QUAIN Daniel took the wicket of Chris Hammond with the last ball of the innings to salvage a Shepherd Neame Division Three tie for Westcliff against local rivals Benfleet.

Westcliff had been bowled out for 149 in their innings and Benfleet no.11 Hammond faced the last ball of the visitors’ spell at the crease, with his side on 149/9.

With the scores level, Hammond needed just a single to secure Benfleet’s third win of the season.

But Hammond was clean bowled by Daniel to allow Westcliff to claim a tie.

And Westcliff captain Chris Gladwin was delighted to come away with a share of the spoils.

Gladwin said: “It was a brilliant game of cricket and after playing the game for about 40 years, that is the first tie I have ever been involved in.

“We played well on what was a very difficult wicket.

“Their groundsman has been sick for the last three weeks so they prepared the pitch the night before the game and the pitch was slow.

“Alex Hatton bowled well and Jack Stead did really well with the bat.

“But Quain Daniel was exceptional bowling at the death.

“He is a new lad we have brought into the side and he bowled so well.

“We went into the final over knowing that he needed to keep it tight and he bowled so well that we actually came close to winning the game.”

But Benfleet skipper Gavin Blowes saw the tie as an opportunity missed.

Blowes said: “They were on 20/4 from 15 overs so we were very confident of going on and getting the win.

“We were hoping to get them all out for 120 runs, so they got nearly 30 more than we would have liked to have chased.

“We struggled to make big scores with the bat individually.

“But we got to the final over needing only two runs to win.

“We lost a wicket on the first ball of that over and needed just a run off the last ball but our number 11 came in and was bowled first ball.

“It is frustrating to have not won the game and it feels like a loss to be honest.”

Blowes won the toss and put Westcliff into bat, and it proved to be a good call as Matt Renvoize, Hatton, Jonathan Pratt and Peter Barnes were all dismissed early on thanks to the bowling of Ben Munday and Paul Frensham.

But Stead top scored with 39, while Gladwin and Daniel added 11 and 18 respectively to the total.

Sherwin Stanley was the last man standing at the crease, after scoring 37 not out, as Westcliff were all out for 149.

The wickets were shared between the Benfleet bowlers, as Munday claimed three scalps, Frensham and Muhammad Asif took two wickets each and Hammond dismissed Stead.

Benfleet were forced to open the batting without usual opener Jamie Critchell, as the batsman had to leave the field for two hours due to sunstroke while his side were bowling.

As a result, Stephen Reeve joined Samuel Coelho at the top of the order.

Like Westcliff’s batsmen, Benfleet struggled to post big totals as only three members of the home side were able to get into double figures with the bat.

Reeve scored 11, while Asif hit 36.

But the highest scorer of the day was Blowes, who hit a half-century on his way to an impressive 52 runs.

Benfleet were eventually all out for 149 to leave the sides to settle for a tie.

Daniel, who removed Hammond with the last ball of the day for nought, was the most dangerous of the Westcliff bowlers as he posted figures of 4/38.

John Stanley and Hatton took two wickets each as Tom Baker and Stanley claimed a solitary wicket apiece.

Elsewhere, Leigh suffered their first defeat of the campaign as Harlow Town sealed an eight wicket victory.

Leigh were put into bat first and they got off to the worst possible start as Iain McDonald was removed for a duck to leave the visitors on 0/1. The wickets of captain Joe Sexton and Jon Edwards followed, for three and one respectively, to leave Leigh on 15/3.

Dean Waller and Paul Humphries steadied the ship as they hit 23 and 15 runs respectively.

Liam Ball and Jac Sexton also added to the total with 31 and 11 runs respectively, but Billy King and Matthew Curtis were both out for single figures.

Theodore Foley and Alex Camp were on 11 and 19 not out as Leigh brought their innings to a close on 138/9 declared.

But Harlow Town showed their class with the bat, as well as with the ball.

Dean Waller claimed the wicket of Daniel Baldwin for seven runs to leave Harlow Town on 29/1, while Matthew Curtis clean bowled Ashley Alderson for 66.

But Joe Holland’s 46 not out, along with Neil Gladwin’s two after replacing Alderson at the crease, saw the hosts over the line with eight wickets in hand.

Meanwhile, Stanford le Hope came agonisingly close to beating Woodford Green, but fell four runs short of their target.

Anthony Palmer and Matthew Field top scored for Woodford Green with 39 runs each, as the visitors were all out for 173.

Greg Barr impressed with the ball, as he finished with figures of 4/41.

Adam Knight took three wickets, while Matthew Higgins claimed two scalps.

Captain Matthew Page and Robert Page hit 26 runs apiece for Stanford le Hope, while Thomas Willats scored 24.

Knight followed up his impressive form with the ball with a good spell at the crease.

But Knight ran out of partners and, while he ended on 29 not out, James Drain became the last man to lose his wicket with Stanford le Hope on 169.