Although fighting against a strong wind, UEA Men’s Cricket thrashed Essex by nine wickets on Derby Day. Essex batted first, with Hussain and Prevost opening. They started well and made it to 100 by the twelfth over with no wickets lost.
As a mighty bank of cloud hid the sun it seemed the day might be over for UEA before it had begun. In the tenth over the Essex batsmen were oozing with confidence, with one even pulling off a cheeky Dilscoop, much to the pleasure of the Essex supporters.
However in the thirteenth over the tide began to turn. Hussain was caught by Reynolds off Shields, and Shields bowled Kalley out for a meagre three runs.
The key moment came in the fifteenth over when a persistent Rajagopal caught and bowled the big-hitting Prevost when the batsman was just five runs from a century. The Essex batsmen continued to fall as Lawrence, Shields, and Layer all took wickets, and the pressure piled on from a tight UEA field. Essex finished with 156 runs for eight wickets after the full 20 overs. Even with that last cluster of wickets it was set to be a tough afternoon for UEA.
That was before Lawrence and Bailey stepped up to bat. The pair hit sixteen off the first two overs, and by the sixth over UEA looked the likely victors as Lawrence hit a beautifully placed shot past the wicketkeeper to add two more runs and bringing the total to 58/0. Essex had a glimmer of hope as a lofted shot was caught, but the umpire deemed it a no ball and play continued. Lawrence was then caught on 72 but by then the die was cast.
More than ten wide balls by the Essex bowlers didn’t help their cause, and UEA ended the match brilliantly with two overs to spare, beating Essex by nine wickets.