Walden move top of the league
Saffron Walden moved top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division table after their victory at home to Ilford on Saturday. Joe Holland s side picked up 25 points, thanks to 61 runs from the skipper and a great bowling display by Ryan Sparrow, w
Saffron Walden moved top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division table after their victory at home to Ilford on Saturday.
Joe Holland's side picked up 25 points, thanks to 61 runs from the skipper and a great bowling display by Ryan Sparrow, who took six wickets for 45 runs.
The captain was delighted
his side had gone above
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this weekend's opponents Ardleigh Green into top spot and was pleased with the whole side's performance.
"I am delighted to go top and the rain really helped us with other teams not finishing," he said. "Ilford lost 12 overs as well due to the weather, which gave them less time to get runs so they went for it and it helped us pick up a few wickets.
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"Ryan Sparrow bowled brilliantly and posting almost 200 was a great effort by the batsmen on a difficult wicket. We fielded well as a team and we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and are getting stronger every week."
Holland was quick to praise former captain Neil Gladwin who hit 46 runs on his return to the side.
"We know what he can do and he's a solid player that you can rely on," he said. "He
batted brilliantly on Saturday and will definitely keep his place this weekend."
Ilford won the toss and put Walden into bat on a difficult wicket at Catons Lane.
Walden got off to a slow start losing Ryan Sparrow (11) and Tom Westley (10), early on to the impressive bowling of Tarisai Andrew Savanhu.
Craig George (4), was also out cheaply, before Joe Holland came to the crease and steadied the ship.
Jack Ford could only add four runs, but Neil Gladwin returned to take the score on.
Simon Parmenter then made 23 and it looked as though Walden would push on and set a very impressive target.
However, Tom Price (1), Josh Coote (0) and Adrian McCoubry (8), were all out quickly as Joe Barrs (0 no), ran out of partners and the hosts were skittled out for 198 runs in 64 overs.
Pick of the Ilford bowlers was Mohammad Qureshi (13.4-6-26-2), Savanhu (17-4-45-6), R Chopra (10-2-22-1) and Deen Majeed (11-2-32-1).
Ilford got off to a decent start in return with openers Jason Whiting (17) and Khurram Darr (48), putting runs on the board.
However, some good bowling and fielding by Walden meant none of the next three batsmen could get into double figures as the run rate was slowed.
M Diwan (17), then came to the crease and he and M Malik put the hosts back on track.
Just when Ilford thought they were in with a chance, Ryan Sparrow tore into the tail-order, taking the last three wickets for just seven runs as the hosts were all out for 170 in 41 overs, 28 runs short of the target.
Taking the wickets for Walden was McCoubry (12-1-46-1), Barrs (6-4-11-1), Sparrow (12-2-45-6) and Parmenter (6-1-22-1).
On Saturday Walden visit second placed Ardleigh Green in a titanic league clash, boosted by the return of Giles Ecclestone.
"If we can go there and win it would be fantastic," said Holland. "We are confident that if we play to our strengths we can get the result.
"We want to do ourselves justice and if we can come away with more points than them and still be top of the league
on Saturday night we will