High Roding skipper looks for a top three place in Mid-Essex League Premier Division

PUBLISHED: 18:28 05 May 2010 | UPDATED: 07:37 30 May 2010

Left, High Roding wicket keeper Nick Dawson slips over on the wet surface on Saturday

Left, High Roding wicket keeper Nick Dawson slips over on the wet surface on Saturday

High Roding 217 Pegasus 218-5 HIGH RODING Cricket Club came agonisingly close to an opening day victory on Saturday in the Mid-Essex League Premier Division. Roding needed three runs from the final ball against Pegasus and Corringham to get off

High Roding 217

Pegasus 218-5

HIGH RODING Cricket Club came agonisingly close to an opening day victory on Saturday in the Mid-Essex League Premier Division.

Roding needed three runs from the final ball against Pegasus and Corringham to get off to a winning start or two for a draw, but in a dramatic finale they could only manage one.

However, captain Mel Hussain saw enough to believe his side will be competitive this season.

"There were a lot of positives," he said. "We bowled and fielded brilliantly and our openers got us off to a great start.

"I feel comfortable that with the squad we have we will be competitive. It all looks promising and I still fancy a top three finish. There are some good teams out there and it will be a tough league, but we have got a young side who are really up for the challenge."

Hussain lost the toss in his first game back as skipper and Pegasus elected to bat at The Meadow.

Mark Gallop and Jeff Clarke both bowled well at the start without any joy and the openers were scoring at five an over.

However, Roding new boy Craig Miller was then brought on to bowl and he quickly had one opener Roger Maxted (26) excellently caught behind by debutant wicket keeper Nick Dawson, and this was soon followed by a fantastic out swinger that sent the other opener Paul Bennett (18), back to the pavilion.

It was unfortunate for the hosts that at this point that there was a brief spell off the pitch for rain which deadened the wicket somewhat.

Jeff Clarke took a wicket, followed by Baz Sewell and Travis Hussain, but Pegasus were still able to hit a few boundaries and some quick singles.

The visitors ended their innings on 218-5. Ben francis top scored with 69, Daniel Laird made 30, and Robert Hutcherson and Martyn Hathaway were both unbeaten on 31 and 20 respectively.

For Roding, Miller took 2-48, Jeff Clarke 1-48, Baz Sewell 1-25 and Travis Hussain claimed 1-27.

Roding started with a wonderful opening partnership by Adam Holdgate and Travis Hussain which saw them fall just one run short of a century stand at 99. Holdgate was the first to fall with 45 followed by Hussain on 37.

This should have set Roding in good stead but the next nine overs only managed 10 runs. Mel Hussain was caught close to the boundary and it all began to go downhill from there and with 10 overs to go, Roding needed 80 runs.

However, some good hitting by Jeff Clarke (19) and Ryan Palmer (24) saw them gradually creep within sight of the target. A couple of fours was followed by a six off a no ball and Roding needed three off the last ball for a win, or two for a draw.

Miller (14) hit a well struck shot directly to square leg and a scrambled two resulted in Miller being just run out, meaning Roding lost by a single run.

- High Roding seconds fell the same way as the first team, but on a tricky wicket at Rickling Green in the Herts & Essex League Division Two.

Roding batted first and only Sandy Barr with 48 contributed as they were all out for a disastrous 77. Rickling reached the winning total within 20 overs.

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