XI (Away) – League.