Harlow Town v Benfleet - 13th May 2017
Harlow Town commenced the new 2017 league season with a comfortable victory against Benfleet at Phoenix Park on Saturday.
Winning the toss, Scott Alderson had no hesitation in inserting the opposition in overcast conditions.
Benfleet's openers however, had a different idea as to how the game was going to pan out. Coelho took the attack immediately to Harlow Town's opening attack of Farmer and Ali, as he and Critchell got Benfleet off to a flier. Both Ali and Farmer managed to haul the run rate back slightly with more disciplined bowling. Farmer was unlucky not to get Coelho dismissed for 20, as he fell into a short ball trap, pulling to deep backward square leg, only for the catch to be put down, much to the annoyance of the bowler.
The introduction of spinners Shaun Alderson and Ronnie Yates began to turn the tide back into Harlow Town's favour as Alderson induced Critchell to chip tamely to Holland at mid-wicket with the score on 63. Another stand of 42 was then constructed, not without the help of another dropped catch off of Alderson's bowling. This catch however wasn't costly as Blowes offered up another chance off of Alderson, this time picking out captain Scott Alderson at mid off. The relief on a certain fielders face was clear for all to see!
From this moment on Harlow Town completely dominated proceedings as Reeve nicked Alderson to keeper Pat Yates and then had Zammit stunningly held at short fine leg. Sweeping hard, Zammit timed the ball sweetly, but the athletic Ali held a magnificent one handed catch which was greeted by an astonished look on the batsman's face.
141-4 soon became 154-5 as the introduction of Elston into the attack saw wickets tumble. His first two wickets were both held by Shaun Alderson at deep long on as both Munday and then opener Coelho were dismissed. Coelho adding a further 66 runs after his earlier let off.
Elston picked up a further two wickets and Ronnie Yates one as Benfleet closed on 211-9 off their 50 overs.
Alderson finished with 4-69 off his 16 overs, Yates 1-46 off 16 and Elston 4-40 off 6 overs.
Baldwin and Ashley Alderson took to the crease in pursuit of the total. Alderson decided that attack was the best option and set about completely dismantling the Benfleet attack. He drove, pulled and cut with great authority as the Benfleet attack were left scratching their heads as to where to bowl to him.
In amongst the carnage, Benfleet had managed to dismiss Baldwin, shouldering arms and being bowled without troubling the scorers. This brought Holland to the crease and the run scoring continued as both he and Alderson seized on anything wayward. Alderson brought up his 50 and was dismissed shortly afterwards to an unplayable delivery. He had put Harlow Town completely in the driving seat scoring 53 off a mere 29 balls.
Gladwin joined Holland at the crease and both players showed their experience. With little seam movement, neither player was in any trouble as the compiled a large partnership. Punishing anything full or short and working the ball around the field, the Benfleet attack couldn't intice a mistake from either player. Holland and Gladwin both passed their own 50's and then completed the job with 11 overs to spare. Holland finishing on 84 not out from 83 balls and Gladwin 70 not out from 84 balls.
Next week Harlow Town travel to Woodford Green, hopefully with their overseas player in the ranks.