For a sport known to be somewhat leisurely, Wednesday’s cricket was anything but.
With UEA winning the toss and electing to bowl, the Essex opening batsmen came out determined to make their presence known from the offset. A huge swing off the first ball followed by a four off the next got Essex off the mark. A confident start for the visitors meant that they very almost got to the 10 over point before the first wicket fell, but the openers’ budding partnership was brought to a close with a catch at the end of the 9th over. It was the fall of their openers that caused Essex to go off the boil, with shot after shot being stopped by UEA’s excellent fielding. A great catch in the 16th over spelt the beginning of the end for Essex’s batting line-up as their remaining wickets fell in quick succession, drawing the first innings to a close.
A short tea break later and the players returned to the field for UEA’s innings. A strong start for the Essex bowlers as UEA’s batsmen seemed to struggle to find their feet, and their openers were dismissed without much difficulty. The Essex field was particularly reliable, intercepting every ball on the boundary. A fantastic ball from Daniel Thacker in the 11th over got middle stump, bowling out one of UEA’s lead scorers Jack Dudleston and bringing Essex’s wicket total to three. However, unlike Essex, UEA found strength in their lower order and a late push put UEA firmly back in the game. Some risks with their running brought multiple calls for a runout but the umpires waved off every appeal. With the sun a bit lower in the sky now, the crowd were getting louder and tensions were rising. Essex keeper Angus Prevost was especially energetic, interacting with the visiting crowd between balls, but UEA were not to be outdone, with their own fans booing the opposition’s bowlers for much of the final five overs. Tensions finally boiled over as a close end seemed more and more likely and one Essex fan had to be pulled away from the off-field UEA players. UEA needed 20 to win off the last 12 balls – possible, but certainly a challenge. Victory suddenly seemed further away for the hosts as the 6th and 7th wickets fell in the 18th over, but they held on. Three needed off the last ball, and Peter Trewick finishes it the only way he knows how, with a spectacular six over the bowler’s head! Whoever said cricket wasn’t exciting?!
UEA win with 129 runs for 7 wickets over Essex’s 128 for 8.
UEA: J. Lawrence (c), H. Bailey, R. Ewart (wk), T. Satkunaseelan, J. Dudleston, B. Smith, M. Shields, A. Shanks, A. Lush, P. Trewick, M. Gibson, S. Powell.