BASILDON & PITSEA made it two wins on the spin as they defeated Stanford le Hope by eight runs in a thrilling derby match.
The men from Mopsies Park were indebted to Jon Bonnett’s unbeaten 54 as they made 204 all out from 49.1 overs before bowling their visitors out for 196 in 43.2 overs.
Ross Poulton led the reply with 75 runs and was the last wicket to fall as Stanford closed in on victory.
“One minute it was going our way and the next they were right up there but fortunately we got the last couple of wickets.
“Ross Poulton batted really well for Stanford. We bowled him out off a no ball early on and we finally got him out last wicket.
“Mo (Ali) and Dan (Bedford) bowled really well for us and Jon rescued us when it looked like we might only get around 160. We were well chuffed to get to 200, which I though was a competitive score.
“That made it two wins on the bounce and our season is kicking off now.”
Basildon struggled early on and lost their top three batsmen for seven runs before Lloyd Lambert (36), Jamie White (34) and Gray (11) got the scoreboard ticking over.
Bonnett’s unbeaten 54 added substance to the innings and Muhammad Ali (16) and Luke Daw (15) added valuable contributions against an attack led by Poulton (3-26), Dylan Eginton (2-23), James Pearn (2-29) and Greg Barr (2-41).
Barr (nine) was an early casualty but Martin Leslie and captain Lee Knight both hit out to get the run chase going.
Poulton’s 75 was the highlight but Adam Knight (13) was the only other batsman into double figures as the lower order wickets fell cheaply.
Ali (3-35), Bedford (3-41) and Lambert (2-25) did the main damage, with Jamie White (1-4) claiming Poulton’s wicket.
Old Southendian & Southchurch were unable to topple Harlow Town off the top of the table as the new towners claimed a seven-wicket win.
Old Boys’ openers Sam Hodgson and Rob Johnston contributed 19 and 15 runs respectively, but overseas player Michael Hill continued his fine form with the bat to anchor the innings.
The Australian plundered 142 runs before being stumped but then skipper Aaron Lucas and Mark Hope both went cheaply.
Matt Wilson (16) and Max Craddock (19) steadied the ship and Adam Hunt and Matthew Austin both hit unbeaten threes as Southendian made 245-8 from their 50-over allocation, with Ronnie Yates taking 4-58 for Harlow.
The hosts set about chasing down the runs with openers Patrick Yates (50) and Shiraz Ali (38) making inroads.
Joe Holland (31) knocked off some more runs before Ramya Upadhyay (59no) and Neil Gladwin (50no) secured the win as Harlow replied with 246-3 in 48.3 overs.
Adam Rendell, Adam Hunt and Sam Hodgson took a wicket each for Southendian.
“It was a seven-wicket win but it was a close game and we were only an over away from winning the game – it could have gone either way” said Old Southendian captain Aaron Lucas.
“I thought 240 was going to be enough but Harlow Town really batted well. The stand out performance was Michael Hill’s. He batted fantastically and was the performance of the match.
“We gave it a good go and I cannot find fault with my guys.
“If we keep playing like we are then we should be all right, and I’m not going to get too upset by Saturday’s result.
“The only problem is that Harlow Town now have a little run on us and have a game in hand. But we are still in the mix,” he added.
Benfleet remain rooted to the foot of the table following a 10-wicket defeat against visitors Old Brentwoods.
The Woodside Park’s batting let them down again as they were bowled out for 121 before being unable to stop Brentwoods scoring 123-0 in reply.