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Smith is the hero as ’Brook net first win!

PUBLISHED: 12:14 15 May 2008 | UPDATED: 12:24 11 August 2010

IN THE WICKETS . . . Richard Williams took one scalp during Goresbrook’s nervy victory on Saturday.

IN THE WICKETS . . . Richard Williams took one scalp during Goresbrook’s nervy victory on Saturday.

Goresbrook 173 beat Grays & Chadwell 171 by 2 runs GORESBROOK claimed their first Premier Division victory with a hard-fought, nail-biting victory at Grays & Chadwell. Young seamer Shadi Smith was the hero as he dislodged Grays number nine Richardson wit

Goresbrook 173 beat Grays & Chadwell 171 by 2 runs

GORESBROOK claimed their first Premier Division victory with a hard-fought, nail-biting victory at Grays & Chadwell.

Young seamer Shadi Smith was the hero as he dislodged Grays number nine Richardson with just three runs required for victory, completing a storming comeback from the visitors after Grays looked well set for victory at 100-3.

Earlier, Goresbrook squandered a strong position after openers Kurt Whisker (49) and Michael Rooke (31) produced the most fluent batting of the match to give Brook a flying start.

Dismissed

The pair added 88 before Whisker was dismissed one short of a half century, and the score had advanced to 100-1 in just 20 overs when Rooke was bowled by Mohammed.

After Rooke went, the Grays slow bowlers took over, Mitra putting the brakes on with a tight spell of 1-14 off 9 overs and Kiwi left armer Kale picking up 5-37 as the Goresbrook middle and lower order batsmen looked to push the score along.

It took a valuable 32 from young prospect Andrew Mitcheson to get the Goresbrook innings up above a score of 170, which seemed about par on a pitch that was behaving erratically, but was by no means impossible to bat on.

In reply, Mitcheson struck early to dismiss Andrew Hills, but then Stanikyai and Mitra took the attack to Goresbrook despite a couple of painful blows to the body and hands as the pacier Goresbrook bowlers extracted some sharp bounce.

The score had advanced to 55-1 before Goresbrook fought back, as first Richard Williams bowled Stanikyai and then Israel Ochwo cleaned Mitra up, to bring Goresbrook back into the game.

At that point, the game was well poised, but a partnership between Kale and Matt Hills threatened to take the game away from the visitors.

Hills looked fluent in compiling 27, the left hander being particularly severe on the spin of Lawrence Walsh and Kale looked very solid at the other end, grinding out 25 taking minimal risks.

With Goresbrook in desperate need of a wicket, Shadi Smith produced the key blow as he bowled Hills, and scenting an opening Goresbrook skipper Kurt Whisker unleashed his paceman Ochwo, who had bowled an erratic first spell.

His second spell was scarcely more consistent as the wides and byes total mounted, but when Ochwo did get his direction right, he was unstoppable, blasting out three quick wickets including potential match-winner Kale in a devastating burst.

The paceman finished with 4-36 and when he had bowled out, Andrew Mitcheson picked up where he left off, having Tom Hills caught behind and then producing a superb slower ball to make Mohammed the ninth Grays batsman dismissed.

That left the last pair needing 12 to win and after Mitcheson bowled out, Goresbrook were running out of options to take the responsibility.

A seven run over off Michael Rooke's occasional left-arm medium brought the runs required to just three and Smith, returning for a second spell, had no margin for error.

Fortunately for Brook, the quick bowler was up to the challenge and he produced a pacey swinging delivery which took the edge and the catch was safely pouched by keeper Robinson to provoke wild scenes of celebration.

Goresbrook skipper Whisker was a relieved man after the game, and he paid tribute to his young bowling attack.

"There were a couple of occasions when we could have given up on the game, but Israel Ochwo produced one of his purple patches to keep us in the game," he smiled.

"Then Andrew Mitcheson and Shadai Smith were superb, they kept running in believing we could win and in the end they got their just rewards.

"This was a really big victory for us, we needed to win one of our early games to show that we belong in this division and this result com-bined with an encouraging performance last week should give us a lot of confidence going into next week's game.

"We've got a lot to work on, not least building on a good start with the bat, but we've got a couple of players coming back into the middle order and I'm confident that we can push on.

"We're such a young team that we can improve on a game by game basis once players realise what is needed at this level.


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