Cricket: Loughton seal title, Fives on promotion brink
PUBLISHED: 14:00 02 September 2018
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Loughton clinched the Shepherd Neame Essex League Division Two title with a five-wicket win over Wickford.
And Fives & Heronians are on the brink of promotion to Division One also, following a seven-wicket victory at Old Southendian.
Leaders Loughton saw Vishak Surendra (3-26), Andrew Bridges (2-14), Bilal Butt (2-22) and Abdul Nasir (2-25) combine to dismiss Wickford for 134 after the visitors chose to bat first at The Uplands.
And Vibhor Yadav (36) got the home side on track in reply, before Butt smacked an unbeaten 58 off 40 balls, including three sixes and seven fours to seal success and the crown in the 25th over.
Fives moved 19 points clear of third-placed Harlow Town, meanwhile, after putting Southendian into bat at Garon Park and dismissing them for 171 in 44 overs.
Ahmed Khawaja fought a lonely battle for the hosts, scoring 109 off 106 balls and sharing a 100-run stand with Ali Raza (44).
Lakshan Rodrigo (3-21), Sarfaraz Ahmed (3-34), Amila Peiris (2-30) and Jonny Kay (2-38) shared the wickets for Fives, who raced to their target in 25 overs.
Terry Ballard hit two sixes and seven fours in his 49 off 39 balls, before Rodrigo struck three sixes and nine fours in his unbeaten 62 off just 39 deliveries, as captain Jake Poulter (22 not out) also chipped in.
Loughton visit lowly Horndon for their final match of the season next weekend, while Fives host relegation-threatened Leigh.