Saffron Walden in National Cup win
- Credit: Archant
Saffron Walden got the new competitive season off to a fine start with victory over Colchester in the ECB National Club Championship.
Stephen Larsen produced a solid start with a gritty 37 in tricky conditions, as Walden slipped to 55-3 off 15 overs.
And he found support from vice captain Joe Barrs, who shared half-century stands with Larsen and Finn Karsten before being joined by new captain Ben Harris with the score on 166-5 with seven of the 40 overs remaining.
Harris scored 16 runs in one over, including two sixes down the ground, and finished with 41 off just 15 balls as Walden scored 108 from their last 10 overs to close on 247-6.
Barrs was unbeten on 89, from 86 deliveries, at the end of the innings and their onslaught took the game away from Colchester.
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Right-arm spinner Ryan Deamer took the new ball alongside Barrs and both took a wicket in the first 10 overs of the Colchester reply to leave the visitors 33-2 and with a mountain to climb.
Harris and Mihir Chandraker came on at drinks when it was 90-2 and took control as the run rate climbed above eight an over.
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Harris finished with five wickets and Chandraker three as Colchester were dismissed for 173 and Walden booked a place in the next round on May 13.
“A near perfect performance after being put into bat by a side who thought this was going to be an easy task,” said Harris.
Walden had made 168-9 from 50 overs after being put into bat by Ramsey in their Cambs & Hunts League Division One opener on Saturday, with Karsten and Chandraker scoring 40s.
And Ramsey were 71-0 from 17 overs when rain stopped play in a lucky escape for Walden, who host Waresley on Saturday.
Spencer Hill top scored with 69 as the seconds made 183 in 41 overs after being put into bat by Huntingdon & District in their Division Two fixture.
And it proved enough for a 77-run win as wickets were shared between Sebastian Contos (3-19), Mark Thompson (2-12), Adam Whithead (2-15) and man of the match Hill (2-16).
Captain Ray Mordini said: “This was a pleasing win to kickstart our season. It was a difficult pitch but Spencer batted superbly through the innings.
“All bowlers bowled efficiently and we should take a lot of confidence to Ufford Park.”