Walden defeat league champions

PUBLISHED: 16:33 07 June 2007 | UPDATED: 21:42 29 May 2010

Josh Coote bowling for Saffron Walden on Saturday – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Josh Coote bowling for Saffron Walden on Saturday – Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Saffron Walden skipper Joe Holland saw Ryan Sparrow hit 106 as his side recorded their first victory in the Essex League Premier Division under his leadership at the expense of Hainault and Clayhall on Saturday. It wasn t a day for bowlers as three batsme

Saffron Walden skipper Joe Holland saw Ryan Sparrow hit 106 as his side recorded their first victory in the Essex League Premier Division under his leadership at the expense of Hainault and Clayhall on Saturday.

It wasn't a day for bowlers as three batsmen claimed centuries with Walden staging a great fightback to reach the required total with six wickets to spare.

"There was pure ecstatic emotion on Saturday and it was great to get the first win especially against last year's league champions," said Holland.

"It was a big ask when they posted 327, but Ryan Sparrow batted superbly as did Adam Wheater and Craig George and it was a good team effort."

Walden won the toss and put the visitors into bat and this seemed a good decision.

They got off to a slow start with Atif Zafar putting on nine and Dominic Hurst scoring 20 with M Ismail out for a duck.

It was the middle order that really did the damage for Hainault. Irfan Shah came to the crease and made 138 while Ranabir Nath scored 131 to really push the score on.

Asfaq Ahmed (6), Jonathan Evans (7 no) and Imtiaz Patel (3 no) all added runs as Hainault finished on 327-6 in 60 overs.

Taking the wickets for Walden was Josh Coote (18-4-73-3), and Simon Parmenter (11-0-78-3).

In reply Walden got off to a great start with Ryan Sparrow (106) in fine form. The hosts lost Tom Westley cheaply for nine, but Craig George (67) came in to accelerate the run rate.

Adam Wheater made 55 while captain Holland hit 43 not out as Walden neared their target.

Jack Ford chipped in with 19 not out as Walden took the victory scoring 328-4 in 60 overs.

On Saturday Walden host bottom club Colchester and East Essex, but will be without Joe Barrs, Owais Qadeer and Jack Ford.

"We have a few changes, but we will have a core of seven throughout the season which is helpful," said the skipper.

"It will be a tough game despite their league position, but hopefully our bowling will come together and we can put their batsmen under pressure."

- Ryan Sparrow was also in impressive form on Sunday hitting 140, but it wasn't enough to stop Walden slipping to a seven wicket defeat in the Quarter final of the ECB Cockspur Cup Group 14 at home to Cambridge Granta.

Walden won the toss and decided to bat first and Sparrow and Westley (75) put on a great stand of 165 for the first wicket.

However, when they were dismissed, only Holland (24) made a notable contribution as Walden finished on 256-5 in 45 overs.

In reply Cambridge got off to a decent start with Jason Coleman (36) and Tom Harvey (49) putting on 60 for the first wicket.

Jacques Du Toit came to the crease and was Walden's nemesis scoring 114 runs with Sean Park (44 no) and Bennie Van Rooyen (4 no) chipping in as Cambridge reached their target with seven wickets to spare in 39.4 overs.

"Ryan batted really well all weekend and not many players will get 140 in a limited over game and not finish on the winning side, so it was a real disappointment," said Holland.

"Their batsmen Du Toit batted superbly throughout. It was hard for us to do anything against him and he took the game away from us."

On Sunday Walden visit Wimbledon in the Evening Standard Cup second round.

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