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Wickford win prolongs the agony for Basildon
Owzat - Westcliff wicket-keeper Gareth Bull and bowler Adam Pickering appeal to the umpire during their match against Old Southendian
After losing the toss, winless Basildon were put in to bat and were bowled out for 222.
Opener Danny Gray top-scored with 61 while Mike Blerkom hit 37.
Andy Baker was the pick of Wickford’s bowlers with 5-62 and the early title contenders then also impressed with the bat, passing the required total for the loss of six wickets.
Number three Tanvir Allam led the way with 75 and opening batsman Naeem Uddin scored 71 as Wickford secured their fifth win in seven games.
Second-placed Harold Wood remain just five points behind Wickford after seeing off Leigh on Sea by six wickets.
Leigh were put in to bat and were bowled out for 142 before Harold made it passed that target for the loss of four wickets inside 30 overs.
Old Southendian opted to bat first after winning the toss and, thanks to a fantastic 104 not out from Aaron Lucas, they scored 189-5, with Rob Johnston chipping in with a vital 39.
Westcliff initially impressed in reply and were 71 without loss before Sam Weller fell for 43.
But that proved to be his side’s top score of the afternoon.
Only Adam Pickering, with 42 not out, offered any kind resistance with the bat as Michael Gridley tore through the Westcliff line-up, taking six wickets for 59 runs.
Adam Hunt also played a key part as he took 3-36 to see Old Southendian home.
It was also a good day for Stanford le Hope as they beat Belhus by seven wickets in the Thurrock derby.
Belhus batted first after losing the toss and were skittled out for just 80.
Danny Joyce led the way with 23 but only four players were able to make it in to double figures.
Ross Poulton and Gary Sanderson both took four wickets for just nine runs to set up victory for their side which was completed when Lee Knight hit 34 not out.
Horndon on the Hill also avoided defeat after a battling draw at fourth-placed Gidea Park & Romford.
Gidea Park scored 217-5 in their innings before Horndon ended on 182-9.
Number three Kashif Nizami scored 67 and Jeff West 46 as eighth-placed Horndon held on to secure a draw.
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