Essex Development XI edged out by Norfolk


Norfolk Lions v Essex Development XI

East of England Cricket Development Competition
Highfield Lawn, Fakenham
Sunday 10 September 2023, 11:00am start


Team News:

Norfolk Lions: Jayden Borges, Ethan Metcalf, Nat Laws, William Bowman, Jonah Wicks, Charlie Rogers*, Thomas Robson†, Micky Seago, Nathan Muggeridge, Cameron Graveling, George Bruce, Will Rogers

Essex Development: Abid Zadran, Arjun Bhardwaj, Benjamin Parry†, Zoraiz Saeed*, Ossie Elliott, Aarav Salil, Bilal Kamal, Dulen Abayakoon, Haris Latif, Ismail Baharami, Abdullah Mir, Kit Newman

Match Details:

Umpire: N Payne
Toss: Essex Development won the toss and elected to bat first
Result: Norfolk Lions won by five wickets

Match Report:

Bilal Kamal’s 63 and 3/37 from Abdullah Mir were in vain as the Essex Development XI slipped to a five-wicket defeat at the hands of Norfolk Lions in their final game of 2023.

Ethan Metcalf struck 88 and shared in a partnership of 137 with fellow opener Jonah Wicks, who also made a half-century, as Essex’s 225 all out was ultimately overhauled inside 41 overs.

Kamal’s evenly-paced knock came off 62 deliveries, with his 50 arriving in 49, and he found support from Dulen Abayakoon, who smashed a 27-ball 41, but the bowling efforts of the Lions’ George Bruce, who took 3/21, proved restrictive.

Indeed, Kamal’s innings was part of a wider recovery job that was required after Essex had been reduced to 43-3 and then 95-5, with the total owing a debt to his and Abayakoon’s seventh-wicket stand of 84 in exactly ten overs.

Metcalf and Wicks broke the back of the chase swiftly, bringing up the team 100 in just over an hour, with Metcalf the first to hit his individual fifty, in 59 deliveries, and Wicks following shortly afterwards from 44 balls.

Mir caused a brief wobble in taking the first three wickets to fall for 29 runs, but Metcalf, with support from the middle order, provided the lynchpin for the chase as the Lions made it to within 60 of victory before Arjun Bhardwaj removed him.

Ultimately, only one more wicket would go down, that of Jayden Borges, pinned lbw by Ismail Baharami, before the unbeaten pair of William Bowman and Will Rogers added a final unbroken 31 to take Norfolk over the line, with Bowman hitting the winning four.

The result means that Essex finish second in this year’s six-team East of England Development Competition with three wins from five matches, a point behind Cambridgeshire but two ahead of Bedfordshire and Norfolk.