Oakfield Parkonians held to a draw with Benfleet

Paresh Kalley of Oakfield during Gidea Park and Romford CC (fielding) vs Oakfield Parkonians CC, Ham

Paresh Kalley of Oakfield during Gidea Park and Romford CC (fielding) vs Oakfield Parkonians CC, Hamro Foundation Essex League Cricket at Gidea Park Sports Ground on 15th May 2021 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Oakfield Parkonians were held to a draw with Benfleet after a delayed start due to rain which made for tricky conditions.

Skipper Paran Kalley won the toss and elected to bowl first but Benfleet got off to a great start and the Parks bowlers struggled to find the right lines and lengths.

Other than Selva Ramasamy (16-4-60-5) none of the Parks bowlers could trouble the batsmen.  

Parks just weren't at the races in the field and a few sloppy moments and dropped catches meant that Benfleet got an above par score of 168.

Benfleet started the second innings of the match well bowling tight lines and picking up regular wickets.  

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No one in the top six other than Ravi Teja (24) stuck around long enough for the chase to be a real option and being 30-5 wasn't ideal and meant Parks had no option but to bat for the draw.

Having been the standout with the ball, Ramasamy was unbeaten on 34 at the close.

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The seconds and thirds lost to Ilford opponents, by two and four wickets respectively, but the fourths nabbed a draw with Upminster.

The fifths provided some cheer as they secured a huge 142-run victory over their Ilford rivals. 

Oakfield declared at 201-7 after 42 overs with Sachin Fing (30), Amar Desai (30), Samuel Varnes (32) and Anuj Tewari (30) leading the way. 

In reply, Ilford were bowled out for a meagre 59 thanks to the superb bowling of Vijay Vijayanathan (3-9), Nikhil Roy-Mukherjee (2-9), Tewari (2-6), Syed Imanul Muttageen (2-15), and Desai (1-7). 

Although the victory was much greater than Parks expected, Ilford were a team of developing colts who bowled quickly, showed courage, and fought hard.

Ilford had an outstanding talent in Aahaan Srivastav (8 not out) as the determined, classical, 13-year-old, batted light years ahead of his age.

In the interests of his development and in the spirit of the game, Parks extended an invitation for him to seek further coaching from their IPL star Ravi Teja.

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