EC needed to build on last week’s victory but this was always going to be a difficult game against an excellent Frinton side that are well on their way to securing the league title.
Winning the toss, the hosts elected to bat and when EVERSON crashed a cover drive as hard as anything you are likely to see, things were looking fairly grim. However OAKLEY got one to cut in and bowled the dangerous opener for just 4. However, shortly after being hit for a 6 by the other opener STOCKDALE, OAKLEY pulled a hamstring and could not bowl any more than his 4.2 over’s. STOCKDALE batted brilliantly and put on 115 for the second wicket with WILLIAMS, SMITH suffering the most… WILLIAMS was caught well by BROOKER off MASON and the same bowler cleaned up BUTCHER for 4. STOCKDALE was dropped on 55, I shall afford the fielder anonymity (for now) as it was an uncharacteristic mistake but the young opener raced to 96 before MASON had him caught and bowled. An excellent stumping by LEE off SMITH was the only other highlight really although PARISH (2) and SMITH (1) did pick up a few late wickets. Batsman 5, 6 and 7 scored 34, 32 and 21 to maintain the early impetus and EC were set a daunting 268 for victory. OAKLEY 4.2-0-16-1, SMITH 15-0-99-2, PARISH 13.4-1-71-2, MASON 8-0-51-3, BROOKER 4-0-26-0 (Including an impressive 7)
After what was undoubtedly the best tea of the year, EC started their innings with the new pairing of SMITH and BROOKER. Chasing a big total, the FRINTON opening bowlers BAKER and STOCKDALE (the younger) bowled very tightly and getting the ball off the square looked virtually impossible. SMITH continued his consistent form and was bowled for just 3 runs. PRESTNEY came to the crease looking to expiate his earlier sin and batted very well putting on 80 with BROOKER for the second wicket. However, when he was caught for 28 it was left to BROOKER to crash the bowling all-round the park in another excellent innings. PARISH (9) and BRADSHAW (11) hung around for a decent period but neither could really push the score on against the pacey COLES and spin of STOCKDALE. However BROOKER hit boundary after boundary and raced passed 50 despite the visible disintegration of numerous body parts. BALLS came in at number 6 and hit a patchy 14 but by now it was all about BROOKER who had made it to the 90’s and looked odds on for his first century for EC. Frinton kept giving BROOKER a single and he cautiously edged his way to 96 but the thunderous torpedoes which had previously rained down like confetti had suddenly become drier than a Nuns ****. Disaster struck on 98 as he gloved one attempting a sweep and was caught behind on 98. This was very unfortunate for BROOKER and the EC team who shared the disappointment but a superb innings all the same. BONNET joined BALLS for the last couple of overs and EC reached an extremely respectable 197-5 in reply.
Sadly defeat by 70 runs but a good team performance against a very good side.