Worly stretch lead at summit
Worlington (231-7) remain top of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One standings after recording an 83-run victory at Coggeshall (148) on Saturday.
Batting first, Worlington lost two in-form bats early in proceedings as both Ziaf Kulasi (13) and Jimmy Watson (9) departed.
Surviving opener Graham Ford then saw two further wickets fall as George Blackwell dismissed Craig Estlea, who was deputising as captain in the absence of the injured Richard Ford, before Robert Jagger (2-54) picked up the first of his two wickets to leave the visitors on 78-4.
Daren Hayward, promoted up the order, then added useful impetus to the innings, with a run a ball knock of 35, before Nuwan Jayasena followed suit with 36 in a sixth-wicket stand of 53 with Ford.
After Josh Morton removed Jayasena, Ford was joined by Ashan Athukoralage and the pair added a further 34 runs before Morton (2-39) picked up a wicket with the final ball of the innings, as Graham Ford remained unbeaten on 87.
After the break, it became more apparent that Worlington’s decision, to bat first, was the correct call as the seam bowling trio of Charlie Tunstall (2-24), Mark Nunn (1-19) and Athukoralage (1-32) saw the home side falter to 44-3 before spin was introduced.
Things then got no easier for Coggeshall as Jayasena, in particular, produced some unplayable deliveries and his spell yielded four wickets.
During this time, he received more than able support from fellow slow bowlers Craig Estlea (1-21) and Lee Thompson (1-28). Jayasena finished with seasonal best figures of 4-14 as Coggeshall were dismissed for 148.
The win sees Worlington extend their lead at the top to 17 points, ahead of Saturday’s home game against second-placed Halstead (1pm).
l In Division Five, Worlington II (208-4) picked up another victory to keep up the pressure on the teams in the promotion spots.
Opponents Hadleigh II closed their innings on 202-6, while several Worlington batsmen made contributions in the run chase before Matt Wittish (50 not out) brought up his half century with a maximum to win the game.
l Worlington are back in action on Sunday with a home tie in the last 32 of the National Village Cup, where they will play host to Langleybury, the winners of the Herts & Beds region (1pm).
Victory will see Worlington edge closer to the chance of appearing at Lord’s in the final of the knockout competition in September.