Brendon Louw takes nine wickets as Wivenhoe race to a big victory
- Credit: Archant
Only one match was completed in Division One of the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship on Saturday, due to the wet weather, but it was both an important and an incredible one with Wivenhoe Town, one of the pre-season title favourites, racing to victory over Frinton-on-Sea 2nds.
xWivenhoe needed just 21.5 overs to dismiss Frinton for a paltry 43, and then blasted to a 10-wicket win inside seven overs to pocket a very easy 20 points.
It was a remarkable win, given that Frinton were sitting pretty on 29 for no wicket at one stage, only to lose all 10 wickets for just 14 runs with experienced South African all-rounder, Brendon Louw, taking nine wickets.
Matt Heighes (19) and Anthony Stubbs (12) had batted patiently at the top of the innings for Frinton. Stubbs faced 56 deliveries, while Heighes faced 40 balls, although he at least struck four boundaries – the only other boundary in the innings was hit by No. 11 Nikhil Patel at the end.
Right-arm off-spinner Louw made mincemeat of Frinton’s batting line-up, finishing with sensational figures of 5.5-1-12-9. Harry Burnett prevented Louw from claiming all 10 wickets by bowling Jermaine Shillingford for a first-ball duck – that was the eighth wicket to fall.
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Seven of Frinton’s batsmen were dismissed for ducks, while extras was the third top scorer on six, in what was a dramatic hour or so of cricket.
Jordan Nicholls and Matt Durrell made short work of the reply, wicketkeeper Nicholls hitting 30 not out off 25 balls, with six boundaries, and Durrell finishing unbeaten on 16 from 14 deliveries. Victory was achieved off just 39 balls.
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Wivenhoe stalwart’s all-rounder, Matt Durrell, who opened the bowling as well as the batting on Saturday, was full of admiration for his South African team-mate Louw.
“It was pretty incredible, to be honest, for Brendon to get nine wickets,” enthused Durrell.
“The pitch was fairly wet. It began to drizzle after the start and the ball started to skid through a bit, rather than turn.
“Perhaps two minutes longer and the umpires might have taken the players off, but Brendon was on a roll and they (Frinton’s batsmen) could not handle him.
“It was incredible to watch. I had never seen anything like it before.
“Only one person in the history of our club has ever taken 10 wickets, and that was a cricketer named Brian Vaughan back in 1987.
“When Brendon got his first four or five wickets, we were thinking – ‘good, that’s OK’ – but then after he took his sixth, and especially after his seventh, we began to start thinking about the possibility of him taking all 10 wickets.
“Our captain, Harry Burnett, then got the wicket of Jermaine Shillingford. He didn’t actually play a shot, just shouldered his arms to the ball.
“Brendon got the last two wickets to fall, and then rain cleared up for the start of our innings.
“When a team has been bowled out for 43, there doesn’t tend to be that much interest when they come out to field, so it was fairly comfortable for us (Durrell and Nicholls) to hit a few fours and reach the target quickly,” added Durrell.
Louw has certainly made a big impression, since his recent arrival from South Africa. The 26-year-old plays his first-class cricket for South Western Districts back in his homeland.
“Brendon arrived about three weeks ago, and the funny thing is that he is a wicketkeeper rather than a bowler for his first-class side out in South Africa!” revealed Durrell.
“He does bowl in club cricket back in South Africa, but is otherwise a wicketkeeper.
“Last weekend was a fantastic one for him, because he also scored a century the following day, on Sunday against Clacton,” added Durrell.
Runners-up to champions Elmstead last year, Wivenhoe are now second to early pace-setters Witham this summer.
This Saturday, Wivenhoe are on the road again, playing away at Woolpit.