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SEEVENT 60 1st XI FINAL at West Hallam CC
West Hallam is set in a bowl with far reaching countryside views, and all manner of weather conditions were available on the journey there.
However the ultra important toss was won by Essex who after consultation decided to field.
A very wise decision from the Staff Sargent, who resisted attempts by Lord Melchett his Spokesperson to bat .....
Immediately John Elliot’s left arm spin caused havoc, and both openers –who batted for circa 20 overs last week-----were out , undone by flight, trickery and the high bounce. Losing their talisman, England Captain John Foster was not on the agenda.
Aggressive strokes became a long distant memory as Shropshire were just intent on survival, and the run total kept pace with the overs.
Unfortunately so did the wickets.
Foster 2 in 13, Lloyd first ball , Elwyn Jones 5 in 41, Clarke 2 in 18, Denver 5 in 18, Hayes 9 in 35, versus the analyses of Messrs Elliott 4-14 ,Sargent 2-3 ,Young 1-6 ,Prabhakar 0-10----------- all in their allotted 9 overs
So it came to pass than at 39-9 in 35 overs, the stand that effectively saved their bacon was the unbeaten one between Barry Jones 23 in 87 ( A rather unique experience for the legendary big hitter) and Andy Parkin who will be extremely pleased to tell his great grandchildren about his 4 not in 33.
At the time, no one realised how valuable this 45 minutes was.
Tea and Derbyshire scones took over for 20 minutes and Essex batted.
Immediately Paul Wakefield tried to clip David Ashlin and was gone
However late import Nigel Bloch was back in the team, and in his element. No pressure, just mimic his name or smash a short one to the square boundary or drive a half volley.
When the rain started, local knowledge was that it was temporary. Unfortunately the drizzle turned into a top quality power shower and after many visits to the square, the match was abandoned.
Bloch was unbeaten on 14 in 29 and Malcolm Wright 5 not out in 13
One marked immediate upgrade was the quick running between these two as to the previous days events.. A very important and oft neglected facet.
Betfred would have had Essex as outright favourites, but now it comes down to a 3rd clash in April with all previous conflict well in the past.
Very many thanks indeed to Richard and Annette Owen who did everything-stepping in with the ground, feeding the 5000, and not relaxing for one second.
Also to Terry and Alan, the Umpires and Maggie and Mary the scorers. As some of you will know, Frances Brown, the Essex scorer was taken ill after the first final , but hopefully is on the road to recovery. We all wish her well.
Seevent 60’s 1st X1 Semi Finals
Oxfordshire inserted at Shrewsbury, started cautiously with Ian Caunce and Derek Watts putting on 98 in 25 before Caunce departed for 48 in 83 followed by Watts, 47 in 71. 116 was garnered in the last 20 to post 214-7.
Shropshire lost the Seevent Treasurer to the Seevent Vice Chairman quickly and wickets fell in a rush circa the 84 mark, but England captain, John Foster, was calm throughout and his unbeaten 127 in 120 saw the home team through to their first ever Final, with Peter Hayes 28 not out in 32, to win by 5 wickets in the 42nd over.
At Halstead, the weather patterns became freakish, hot sun morphing into early onset winter, the conditions eventually finishing the match off.
Kent elected to bat and lost their star batsman Chris Swadkin early on and only Jim Phillips with 56 could make any inroads into the Essex attack, Martin Southwell with 4-48 in their 162-8. Essex lost wickets regularly and were 98-4 in 29, but an unbeaten stand of 50 by Barry Claydon and Andrew Gallant saw Essex reach 145-4 in 36, but with light so bad, dangerous conditions and possible injury, Kent sportingly conceded, with Essex needing 18 in 9 overs.
So, it’s Essex v Shropshire on Sunday 10th September
2017 Play Offs Dates
Last 16 - Tuesday 8 August (Reserve date either Sunday 13 August or Tuesday 15 August)
Last 8 - Tuesday 22 August (Reserve date Sunday 27 August)
Semi-Finals - Tuesday 29 August (Reserve date Sunday 3 September)
Final - Sunday 10 September (Reserve date Sunday 17 September)