Upminster edge out Essex in annual benefit match
PUBLISHED: 18:42 02 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 03 September 2018
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Upminster youngster Tom Daniels hit an unbeaten half-century to steer his side to a four-wicket win in their annual benefit match with an Essex XI in glorious sunshine at Upminster Park.
A large crowd enjoyed the latest benefit match action, as Daniels followed up an innings of 82 in the third team’s win over Buckhurst Hill on Saturday with an unbeaten 50 – in an unbroken 58-run stand with Nabeel Aziz – to help Upminster win with three balls to spare.
The defending county champions arrived with a strong side, including eight first-teamers as well as women’s captain Kelly Castle and Essex Disability player Toby Howe.
And regular new-ball partners Jamie Porter and Sam Cook opened the batting for Essex, with the latter playing some nice shots before being bowled by Ejaz Khan.
Paul Walter hit Shafiq Rahman for two big sixes straight down the ground, before picking out Tom Daniels on the mid-wicket boundary, where the youngster pouched a good catch falling backwards to leave Essex 62-6 after six overs.
Matt Dixon enjoyed a brief cameo, smacking a huge six over the pavilion to bring up the Essex hundred, before Jamie Porter departed for 39 to another good catch on the rope.
Rahman took a very sharp catch at cover to dismiss Dixon, with Essex captain Nick Browne held by Shahbaz Butt at long-off to fall cheaply.
Matt Quinn holed out off Alan Ison, with Castle then bowled, before Daniels dismissed Dan Lawrence to leave Essex 152-8.
Dutch international Shane Snater and Howe lifted the total to 185-8 at the end of their 20 overs, before Upminster youngsters took to the outfield to play a series of Kwik cricket matches during the tea interval.
Freddie Butt got Upminster off to a flying start in reply, smacking 33 off just 14 balls before falling to Snater with the total on 53 in the fifth over.
Shahbaz Butt lasted just two balls, before edging Snater to wicketkeeper Walter, but young opener Kiran Kullar produced a couple of sumptuous straight drives off Quinn – who has just extended his Essex contract until the end of the 2019 season.
Kullar was superbly caught by Quinn, down by his bootlaces, for 22 and John Curtis holed out to long-off after a cameo at number four as the hosts reached the midway mark on 103-4.
Captain Nick Ison was next to fall, which brought Daniels to the crease alongside Rob Bannister, who succumbed to an outstanding over the shoulder catch from Browne for 13 to make it 128-6.
Saturday bowling hero Aziz – who took 6-33 in Upminster’s win at Woodford Wells – then joined Daniels and kept the scoreboard ticking over as seamers Porter and Cook tried their hands at off-spin, along with left-armer Walter.
Aziz hit Lawrence for a big six to reduce the target to 27 off the last four overs, which came down to five off the last six balls.
And after a dot ball was followed by two runs to long off to take him to 46, Daniels struck a four past a diving Arfan Akram to complete victory.