Westley keeps up the winning habit

PUBLISHED: 18:06 12 July 2007 | UPDATED: 21:45 29 May 2010

Saffron Walden skipper Joe Holland in action on Saturday Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Saffron Walden skipper Joe Holland in action on Saturday Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

SAFFRON Walden Cricket Club stretched their lead at the top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division with a big win on Saturday. Strugglers Wickford visited the Anglo American Playing Fields and were beaten by seven wickets to give Saffron Wald

SAFFRON Walden Cricket Club stretched their lead at the top of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division with a big win on Saturday.

Strugglers Wickford visited the Anglo American Playing Fields and were beaten by seven wickets to give Saffron Walden a 26-point lead in the league.

Young Tom Westley was the star of the show with two wickets and an impressive knock of 93.

"I'm only surprised now when Tom doesn't get runs," said skipper Joe Holland. "We're going to use him as much as we can because I'm sure it won't be long before he's playing for Essex."

Holland won the toss and decided to bowl. This decision soon paid off as Josh Coote bowled Jamie White.

It soon became 27-2 when Darren Batch was caught behind by Adam Wheater off the bowling of Adrian McCoubry.

McCoubry then bowled Amit Puri for a duck leaving the visitors struggling on 27-3.

Opener Paul Corps had stuck around, but he was caught by Neil Gladwin off the bowling of Westley for 17.

Wheater caught Chirag Desai off McCoubry to make it 61-5 before South African Antonio Mullins and Matt Bate teamed up to take the score on to 117.

Bate was run out for 34 and then Nick Flexman was bowled by Westley for a duck to leave Wickford on 117-7.

Mullins (58) and Jahid Ahmed helped the score on to 161 when Joe Barrs trapped Mullins LBW.

Barrs repeated the trick with Ahmed (23) before completing a hat-trick of LBWs taking the wicket of Bobby Carey as Wickford were all out for 171.

Barrs 8-3-20-3 and the accurate McCoubry 12-4-24-3 were the pick of the bowlers with Westley chipping in with 2-50.

In reply, Saffron Walden got off to a solid start with Ryan Sparrow and Westley putting on 65 for the first wicket in the face of some strong bowling from Mullins and Ahmed.

Sparrow was caught on 11, but Westley was on fine form and soon moved the score along with Craig George, putting on 63 for the second wicket.

George (16) was trapped LBW to make the score 128-2.

Westley was guiding Saffron Walden to victory but was caught just seven runs short of his century for 93.

With 22 runs needed for victory, skipper Holland saw his side home in 36.1 overs.

This Saturday Saffron Walden travel to mid-table Wanstead in the league.

Holland added: "I hope we can go on and get a few more wins and extend our lead. Wanstead are a very good side and if we can come away with decent points I'll be very pleased.

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