After last week’s disappointing defeat at the hands of relegation threatened Eastwood, the 2s hosted high flying Ongar at Hylands Park. Despite the loss in Week 6, the results around the league were kind to the 2s and once again a win would keep the side within touching distance of the top two as we approach mid-season. On a cool and breezy day, Stuart Whitaker won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on a pitch that looked good and was more importantly dry despite taking a battering from the unseasonal weather earlier in the week.
HACC started watchfully, with the openers Nathaniel Bastin and Chris Humphries successfully negating the threat of the new ball. After the first 10 overs, Ongar bowling changes led to an increased flow of runs, with Humphries and Bastin able to find the boundary on a frequent basis. Bastin eventually fell for a serene 73 with the total on 153, a fantastic opening stand by the pair. Humphries continued on his merry way and soon passed three figures, to record his first 2nd team league hundred, and in the process also become the first HACC member to make the Honours Board in 2019. Humphries (102) fell shortly after reaching the landmark, and was followed by Sam Blowers (2) caught at long and Sushant Kapur (5) bowled, as the Athletic looked to maximise the runs scored from the remaining overs. The team did manage 59 runs from the last 6 overs, with Lak Gill making a typically brisk and entertaining 45* ably assisted by Ian Crane (11*), with the hosts closing on 258-4 and maximum batting points.
Ongar got off to a bad start as dangerman S. Adcock (10) slashed at a wide one from Blowers and was well caught behind by Humphries. Fellow opener N. Suker and new batsman L. Paris threated to build a significant partnership before the latter was cleaned up by Gill for 26. Ongar remained well below the required run rate and lost wickets at regular intervals throughout the rest of the innings. Gill picked up another wicket giving him two for the day, as did Alex Hardy, whilst Tom Greenwood and the mystery leg spin of Kai Hatton chipped in with one apiece. A highlight of the innings was when Aaron Keeling, who was called into the side late on Friday evening, had a direct hit run out from mid-off, which was well deserved given the high fielding standards he set on the day. The game petered out towards the end and Ongar finished on 150-8 off their 45 whilst never really looking like that could or would be able to chase the HACC total.
HACC Captain Stuart Whitaker
“When we won the toss and batted first, the plan was to get a significant total in excess of 200 and apply pressure on the Ongar batsman and we were able to execute this perfectly”