Woodford Wells survive, but Fives go down
PUBLISHED: 14:30 04 September 2016
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Five-star James sets up last-day escape
Woodford Wells ensured their survival in Essex League Division One with a final-day win over relegated Loughton, which saw Fives & Heronians drop into the bottom two after their draw at Orsett.
Loughton captain Fahad Anwar chose to bat after winning the toss, but Taqi Abbas fell to Gareth James in the seventh over, with the same bowler taking two wickets in two balls in his next over to make it 25-3.
Nabel Shaikh dismissed Bilal Butt with the total on 42, before the hosts steadied the ship with a 44-run stand for their fifth wicket.
Jonathan Gaffney broke that stand and picked up a second wicket to make it 102-6, before George Ellis got in on the act with a quickfire brace.
James then took the final two wickets to complete his superb 5-22 haul and see Loughton all out for 145.
And although Wells lost Will Rogers (28) in reply, they saw Rishabh Shah (43 not out) and Michael Arblaster (64 not out) put on an unbroken 111 to seal a nine-wicket win and ensure their survival.
Fives captain Ben Britton put Orsett into bat after winning the toss and saw Greg Summers strike early with the new ball.
Jake Poulter and Sarfaraz Ahmed (3-53) had further success to leave the hosts 154-5, but Orsett captain Paul Bennett held firm and got to within a run of a century before falling to Fahad Iqbal (2-68), who struck again moments later.
The home side eventually reached a challenging 267-7 and Fives were soon in deep trouble as they lost Terry Ballard, Gary Norris, Gary Edwards and Poulter cheaply to find themselves 18-4.
Iqbal held firm and had brief support from Pete Kilpatrick, Britton, Summers and Ali Raza, before rain stopped play shortly before 6pm and prevented any further possible action.
Iqbal was unbeaten on 89, having hit two sixes and 13 fours in a 67-ball innings, with Fives on 144-7 and condemned to a quick return to Division Two.
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