Week 2 & 3 – (April 30th, May 7th) – Champions Witham open up with two wins

Published by: Kevin Hewes
Published on 10 May 2023
Last Updated: 10 May 2023

The first couple of weeks of the new NECL season has been blighted by the weather, but nevertheless cricket has taken place.

In Division One, champions Witham have opened up with two home victories. On 30th April they entertained Sudbury at The Parks, and with half centuries from Michael Headley (73), Harrison McDonald (70) and Ben Tinham (55) posted 203 for 3 from their 40 overs. The Sudbury reply got off to worst possible start as both openers were returned to the pavilion with ducks to their name. It got little better, with five ducks being recorded in the innings, and Daniel Fisher (36) top scoring. Oscar Burley (3 for 16) and two wickets a piece for Ashton Lawrence and James Streetley were the standout performances with the ball for Witham, as Sudbury were dismissed for 104 and defeat by 99 runs.

On the 7th May, Witham entertained last season’s Runners Up Halstead, and made it two wins from two with a 78 run win. Batting first centurions Christopher Garrard (132no) and Hamad Arshad (103) scored the bulk of the score as Witham posted 286 for 5. In reply, Halstead secured full batting points by scoring 209 all out in 33 overs, the highlight being a second wicket stand of 165 between James Tyson (71) and Charles Mallett (96). Joe Allen (3 for 45) and Kaan Hawes three cheap wickets (3 for 5) were the most successful Witham bowlers.

Clacton also secured two victories over the last two weeks, with their game on 7th May conceded by visitors Sudbury.

On the 30th April, newcomers West Bergholt were the visitors to Vista Road, and made a respectable start to life in Division One. Batting first after winning the toss Bergholt posted 227 for 2 from their 40 overs, with opener Jack Montgomery (117no from 142 balls) laying a good foundation to a solid total. Matthew Guffick (33) and Teja Thota (36no) played supporting roles in stands of 69 for the second wicket, and 90 for the third wicket. Clacton chased down the target fairly comfortably, with their opener Joe Fowler (107no from 102 balls) leading their innings. Luke Sumner (31) and Shaun Mathews (41no from 38) enjoyed stands of 82 and 85 with Fowler as Clacton reached the target in the 36th over, to win by 7 wickets.

Colchester & E.E backed up their opening day win, on the 30th April with a six wicket success over Springfield at Castle Park. Matt Trim (45) and Charlie Prudence (47) gave the visitors a solid enough base with a handy second wicket stand. However, the introduction of George Mallinder into the attack saw a change in the Springfield fortunes. Mallinder picked up 5 for 42 from his nine overs, as Springfield were bowled out in the 34th over for 145. Colchester cantered to a victory in 26 overs, with Feroze Ahmed (46) and Keelan Bulger (32no) the top scorers. Springfield’s Shan Thevasakayam returned 3 for 31 from his nine overs.

Springfield’s game at West Bergholt on the 7th May was cancelled due to severe waterlogging.

The Division Two season started on the 7th May, with Great Bentley welcoming Chelmsford to the Green, for their first ever NECL fixture. Great Bentley must have regretted inserting the visitors, as openers Adam Derham (126no) and Elliot Wenzel (71) put on 221 for the first wicket, before James Snowden (3 for 32) claimed three wickets on that score as Chelmsford closed at 221 for 3. In reply, Bentley posted 146 all out in 33.1 overs, with Snowden (105) the only batter to make double figures. Ollie Camp (3 for 19) and Ben Lawrence (3 for 20) picked up three wickets each, as Chelmsford claimed their first win in the NECL by a margin of 75 runs.

Unfortunately, the opening game in the T20 group stage between Kelvedon & Feering and Colchester & E.E. was conceded by Kelvedon on 7th May.

Two games to report on in the T30, on the 30th April West Bergholt defeated Brightlingsea by 44 runs. Bergholt posted 175 for 2 from their 30 overs, with Jack Myers (69no) and Sreenath Kamatham (55) both posting half centuries. In reply, opener Josh Gregory (42) top scored for Brightlingsea as they were bowled out in the last over for 131, Bergholt’s Ben Luke the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 13.

On the 7th May, Coggeshall chased down Kelvedon & Feering’s useful 162 for 7 with 11 balls to spare. Murray Lane (46) and Rory Bowden (30) top scored in the Kelvedon innings. Coggeshall cruised to victory with Barry Edwards (52 rno) and Trevon Garraway (33no) leading a successful run chase to win by 6 wickets. Bowden backed up his batting exploits by being the most successful Kelvedon bowler with 2 for 12 from his 5 overs.

This week something must go in Division One as unbeaten records for Witham and Clacton are on the line at Witham, while Springfield and Halstead will hope to get their seasons going when they meet at Coronation Park.

In Division Two, Eight Ash Green open their season by hosting Chelmsford, while in the T30 Copford entertain Coggeshall, and Sudbury

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