1st XI vs Hornchurch (Home) – League.
Chelmsford 167/6 from 45.5 overs.
Hornchurch 164 all out from 54.2 overs.
Chelmsford win by 4 wickets.
First Place Chelmsford Beat Second Place Hornchurch to Stay Top!
Saturday 17th July hosted a vital match in the 1st XI Division 1 Essex League, as first placed Chelmsford hosted second placed Hornchurch at Chelmer Park. There was an 18- point difference between the two sides going into the game, with Chelmsford coming off the back of a win against Colchester and Hornchurch losing to Wanstead. Therefore, it was vital for both clubs to grab the win as a victory would see Chelmsford hold the top spot for another week but on the other hand would see Hornchurch potentially go top if they snatch the win.
Chelmsford Team News:
Captain Jack Sterland made two changes to his side that defeated Colchester at Castle Park last week. Opener Dan Hagen returned after COVID isolation protocol which meant Aaron Beard was rested. Sean Sullivan made his first appearance for the 1st XI as he replaced Ben Waring, who missed out due to COVID isolation protocol after his Hertfordshire County commitments last week.
Hornchurch's lineup can be seen on the right side of the graphic below, with Billy Gordon leading as captain and Paul Murray JNR with the gloves for the away side.
Weather conditions were near enough perfect for cricket on Saturday (which hasn't been said many times this year). The sun was beating down on Chelmer Park with temperatures reaching around 26/27 degrees Celsius and not an inch of rain emerged. Start of play was scheduled for the usual time of 11am and, with Hornchurch winning the toss and electing to bat, the time was adhered to.
Hornchurch’s openers looked like they were getting off to a solid start, surviving the first nine overs without loss with the score at a steady 26/0. But in the 10th over, Oliver Devenish claimed the wicket of Jamie Sorrell after he was caught by Liam Keaney for a score of 15 runs off 32 balls. One wicket soon became two when Andy Styan bowled other opener, Frankie Jacobs, in the last ball of the 11th over and the batsman departed the field with a score of 16 off 31. Hornchurch went into the 12th over at a score of 32/2.
This meant that Ronnie Saunders and Paul Murray were the two batsmen at the crease and the pair put on a quick 20-run partnership in five overs, which included four 4s, to put the visitors at a more comfortable score of 52/2 after 16 overs. But in the 17th, Chelmsford captain, Jack Sterland, brought spinner James Clifford on and the bowler repaid his captain with immediate effect. The pair combined to claim the wicket of Paul Murray on J. Clifford’s second ball when the batsman edged one into first slip where Sterland was situated. Murray departed for a mild 3 runs off 15 balls and Hornchurch were 52/3 after J. Clifford’s wicket-maiden in the 17th over.
Merv Westfield joined Saunders at the crease and the two lasted a decent nine overs with a 29-run partnership before the next wicket. J. Clifford claimed his second of the day when the umpire judged Saunders to be out LBW on the last ball of the 27th over. Saunders left the field with a good score of 35 off 55 and Hornchurch at 81/4.
Adeel Malik was the next Hornchurch batsman in but only lasted four overs as he was bowled by J. Clifford on the last ball of the 31st over. A good wicket for Chelmsford as Malik was scoring well, with three fours a three and a two under his belt, the number 6 was scoring fast. But he made his way back to the temporary outdoor changing area with 17 runs off 16 balls and Hornchurch at 107/5.
Hornchurch captain Billy Gordan joined a well settled Westfield and the pair put on a much-needed partnership for the visitors. Gordon, looking to lead by example, defended his wicket strongly alongside partner Westfield to make sure their side didn’t surrender another wicket soon after losing one. The pair slightly slowed down the run-rate by dragging the game out and making sure the Chelmsford bowlers had to work to get their wicket. Westfield and Gordon survived eleven overs together and put on a partnership of 30 runs before Gordon was caught by Ben Clifford from the bowling of Keaney. This resulted in Hornchurch sitting at a score of 138/6 after 43 overs with Gordon departing on 12 runs from 36 balls. Keaney with his second wicket of the day.
Luke Edwards joined Westfield and the new batsman helped Merv reach his half century. Westfield attained 50 on the last ball of the 46th over with a four after hitting a six the ball before. The former Essex cricketer was seeing the ball well and hitting them nicely with 7 boundaries to his name.
Edwards however wouldn’t add much to the score as he was bowled by J. Clifford in the 49th over, leaving the field for 3 runs off 20 balls. Hornchurch at 156/7. J.Clifford with another wicket-maiden and was now eyeing up a five-fer.
Marc Whitlock was next in with Westfield, but the partnership only lasted three overs as J. Clifford intervened to take the important wicket of Westfield. A good innings from the Hornchurch player, leading the batting with 55 from 106 balls. This meant J. Clifford had his well-deserved five-fer.
The Chelmsford spinner didn’t stop there though, two balls later he claimed the wicket of new batsman Joe Defreitas and an incredible double-wicket maiden. Hornchurch were 161/9 after 53 overs.
Chelmsford wrapped up Hornchurch’s innings eight balls later when Dan Hagen caught Whitlock out from the bowling of that man again, James Clifford. Whitlock departed for 2 runs off 12 balls and Hornchurch finished on 164 all out.
James Clifford was the star bowler for Chelmsford with figures of 5 maidens, 47 runs and 7 wickets off 16.2 overs. Keaney, Styan and Devenish shared the rest of the wickets.
So, a target of 165 to win was set by Hornchurch and Chelmsford began their chase towards the total with the usual opening pair of Jack Sterland and Dan Hagen. Sterland went into this game with a mammoth 922 runs in all competitions so far this season (522 of those were in the league which placed him in 3rd for total runs). However, the Chelmsford captain only added 12 to his total as he was bowled by Malik in the 6th over which meant his side would go into the 7th over at 20/1.
B. Clifford joined Hagen and the pair put on a remarkable 51-run partnership which lasted 13 and a half overs. This placed the home side at a more than comfortable 70/1 before Hagen was adjudged LBW in the 20th over which meant the opener had to depart for a reasonable 26 runs off 57 balls. Malik with the wicket-maiden and his and Hornchurch’s second wicket of the day. On the other hand, B. Clifford was getting his eye in.
At 70/2, the two Clifford brothers joined each-other at the crease and J. Clifford looked to extend the brilliant game he had with the ball, this time with the bat. B. Clifford was on course for a very good half century and the pair lasted a decent ten overs together when Hornchurch got their third wicket. Sadly, it was B. Clifford who lost his wicket after he was harshly judged LBW from the umpire off Whitlock’s bowling and left the field on a good 41 from 77. Many believe a noise came from B. Clifford’s bat but ultimately the umpire didn’t think so. Chelmsford were 106/3 after 31 overs.
J. Clifford welcomed Catchpole to the crease with the aim of putting on a 59-run partnership to win their side the game. The pair rotated the strike well and looked good until the umpire gave J. Clifford out LBW from the bowling of Whitlock on the last ball of the 35th over. J. Clifford departed with 32 from 55 to his name and should be very happy of his all-round performance from the match. Whitlock claimed both of the Clifford brothers’ wickets and got them with the same method, LBW.
Chelmsford were 121/4 off 35 overs.
Hornchurch then went on to rattle the nerves of the Chelmsford camp after claiming two wickets in the over after J. Clifford’s departure. Sean Sullivan left the field with a golden duck after being given out LBW off Malik’s bowling and J. Cook was bowled by Malik two balls later. This meant that the hosts were now 124/6 after losing three wickets in six balls and potentially on the way to a batting collapse. Malik had his fourth wicket of the day and was perusing a five-fer.
Devenish joined Catchpole and it was obvious that the two needed to plug the quick falling rate of wickets and put the pressure back on the away side. This is exactly what the pair did to a ‘T’. Catchpole and Devenish put on a wonderful 43-run partnership which spanned across nearly ten overs to guide Chelmsford across the finishing line to claim victory against Hornchurch. The hosts chased the total down, ending on 167/6 with Catchpole finishing on 26* from 48 and Devenish 25* from 28.
This result meant that Chelmsford were awarded 20 points from the game and Hornchurch just the 4 points. In terms of league positions, Chelmsford keep their place at the top of the table on 190 points with Wanstead behind them on 177 after they beat Harold Wood and took 25 points from their game. Hornchurch move down to 4th position on 156 points.
Next week Chelmsford are away to bottom placed Harold Wood, Wanstead visit second from bottom Billericay and Hornchurch host sixth-placed Colchester.
Should either Chelmsford or Wanstead surprisingly fail to defeat their opposition next Saturday, the race for the title will be blown wide open!
2nd XI vs Hornchurch (Away) – League.
Hornchurch 158 all out from 49.4 overs.
Chelmsford 159/0 from 30.3 overs.
Chelmsford won by 10 wickets.
Unfortunately, we’re without ‘Numbers’ match report for this game. A brilliant 10 wicket win away against Hornchurch to boost our title chances. Mark Drain and Halsey the main wicket takers in the game, 4 for Drainy and 3 for the league’s leading wicket taker, Halsey. The Chelmsford 2s limited Hornchurch to a reasonable 158 after 49.4 overs.
As it turned out, the target score of 158 would easily be chased down- without losing a single wicket! Rishabh Upadhyay and Harry Page, the opening pair, put on a mammoth opening partnership of 159 to chase down the target in just over 30 overs. Rishabh ended on 101 and Page on 54, a truly incredible display of batting from the two ‘kids’ of the side. Well done!
- Mark Drain – 13 overs, 2 maidens, 27 runs and 4 wickets.
- Tom Halsey – 13.4 overs, 1 maiden, 57 runs and 3 wickets.
- Leo Dolan – 5 overs, 2 maidens, 10 runs and 1 wicket.
- Adam Derham – 10 overs, 33 runs and 1 wicket.
- Rishabh Upadhyay – 101*.
- Harry Page – 54*.
3rd XI vs Loughton (Away) – League.
Loughton 178/7 from 50 overs.
Chelmsford 182/3 from 27 overs.
Chelmsford win by 7 wickets.
- Abdul Baig – 13 overs, 2 maidens, 52 runs and 3 wickets.
- Steve Bond – 5 overs, 11 runs, 1 wicket.
- Matthew Cook – 8 overs, 27 runs and 1 wicket.
- Usama Ahmed – 11 overs, 1 maiden, 44 runs and 1 wicket.
- Phil Arnold – 51*.
- Hugo Skepelhorn – 53.
- Matthew Cook – 30.
- Andrew Rycroft – 8.
4th XI vs Chingford 3rd XI (Home) – League.
Chelmsford 142 all out from 46 overs.
Chingford 62 all out from 25 overs.
Chelmsford win by 80 runs.
- Barry Clayden – 40.
- Henry Pearce – 28*.
- Jack Campion – 16.
- Ben Turner – 16.
- Shona Keaney – 16.
- Shona Keaney – 12 overs, 4 maidens, 28 runs and 6 wickets.
- Dan Cornell – 7 overs, 2 maidens, 22 runs and 3 wickets.
- Charlie Hagger – 2 overs, 6 runs and 1 wicket.
5th XI vs Horndon on the Hill 3rd XI (Home) – League.
Chelmsford 252/7 (dec) from 43 overs.
Horndon on the Hill 253/9 from 36.1
A superb bowling display from Ben Lawrence was not quite enough as Horndon won an exciting match by 1 wicket. A poor start with the ball and farcical fielding were nearly overturned by Lawrence's eight wickets.
Chelmsford's batting had finally shown some quality with excellent half centuries from Aditya Kuzhupilly and Alex Bailey leading the way. Kuzhupilly and Andy Rodgers had provided a solid start but two wickets in an over set that back slightly.
Mo Ahmed (24) provided decent support but as he passed 30 Kuzhupilly really found his touch and got the scoreboard moving quickly. Beth Wright (25) also gave some impetus but three wickets fell quickly started by the run out of Kuzhupilly for a fine 80.
At 180 for seven the innings might have subsided but instead it soared with Bailey making a scintillating unbeaten 58, his fifty coming from just 25 balls. Lawrence supported sensibly as the innings was closed after passing 250.
Some scrappy early bowling helped Horndon get going with plenty of loose balls for Shah and Salahudin to feast on. On a fast scoring outfield, it was difficult to drag the position back but Anish Nikam did his best; unfortunately the fielders were not interested in taking catches.
After six lives, Shah (66) was bowled by Lawrence at 128. Sandeep came to the crease and was aggressive from the off. Despite having plenty of time he charged Ahmed and was stumped for 45 at 185. Lawrence struck for a second time in the next over but the fourth wicket partnership looked solid before Salahudin (55) was unlucky enough to be caught.
The batsmen all played in adventurous fashion and Lawrence kept taking wickets. His eighth and fifth bowled left the last wicket pair needing 6 and they were able to scramble the necessary runs. Lawrence finished with eight for 45, the last seven for 11.
In for Hutton will provide a strong challenge next week. Chelmsford must hope to put together a performance in all three disciplines.