JASON Ox put in a captain’s performance to guide Rayleigh to an important victory in the T-Rippon Mid-Essex League.

The skipper scored 110 not out to inspire Rayleigh to a 26 run victory over fellow strugglers Brookweald in the Premier Division clash.

Rayleigh rallied having lost four early wickets and were indebted to a partnership between Ox and Luke Sullivan (40).

The win was Rayleigh’s second in succession and was enough to lift them out of the relegation places.

And Ox said the result was hugely satisfying.

“We went into the game knowing how important it was,” he said.

“We targeted wins against Brookweald and Rettendon and we have done it.

“We were nervous about it beforehand and they got a good win the week before.

“We lost the toss and were surprisingly stuck in to bat.

“At 40/4 it didn’t look great, but Will Nolde and I steadied the innings before Luke and I put on 100. We got through to 283 and we thought that was a good total considering we had found it hard with the bat but we knew they could chase it. We were quietly confident.

“We were on top early doors and got early wickets. They were at 150/5 before things started to go wrong. We missed catches and they needed 40 off 30 balls.

“Thankfully, 16-year-old Will Wheeler stepped up and got a wicket maiden in the 39th over and that swung the game back in our favour.”

Ox lauded improved availability as a reason for an upturn in results although admits he may face an uphill task this weekend.

England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden begins at 3pm on Saturday, with the league stating matches may be brought forward if both captains agree on the decision. No reduction in overs will be accepted.

And Ox, who will be away working this weekend, said stand-in captain Ben Francis would be looking into bringing the match against Bentley forward.

“We head there in confident mood,” said Ox.

“They have lost two and we have won our last two. They are an outstanding team but we have momentum.

“We appreciate people will want to watch England so we are trying to get it moved forward. We will talk to umpire Mick Elliott about maybe starting earlier so we can watch more in the break.

“But we will be focused once our game gets underway.”