Clacton Ramblers 275 for 8 (Sheikh 112, Daniels 56, Extras 54)
Great Horkelsey 183 all out (K Smith 3-53)
Ramblers won by 92 runs.
Clacton Ramblers maintained their push for promotion from Division Three of the PiriPiri North Essex League with a comfortable 92 run win over Great Horkesley on Sunday. The coastal side have now won six of their seven completed matches – five have been lost to the weather – and are on course for a return to Division Two.
Captain Owen Nash had his resources stretched on Sunday morning, when two call-offs and general unavailability left him with just nine players. Drew Nash and Colin Garrod were drafted in as late replacements for their league debuts, and the inclusion of the club chairman raised the average age of the side upwards by several years!
Losing the toss, the Ramblers were invited to bat first on the splendid Abberton ground, and Imran Sheikh and Alan Thurgood put on 52 for the first wicket before the latter was run out. Adam Daniels then joined Sheikh, and it was 182 runs later before the home side gained their second success. By this time, Sheikh had scored his maiden century, whilst Daniels had scored 56, and there were still 7 overs to go. The opening bat went on to score 112, which included 12 fours and 3 sixes, before he was out, and his dismissal led to a clatter of wickets in the chase for extra runs. Five wickets fell in the closing stages as the score mounted to 275 for 8 wickets off 45 overs. Third highest scorer was ‘extras’ with 54.
The morning call-offs had left the Ramblers without a recognised wicket-keeper, and Ben Cooper volunteered his services. It soon became apparent that he is a far better batsman and bowler than he is behind the timbers, and he was replaced by Imran Sheikh after 19 overs. By this time, Sheikh had bowled his 10 overs for a meagre 23 runs, picking up two wickets in the process. Kieron Smith had also taken two wickets as the home side fell behind the required run-rate. Michael Cross and Ben Cooper then chipped away at the Horkesley batting, and it was only Rakesh Krishnan (77 not out) who provided any resistance.
The Ramblers fielding was exemplary. Owen Nash, Drew Nash, Alan Thurgood, Michael Cross and Ben Cooper all held on to chances that were offered, whilst Imran Sheikh took a smart catch off his own bowling. Others ensured that various parts of the body were used to good effect, and the home side were eventually all out with six overs to spare.
Ramblers are not in action this coming weekend, and their next game will be at Eastcliff in a fortnight’s time.