Potticary’s century enough for Essex Development XI
By Don McDermott
The Essex Development XI took a last-gasp victory over the Bedfordshire Development XI thanks to a final-over wicket courtesy of Niall Solomon to bowl Bedfordshire out for a three-run win on Thursday.
Under cloud cover at Garon Park Cricket Club, Essex won the toss and opened the batting with Tanveer Shah and captain Jack Hebron.
Essex got off to a poor start as Shah was stumped in the second over for four runs and his replacement Saurav Prabhakar scored just a single and was then given out LBW to the bowling of Watt. Watt struck again at the start of the 10th over, bowling Hebron for a slow five runs, leaving Essex struggling at 26-3.
But wicketkeeper Jack Potticary, who had come in after Prabhakar’s demise, turned around Essex’s fortunes. With the help of partner Les Edwards, Potticary pushed up the run rate and a boundary from Edwards brought up the team fifty in the 15th over.
Bedfordshire turned to their spin bowlers but it did them no good as Potticary began to slash the ball over the boundary rope. Bedfordshire appealed for LBW to start the 18th, but the umpire was having none of it and Potticary responded with a four to move on 44 runs. Two deliveries later he stroked another boundary and brought up the hundred for Essex.
Edwards took over the strike for the next few overs and moved himself into the thirties, but a quick single off the penultimate ball of the 21st over brought up Potticary’s fifty.
Edwards reached his fifty in the 26th over, sending a six straight down the ground. But two overs later, Edwards was bowled by Watt for 51 runs, including seven fours and two sixes, and Essex were 147-4.
Kieran Emmanuel came in next and was caught out after scoring one run from 11 balls, but Solomon stayed in with Potticary, who moved rapidly towards his century.
Potticary reached the milestone off the last ball of the 36th over, driving a four straight down the ground.
A single from the centurion in the next over lifted Essex to 200-5, but it was the last achievement for Potticary, who finally departed, caught by Barden off the bowling of Pickard.
But Potticary had done enough damage for his side, contributing 104 runs from 101 balls, with 13 fours and four maximums.
Solomon was caught out for 26 later in the over and Zeeshan Kahn and Misem Zaidi took over the scoring. The two batsmen worked brilliantly together, bringing up a fifty partnership in the 45th over and reaching 71 runs before Khan was dismissed for 30 with two overs remaining and Essex on 284-8.
Zaidi was dismissed for 35 but Albert Nuttall and Kevin Sharuban moved Essex on to 298-9 and then Nuttall was stumped off the final ball of the innings.
Bedfordshire came in for the run chase and got off to a flyer with Barden leading the charge. Bedfordshire scored 13 from the first over and had reached 45 without loss after four.
Essex finally took a wicket in the seventh over as Duxbury was caught for 11 by Sharuban off Edwards, but Barden was already on 41 and Bedfordshire were 60-1.
Barden smashed a six and a four off consecutive deliveries in the eighth over to bring up his fifty, and scored a brace of runs to launch Bedfordshire to 101 runs.
Barden followed up the team hundred with two consecutive sixes, but a few overs later was again deprived off his partner, the captain Chatfield, who was caught by Solomon with Zaidi bowling.
And then Essex got the breakthrough they needed in the 15th over, as Barden was caught by Edwards off Sharuban with fall of wicket 136-3. Barden scored 84 runs from just 51 balls, striking nine fours and six sixes.
With Barden gone, Bedfordshire’s chase began to falter, although the required run rate had dropped down to five.
Perrin (3) and Momi (0) were both dismissed by Sharuban in the 19th over and then Pickard, who had come in second wicket, was stumped by Potticary for 36 runs.
Darlow scored 23 runs but needed 45 deliveries to reach his total and then he departed to the bowling of Zaidi.
Sharuban struck again, inducing Good to be caught out by Nuttall and placing setting up a fine finish with Bedfordshire 233-8 after 37 overs. Sharuban was bowled out after a brilliant spell of 4-35.
Bedfordshire continued to pick away at the required runs as Dagless and Slawinski built up a 40-run partnership. Dagless was caught out for 15 and Bedfordshire needed 26 runs from 33 balls with one wicket in hand.
Slawinski and new partner Watt slowly moved towards the line and reached 295-9, an equation of four runs needed from six balls with Slawinski on strike.
But Edwards gave Essex reason to celebrate from the first ball of the final over, as Slawinski struck the delivery to Potticary behind the stumps, who took a simple catch to secure a three-run victory for Essex.