Wanstead earn tense win over Hornchurch
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Wanstead began the Hamro Foundation Essex League Premier Division season with a tense two-wicket win over Hornchurch.
After a delayed start at Overton Drive, they put the visitors into bat and saw Eshun Kalley (3-16) and Zaid Shahzad strike with the new ball to dismiss Ronnie Saunders and Billy Gordon.
Herons skipper Joe Ellis-Grewal (2-31) got rid of Jamie Sorrell and Merv Westfield to make it 23-4, before Adeel Malik helped Paul Murray steady the innings.
Murray eventually fell to Shahzad (4-10) for 35, after putting on 40 with Muhammad Irfan (27), to leave Hornchurch 91-6, but their last four wickets fell for just 14 runs as they were all out for 105 in the 30th over.
Wanstead did not have it all their own way in reply, though, as Hornchurch captain Gordon removed Hasan Chowdhury and Robin Das to leave them 4-2.
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Malik (2-19) sent Tom Simmons and Naivedyam Dwivedi packing, before Gordon (3-4) dismissed Kishen Velani to leave Wanstead wobbling at 18-5.
Irfan claimed the wicket of Kalley with the total on 26, but stalwarts Arfan Akram (25) and Ellis-Grewal then got together to put on 33 for the seventh wicket, before Dean Skipper ending their stand.
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Ellis-Grewal shared another 32 with Jonathan Das, before also falling to Irfan (2-12) with his side still 15 runs short of their target, but the home side clinched a two-wicket victory in the 28th over.
Brentwood's home game with Belhus fell victim to the weather, as did Billericay's trip to Chingford.
But Harold Wood fell to a 23-run defeat at Hadleigh & Thundersley, who made 236-6 from 37 overs.
Samuel Handley scored 95 for the hosts, as Daniel Carter (2-34) nabbed a brace for Wood.
But a superb century from captain Craig Perrin proved in vain for the visitors, as they reached 213-9 in reply.
Perrin hit five sixes and 17 fours in his 133 from just 102 balls, but Shahbaz Khan (28), who whom he shared 69 for the fourth wicket, was the only other Wood batsman to make any impact.