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Dean Waller's ton keeps Leigh on the march in Shepherd Neame Division Two
LEIGH-on-Sea marched on in the league after another century from Dean Waller guided them to victory over high-flying Belhus.
Captain Waller smashed 107 in the win at Chalkwell Park, and was well supported by the rest of the middle order, in particular Harry Slack, who hit an impressive 66.
Having won the toss and choosing to bat first, Leigh were looking to make early runs but got off to a dreadful start – finding themselves at 1-3 after only 15 minutes.
However, Waller and Slack stepped in to steady the innings – adding 193 for the fourth wicket. Waller’s team eventually rallied to a solid score of 285-9 in their 50 overs.
However, Belhus have had an excellent start to the season, winning five of their eight matches coming into this encounter, and they made a good start in responding to the high target.
Joe Joyce (70) and Danny Joyce (54) were the main scorers for Belhus as the chased down Leigh’s score and they only fell just short, Alex Camp claiming 3-43.
With the amount of runs approaching Leigh’s target, the required run rate was not quite what it needed to be – with the visitors falling just 11 runs short of Leigh’s total in 50 overs.
The win was Leigh’s fourth in succession after victories over West Essex, Billericay and Gidea Park & Romford and Waller says the confidence is flowing through his side.
“This is a great moment for the team. Although our top order is still struggling at times we are lucky the rest of the side is contributing.
“We have been doing very well and continuing that is our objective.”
And Leigh can be confident of extending that winning run, with a trip to winless Horndon-on-the-Hill up next.
“We are 100 per cent confident of adding a fifth win in a row. We are not underestimating the opposition but all we can do is look at ourself and play our game.”
Leigh are still fourth in the division, with the top five creating some distance between themselves and the rest of the chasing pack, which includes Billericay who won for the first time in three matches at the weekend.
They welcomed Fives & Heronians to the Toby Howe Cricket Ground and Billericay put in the opposition to bat first, scoring 258 – with Greg Hammond taking three wickets.
Billericay lost seven overs to rain but were set a revised target of 222 off 43 overs.
They set about the target in barnstorming fashion, Paul Walter scoring an unbeaten 125 and Stuart Hynes 61 not out, eventually reaching the target with the loss of only three wickets.
Graham Cox won the toss and chose to bowl first on a slightly blustery day. The visitors got off to a very good start, with Jason Plom (106) and Shahid Khan (87) leading the way for Orsett.
They made 301 runs for the loss of nine wickets before declaring and putting Westcliff into bat. Leon Sealy had the best bowling figures for the home team (3-42).
However, Cox’s side never looked like reaching the total, managing only 118 runs in 32 overs before being bowled out. Jack Plom impressed with the ball for Orsett, with 3-15.
Horndon-on-the-Hill again lost but showed signs of improvement, scoring 188-8 in their 50 overs.
Gary Ginsburgh impressed at the crease, scoring 66 not out with Usman Jan adding 34 runs.
Hornchurch were set a revised target of 175 (off 41 overs) after losing nine overs to rain and opening batsman Paul Murray Jr scored an unbeaten 86 to send the table-toppers further ahead in Division Two.