Chelmsford make up for lost time in style
CHELMSFORD'S season finally got off to a winning start with a valuable victory and 20 points against Ilford.
With the weather washing out the previous three weeks they were pleased to have the opportunity to gain a march on their rivals with some of the other games being called off.
New skipper Chris Prowting started the new campaign by losing the toss, and after being asked to bat first run-scoring was always going to be challenging on a slow, low pitch which had a slow outfield.
Chelmsford were helped on their way by some erratic early bowling and indeed the wide count was to be the second highest score of the innings.
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Paul Jones and Dan Hagen started steadily with a partnership of 34 before Hagan fell.
Sterland and then Thurston both looked to be positive, scoring 14 and 17 respectively but both fell attempting attacking shots, which was tricky all day.
Jones, meanwhile was helping provide some backbone to the innings in a sensible and grafting knock.
It was difficult to know what a good score would be, and thenChelmsford's fortunes nosedived after an unfortunate run-out of Prowting, followed shortly afterwards by Jones falling for a hard-earned 52.
Some useful late order runs from Nisarg Patel and Mark Drain helped Chelmsford reach 161, which at the time was thought to be about par.
The Ilford innings started disastrously for the home team, losing two early wickets to left-armer Patel with the new ball.
Tom Craddock, also in his first game for Chelmsford, struck almost immediately with a spinning leg-break and the Ilford players never came to terms with Craddock's variations and control in an impressive spell of 2-20 from 10 overs.
Neil Fergus was providing movement and control at the other end and took three wickets in a spell of 3-7 from six overs.
There was also a comedic run out as keeper Prowting threw down the stumps at the non-strikers end but the batsman was meandering around without grounding his bat.
This left the scoreboard at 38-8 and an early finish seemed likely. Ilford's tail produced some spirited fight taking the scored to 126 all out, with Kanishk Singh unbeaten on 55 and James Clifford and Mark Drain taking the final two wickets.
It was a low key end as Ilford never really looked like scoring quickly enough to threaten the total.
All in all a very satisfactory start and 20 points that could be crucial come the end of the season.
This Saturday Chelmsford take on Shenfield at home from 12.30pm. Then on Sunday they take on Old Brentwoods in a Twenty20 match from 2pm.