Hackney seal victory over London Fields in heavyweight league clash
Saturday saw the clash of two NELCL heavyweights – reigning champions Hackney CC playing their first of the season against close rivals London Fields CC who were running hot with two wins in two in the league already.
Hackney won the toss and the Wrighton brothers opened the innings cautiously against the disciplined seam bowling of Phil Clark.
Ollie Wrighton showed that the track had value for shots with some glorious drives to the boundary off Presswala.
After three surgical Clark wickets on a moving track, the Hackney ship was steadied by Archie Woodhead who soaked up the pressure, seeing off the opening bowlers while putting away anything loose in a masterclass of old-school text book batting technique.
Woodhead went on to top-score with 46 while being supported from the other end by cameos by Macdonald, Clarkson and Tonge, who all scored quick-fire 20s with a flurry of fours and sixes.
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London Fields however kept plugging away at the wickets, Troy Utz doing most of the damage as he ended up with figures of 5-41.
With some late hitting by Kartik Joshi down the order, Hackney’s total was pushed over the 200 mark – setting Fields a stiff chase of 213.
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In reply, Hackney’s opening bowlers, backed up by some athletic fielding, put the Field’s batting under immediate pressure.
Rob Perrett was particularly lethal, swinging the ball both ways and cleaning up the top order on route to figures of 3-11.
He was ably supported by Craig Raddon from the other end – who kept it tight with three maidens, beat the bat repeatedly and was unlucky not to be on the wickets column.
First change seamer Joshi took a while to find his lines, but then picked up three wickets for 27 while giving the left-handers in the Fields middle a headache with the swinging ball.
The London Fields lower order was cleaned up in relatively short order by Woodhead (2-24) and Tonge (2-5).
London Fields finished on 102-all out, a resounding 110 run victory for Hackney CC in what was a good-spirited return to league competition.
Bloomsbury Royals 216 (37 Overs) lost to St. Clements 276-8 (40 Overs) by 60 runs.
St Clements won the toss and elected to bat on what looked a good batting strip despite some overcast conditions.
The decision was vindicated as the St Clements openers Arslan Javed (45) and Kashif Mustafa(112) put on a stunning opening partnership of 150 for the first wicket and so setting up the game. Kashif Mustafa was particularly impressive as he smashed the Bloomsbury bowlers to all parts.
Once the openers had eventually departed there were a few cameos including Nadeem Akhtar(32)as St Clements reached 276 in their 40 overs. Hiru Haque was the pick of the bowlers taking 3-34.
In reply Bloomsbury made a steady start but never fully got on top of the run rate and despite some stubborn resistance from Adam Hines-Green(62) who almost carried his bat and Shahin Tota(32) the innings was always behind the run rate, coupled with some sharp catching this was a good team display by St Clements with the wickets shared around the bowlers.
Bloomsbury eventually finished on 216 meaning victory for St Clements by 60 runs.
Pacific CC 293-8 (39 Overs) beat Canary Wharf Royals 292-4 (40 Overs) by 2 wickets.
Pacific won the toss and asked to Canary Wharf Royals to have a bat. CWR responded with an assured performance with the willow, with 3 players getting their half centuries on the way to a score of 292-4, an imposing total on a wicket that had shown variable bounce, particularly early on. PCC bowled well, but the excellent striking of Evendell (A chanceless 65 off only 27 balls) in particular was hard to contain.
In reply, PCC completed the highest successful run chase in the clubs history to win. Propelled by a maiden century from Tom Gane (118), PCC timed the chase well, though CWR were always in the game and constantly threatened with their bowling. Soni was the pick of the CWR bowlers with figures of 6-3-37. A good match played in good spirit throughout.