Jordan Calverley hit a superb 107 as Goresbrook inflicted the first SNEL defeat of the season on their hosts Stanford le Hope. After winning the toss and electing to bat on an excellent pitch, Calverley had to watch as the home side’s South African paceman Joshua Fransman took the early wickets of Joe Curley and Alfie Horan and then forced Brook skipper Shane Barwick to retire hurt after hitting him directly on the foot.
However Calverley regrouped with Afzal Hussain, the latter shelving his usual ultra aggressive style to play an excellent innings for his team as the 3rd wicket partnership added 155. Hussain eventually fell for 41, by which time after some ice and painkillers, Barwick was able to return to hit a quick fire 46. At this stage Calverley was closing in on his century, a milestone he reached off 125 balls before he finally fell for 107. With the score at 229-5 when Calverley was dismissed, the remaining batsmen were asked to hasten a declaration and some impressive hitting from Stuart Greaves (26 from 13 balls) helped the score on to 272-6, Barwick declaring when Greaves was dismissed in the 46th over.
The Stanford le Hope reply rattled along at 6 an over in the early stages, as after Arul Gopalasamy took an early wicket, Alex Ellis (28) and Orrie Fernandes (35) played aggressively. However Billy Smith’s (3-30) introduction into the attack saw both men dismissed and when Fransman followed, the hosts hopes were left with Michael Gray.
Gray batted well for 47, but Barwick had settled into a good rhythm by this stage, the skipper taking 4-36 and that combined with a couple of wickets for the quicker bowlers, saw the hosts tail dismissed with 3 overs to spare, giving Brook a maximum 25 point haul.
Harlow, newly relegated into Division Three for the first time in living memory and featuring former Upminster (and Harlow) man Jason McNally as their overseas pro, are the visitors to M&B next week. After two comfortable wins following an opening day defeat at Stanford le Hope, the men from up the M11 are closing in on the top of the table and the clash will provide a good indication of both sides' promotion credentials this season.