Shepherd Neame Essex League

Premier Division

A fine 140-run eighth-wicket partnership helped Wanstead and Snaresbrook keep up their pursuit of table-toppers Chelmsford with an 80-run victory over Harold Wood on Saturday.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, the hosts suffered an early blow when Jonathan Das (1) was dismissed cheaply. Arfan Akram (20), Saurav Prabhakar (26) and Hassan Chowdhury (20) all made starts but were unable to go on and make a sizeable score.

Kishen Velani hit a boundary-laden 43 off just 24 balls before he became Harold Wood’s fifth victim with the score on 130.

Wanstead’s prospects of a strong total looked slim when they were reduced to 152 for seven but then Akram and Mohammad Ali Syed Zaidi produced their superb stand to put their side in control.

Akram’s 101 came off an identical number of deliveries and featured two sixes and nine fours, while his teammate hit eight boundaries in his 45 as Wanstead were dismissed for exactly 300.

In reply, Zain Shahzad (one for 32) and Mohammed Fayyaz Khan (two for 12) had Harold Wood in early trouble at 34 for three.

Raihan Hussain (38) and Shahbaz Khan (38) moved the score on to 111 but two wickets for Misem Ali Syed Zaidi (two for 61) and the first of Joe Ellis-Grewal’s five scalps reduced the visitors to 146 for six.

A 55-run seventh-wicket partnership frustrated Wanstead’s progress for a while but then the captain quickly ran through the tail to finish with five for 38 as Harold Wood were bowled out for 220.

South Woodford are looking nervously over their shoulder at the other end of the table after they suffered a 100-run defeat at Chelmsford.

The side are only three points ahead of the drop zone after their pursuit of the leaders’ 235 for eight saw them dismissed for 135.

South Woodford’s prospects looked good when two wickets apiece for Harry Shirt (two for 54) and Krishan Vadher (two for 54) had helped reduce the table toppers to 158 for seven when top scorer Chris Prowting was run out for 49.

However, the eighth-wicket pairing of Karamat Ali (38) and Oliver Devenish (36 not out) put on 77 for the next wicket to give the hosts a useful total to defend.

South Woodford’s reply was disappointing, with James Swash (36) and Max Shirt (31) making the main contributions as only four batsmen made it into double figures.

The majority of the damage was done by Ali (four for 25) and Anthony Hill (three for 38), who took seven wickets between them.

Three strong performances with the bat saw Chingford get the better of Buckhurst Hill by five wickets in a high-scoring mid-table clash that went down to the wire.

Visitors Hill would have fancied their chances after racking up 282 for seven off their 50 overs in an innings which featured ten sixes.

Seven of these were struck by Alexander Maskell, who top-scored with 80 off 74 deliveries, while Raymond Parkinson hit the other three en route to making 78.

Alfie Taylor was the most successful of the Chingford attack, taking three wickets, but he saw his ten overs cost 85.

Buckhurst’s prospects looked even brighter after George Hick (two for 48) had cheaply accounted for Chingford’s openers to leave them on nine for two. But this brought Jack Preddey and Mubasher Hassan to the middle and the pair put on 116 for the third wicket before Hassan fell for 65 off 52 balls.

Preddey and Chris Baldock continued the onslaught though, with a partnership of 146 for the next wicket before both were dismissed in quick succession – Preddey for 109 while his teammate made 71.

Andrew MacGregor (6 not out) and Ben MacGregor (7 not out) saw Chingford over the finish line with two balls to spare.

An even higher-scoring contest saw Loughton hold their neve to beat Ilford by three runs.

A sparkling 111 off 90 balls, featuring three sixes and 12 fours, from Rishi Patel and Bilal Butt’s rapid-fire 64 from 46 deliveries helped Loughton to a position of strength of 303 for four off their 50 overs.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Loughton's Mo Khail plays a defensive shot. Picture: Dave LovedayLoughton's Mo Khail plays a defensive shot. Picture: Dave Loveday

However, Ilford were to have their own centurion in opener Nigel Jacobs, who made 123, and with Aron Nijjar weighing in with 51, the visitors were always in the hunt.

Crucially though, Hamza Omar (three for 57) picked up two late wickets as Haaris Ayub was left stranded on an unbeaten 42, with his side falling an agonising three runs short of the target.

Division One

A score of 92 from Brenton Thompson was not enough to save Woodford Wells from a five-wicket defeat at the hands of leaders Hornchurch.

Opener Joe Johnson made 69 and Peter McDermott finished unbeaten on 45 as fourth-placed Wells posted 252 for three.

Wells’ hopes were lifted as Donovan Miller (two for 40) and Gareth James (one for 51) reduced the leaders to 20 for three.

But that was about as good as it got for the home side as the table toppers crossed the finish line with five wickets and plenty of time to spare; Roy Smith top-scoring with an undefeated 84.

Division Two

Two strong upper-order batting performances provided the platform for leaders Fives and Heronians to continue their promotion push with a three-wicket win over Horndon On the Hill.

Having elected to field, three early Greg Summers (four for 39) wickets had Horndon in early trouble before contributions from the middle-order trio of Jeff West (62), Gary Ginsburgh (36) and Daniel Petts (36 not out) helped the hosts to a total of 219 all out after Selvam Ramasamy (four for 63) had also claimed four scalps.

Fives lost two cheap wickets in reply but Gary Norris (70) and Gamindu Kanishka (75) both scored well to set their side en route to victory.

The visitors did lose some late wickets but completed the job after 45 overs on 222 for seven.

Division Three

Oakfield Parkonians are top of the table after they demolished Woodford Green by 158 runs.

The hosts were firmly in command once they’d amassed 314 for six off their 50 overs; Haris Khan top-scored with 90 while Jibram Azam (52) also weighed in with a half-century.

In reply, Woodford Green were skittled out in 37 overs for 156 after A.Ryatt had taken three for 26.

Epping remain too close to the drop zone for comfort after they were on the receiving end of a 191-run drubbing at Westcliff-On-Sea.

The visitors endured a torrid day in the field as Westcliff piled on the runs to score 365 for seven from their 50 overs.

Openers Peter Barnes and Jack Stead set the tone, making 49 and 89 respectively, before number three Noel Smith (55) continued to turn the screw. But a further injection of scoring was to be applied by the middle-order duo of Lewis Groves and Adam Pickering.

Groves cracked 51 off 29 balls while his teammate struck four sixes and four fours as he finished on 64 not out off just 26 deliveries.

Shrikant Shetty was the most successful of the Epping bowlers, taking four wickets, but his ten overs went for 77 runs.

The visitors were never in the game with the bat, losing seven wickets before they had 100 on the board before Tanvir Hasan’s 32 towards the bottom of the order helped them limp to 174 all out.

Only four other batsmen made it into double figures as Westcliff shared the wickets around, with Callum Pastfield taking four for 58, Graham Cox three for 36 and Pickering two for 50.

Walthamstow strengthened their mid-table position following a 92-run success over West Essex.

With the exception of number four Zishan Abedin (42), all of the Walthamstow top order fell cheaply.

But Hamza Mahmood was to prove the star of the show with the bat, launching six maximums and seven fours as he raced to an unbeaten 84 off 76 balls to help his side to 209 all out.

Mubashir Javed was West Essex’s most effective bowler, taking four for 29 from his ten overs.

Javed (26) and fellow opener Farhad Saleem (12) got the West Essex reply off to a reasonable reply.

But the Walthamstow attack then took command, ripping through the middle order in rapid time to speed up the home side’s demise to 117 all out as Asif Bala took the last two wickets to fall off his only two deliveries in the match.

Earlier, Intezar Ijaz had taken three for 24 while Deepan Kandeepan weighed in with two for 29.