Epping Cricket Club Saturday 2nd v Belhus on Sat 09 May 2009 at 1pm
Match was Drawn

Match report Epping 2nd XI began the league season against an unknown quantity in the shape of Belhus, a new addition to the Essex League. The Epping line-up boasted many new faces and some dynamic athletes/League One footballer. Confidence was high. Captain Barrett won the toss and elected to bat as his philosophy dictates, and his faith in his batsmen to score 200 in sunny conditions was strong.

The quality of the Belhus seam attack however, took the Epping batsmen slightly by surprise. Sly (10) and Oliver (17) got off to a steady beginning, but although most of the top order got starts, a regular flow of wickets and a slow run-rate left Epping wobbling on 88-5 from 28 overs after Jaques (18) was dismissed. Yet Epping’s new look middle order rallied and began to swing the balance of the match. Lycett (23) looked in good touch, before debutants Jamie Brown (20) and Charlie Daniels (22) upped the scoring rate with a flow of boundaries. Some late-order strokes from Bidiwala (26) ensured Epping secured 6 batting points and the innings ended all out on 191. Although it was slightly worrying that the top score was only 26, it was encouraging that so many players chipped in to ensure a competitive total.

After tea (which had been forgotten about until one hour before the match, when the new skipper had his memory jogged by the empty clubhouse tea counter!), Epping set about trying to bowl out the opposition. It was quite simply a superb fielding display, with the youthful make-up of the side continually maintaining pressure on Belhus with tight fielding, great catching and a positive vibe throughout.

Although runs were scored fairly swiftly off new ball pairing Jaques (until injury forced him off midway through his 5th over) and Graham Preston, the breakthrough did come courtesy of a fine catch by Brown off Preston’s bowling. Other well-taken catches by Bidiwala and Matthews helped Preston finish with an impressive 4-36 off 11 overs. Nevertheless, at around 90-4 the game was evenly poised. It was the introduction of new spin twin combination Eric Williams and Dipesh “Dips” Bidiwala that turned the game truly in Epping’s favour. The Belhus middle-order could not get the ball away and the run rate fell to a crawl. Williams finished with a superb 3-16 off 12 overs, but by the time the 7th wicket fell Belhus had packed up and were holding on for a draw.

The final 9 overs saw 5 different bowlers try to end the stubborn 8th wicket partnership of Belhus. With a field comprised solely of slips, gullies and close catchers, tension was growing but the breakthrough remained elusive. Barrett took “captain’s responsibility” despite his wayward earlier spell and decided to bowl the penultimate over. His second ball took the outside edge and Lycett snaffled the quick chance at slip. Epping could sense an unlikely victory and the next batsman lasted only 2 balls as he gloved behind to keeper Sly who took the ball at the second attempt. Unfortunately the returning Jaques could not find the killer ball to take the final wicket and Belhus ended on 139-9.

A winning draw for Epping that had seemed unlikely at 88-5. Disappointing as it was to miss out on maximum points, there were many positives to emerge from the day, not least in a great team spirit and energy displayed in the field.

Epping Cricket Club Saturday 2nd Batting
Player Name RunsMB4s6sSRCtStRo
for 10 wickets

(0.0 overs)
Dan Sly Bowled  10 2 1
Simon Oliver Lbw  17
Aaron Jaques Caught  18
Matthew Barrett Bowled  1
Simon Lycett Caught  23 1
James Matthews Bowled  7 2
Jamie Brown Lbw  20 1
Charlie Daniels Bowled  22
Dipesh Bidiwala Caught  26 1
Eric Williams Bowled  4
Graham Preston Not Out  7

Belhus Bowling

Player nameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Alan Maidment12.0136218.003.00
Dale Kenyon 16.0552152.003.25
Chris Baker8.0133216.504.13
Connor Day4.00818.002.00
Owen Jeffries8.5143410.754.87

Belhus Batting
Player name RMB4s6sSR
for 9 wickets
139 (0.0 overs)
Tom Thompson ct Graham Preston 10
Danny Norris ct Graham Preston 13
Chris Baker ct Graham Preston 22
Tim Jackson ct Graham Preston 0
Lee Webber ct Eric Williams 21
James Banner b Eric Williams 22
George Brooks Not Out  13
Dale Kenyon st Eric Williams 7
Owen Jeffries ct Matthew Barrett 1
Alan Maidment ct Matthew Barrett 0
Connor Day Not Out  0

Epping Cricket Club Saturday 2nd Bowling

Player NameOversMaidensRunsWicketsAverageEconomy
Aaron Jaques7.012700.003.86
Graham Preston11.013649.003.27
Matthew Barrett7.0126213.003.71
Eric Williams12.041635.331.33
Dipesh Bidiwala7.001500.002.14
Charlie Daniels2.001400.007.00
Simon Oliver1.00100.001.00