Ramblers sealed their second win of the season, thanks in large part to a sensational performance with bat and ball from Imran Sheikh. Eastcliff basked in sunshine all day while Ramblers hosted Boxted. The Ramblers were after revenge after an early season defeat in the reverse fixture back in April. Boxted chose to bat first after winning the toss and Adam Daniels opened the bowling with Kieron Smith, restricting the visitors to just 25 runs off the first 10 overs.
Boxted continued to find runs hard to come by and the pressure told in the 16th over when Sheikh removed Harris for 21. Boxted made steady progress after reaching 119 before Sheikh again made a crucial breakthrough by removing Boxted Captain Richard Springett for 50, just as they were beginning to look dangerous. Boxted went to score 224-4 off their 45 overs, helped by a lightning quick outfield and some sloppy fielding from the home side. Sheikh collected another wicket finishing with 3 for 32 off his 9 overs, whilst Ben Cooper chipped in with a wicket of his own.
In reply Ramblers sent out Scott Pittaway and Sheikh. The opening partnership didn’t last long as Pittaway was removed for 11. This brought Alex Ball to the crease but he joined Pittaway in the pavilion shortly after, making only 1 run. The Ramblers were rocking, another infamous batting collapse was looming. However, Adam Daniels and Imran Sheikh had other ideas and began to steady the ship. Ramblers moved onto 71, before Daniels was bowled. It was a curious dismissal with Daniels leaving a ball down leg side only to see the ball cannon onto the stumps.
Ben Cooper came to the crease and looked comfortable until he decided to play an ill-advised game of catch with Boxted bowler Paul Harris. Ramblers still needed well over a 100 runs to win at this point, but thankfully this was the last wicket to fall as Sheikh guided Ramblers to a 6 wicket victory by making a stupendous 128 not out. Michael Cross played an essential role supporting Sheikh with 25 not out.
The next Ramblers outing will be on the 25th August, away to Eight Ash Green
The Ramblers “Special Award” went to Alex Ball for his all-round batting and fielding performance.