Harlow Town bounced back after a difficult weekend last week, celebrating improvement across the board.
Harlow Town CC 1st XI 198-7 beat
Old Brentwoods 1st XI by 42 runs
After last week 'shorror show the Town needed maximum bouncebackability against the in-form Old Brents.
Skipper Ashley Alderson lost the toss and with the overnight rain unsurprisingly found his team being asked to bat. Conditions were humid and with regular opener Pat Yates running late and reserve opener Tom Price also late, the skipper donned his pads and took to the wicket with regular opener Shiraz Ali.
With the ball zipping around early on, coupled with some exaggerated bounce from the drying wicket, the pair did well to take the score to 47 before Ashley (25) was caught trying to up the rate. Bilal (16) and Shiraz (28) both batted well but were unable to convert good starts, before Ramya Upadhyay (61 not out) played the key innings to make sure the Town posted a respectable if somewhat light 198 from their 50 overs.
A quickfire 16 from Shaun Alderson, including the only six of the day, off nine balls ensured the innings finished positively for the Town.
Much like last week Town's openers Dan Calver (three for 23 from 10) and Mohammed Ali (one for 16 off seven) bowled with control and assisted by an early run out quickly reduced the visitors to 22 for five inside 11 overs.
The game looked almost over, but again like last week a good stand started to take the game back towards the visitors as K Sarwar (81) and S Iqbal (13) put on 62.
Iqbal departed and L English (20) joined Sarwar and the pair took the score to 145 looking untroubled. Skipper Ashley Alderson sensed the game was starting to slip away but risked his crooked back to try and make the breakthrough, which came in his fourth over when he cleaned up Sarwar.
In his next over he removed English before taking the final wicket in his sixth over finishing with three for 24. Dan Farmer supported his skipper well in his return spell and picked up the other wicket.
Alderson said, "It was personally very frustrating missing last week's game and we put pressure on ourselves after a very poor performance so it was important we got back to winning ways asap.
"I thought we were excellent in the field today, all the bowlers did their job and the two run outs proved we were really up for the game.
"Ramya batted sensibly and made sure we posted a decent total but having said that it was a very gettable one.
"The bowlers showed great discipline only giving away five wides compared to the 20 Old Brents gave up. It was a very satisfying win against good opposition."
Town remain top of Division Three and host Basildon & Pitsea CC next week and still have a game in hand over Stanford le Hope who also won.
The Town visit Stanford Le Hope in two weeks which is shaping up to be the game of the season. They will need to find a way of removing the dangerous Ross Poulton who continues to rack up big scores after posting 135 yesterday while also picking up four wickets.
Harlow Town's 2nd XI travelled to Old Brentwoods looking to bounce back from a disappointing draw in their last outing and having won the toss and inserted their opposition looked to take early wickets.
Both Conor Fussell and Tom Wilcox bowled well with the new ball and Fussell removed Johnson for 10 thanks to a sharp catch at short leg from Charlie Coleman. The introduction of father and son combination Ben and Graeme Eversden accounted for more wickets with Ben picking up the other opener with another sharp catch from Coleman at short leg and Graeme quickly removing Reman and Muhammed for single figures.
McClean came and went quickly dismissed by Rowell thanks to excellent glove work from Scott Alderson.
With Town on top despite a good pitch and exceptionally hot weather it looked like Town would be chasing a small total, however the arrival of Ashad Khan to the crease changed the game completely as he proceeded to launch the Town attack through the leg side at every opportunity.
When Old Brentwoods finally declared after 51.4 overs they had amassed 312 for five with Khan scoring 168 including an amazing 20 sixes.
With Town's unbeaten record on the line Baldwin and Ben Eversden walked out to bat knowing a long chase awaited. Both were quickly into their stride as Town attacked the highly unlikely target, when both were dismissed in the same over by H Zakira 81 runs had been added in just 13 overs.
Charlie Coleman was joined at the crease by Tim Poulter who was quickly removed by M Zakira for just 16 leaving Coleman to be partnered by Scott Alderson and the run chase began to wobble.
Coleman and Alderson mounted an outstanding counter-attack putting on 158 for the fourth wicket. When both were finally dismissed Town had reached 283 for five in just 37 overs and required just 30 runs from the last 10 overs of the match.
Tom Wilcox and Alfie Elston saw Town home in 41.5 overs with five wickets in hand and fiveovers still to be bowled to complete an outstanding and well-timed run chase.
HTCC 3rd XI hosted bottom of the table Brentwood IV this week and on the back of two straight defeats knew nothing more than a win would be needed to keep them in the promotion chase.
Acting skipper Nick Teale won the toss and took the gamble of batting first on a damp but drying pitch, a decision that soon proved to be the correct one with the Townies racing to 85 before losing the first wicket when Vic Goddard was caught at midwicket for 35.
A second-wicket stand of 80 between Johan Cloete and Brendon Maclean saw the score increase to 165 before Maclean was clean bowled on 28. Opener Cloete continued to score to all parts of the ground before getting caught on an impressive 103.
Further knocks from Kevin Tilleard (21) and Tyrone Mazarura (17) helped Town score 225 for six and brought an early declaration after just 44 overs.
Town took to the field knowing that 10 wickets was between them and a 25-point reward, but things did not quite go as expected as the Brentwood openers dug in and were 43 in reply before Tristan Rees took the first wicket.
That was closely followed by Vic Goddard who took the second and once the openers were back in the pavilion wickets fell steadily following that, until the visitors were 133 in reply with only two wickets remaining and nine overs to go.
At that point Cloete joined the attack and took two wickets in two balls to end the dogged resistance of Brentwood and win the game ending up with three wickets for just 10 runs off his 3.2 overs.
Other notable bowling was Tristan Rees, who took three wickets for 14 off nine overs and Vic Goddard (two wickets for 12 off eight overs, Kevin Tilleard and Tyrone Mazarura both took a wicket each.
The 4th XI travelled to Hainault & Clayhall for a tough fixture against a very good side. Town lost the toss and fielded in hot and humid conditions.
Aaron Simpson picked up the early wicket of Parabharan but there was little else to cheer for the Town as Hainault made very steady progress toward a declaration on 259 for four from just 40 overs.
Town never really threatened the total but picked up a couple of bonus points on the way to 155 all out, falling a few overs short of holding out for the draw.
The ageless Paul Smith notched up another 50 and Sreerag Radhakrishnan made a solid 47 in his first outing of the season.
© Cricket World 2014