Whilst we would normally deal with results in team order, there really is only one place to start this week - with the Second XI - or should we say Shaker Ullah Wasiq?
Visiting local rivals Goresbrook, Park lost the toss and were put in to field. Already temporarily a man down down to the vagaries of our transport system, an early dropped catch looked a sign of things to come. However, this is cricket.....
As the total hit a meagre five runs, Shaker Ullah Wasiq followed his opening maiden over with his first wicket and the floodgates began to ope.
5 for 2, 16 for 3, then 4, then 5, Shak was tearing through the opposition from the downhill end with wind assistance. Bowling to a perfect length and line, Shak, the recent arrival with only four games for the club sent seven home batsmen back to the pavilion with only 18 on the board.
Some respite for the home side as they make it to 31 before that man strikes again, this time with a bouncer off the grille, and soon after leading to a catch at mid-off. Nine down!
Our men on the ground, team-mates Callum Mitcham and Phil Walker tell of Shak's seventh over being something of a damp squib after such excitement but that there was a feeling in the air that something special was happening.
Phil's excellent Wisden report http://https//wisden.com/stories/from-afghanistan-to-essex-the-story-of-a-special-ten-for highlights the tension on the pitch and when Adam McKie bowls an innocuous over to allow the opportunity, there is no holding back as the umpire raises his finger for lbw.
To highlight the feat, two home batsmen scored double figures (10 and 25) whilst Alex Toft and McKie's bowling spells only gave away 16 runs in a combined seven overs, yet none of these seemed to count in the wake of such a tremendous performance.
Naturally Park were more than confident of reaching the target of 57 and with captain Mitcham (27 not out) and Walker (16 not out) solid at the crease, they sauntered to the changing room after just twelve overs. The day however belonged to Shak and will go down as the best bowling performance in the club's very long history.
Reporting on the other three games seems to pale into insignificance but we must do as we do.
At Main Road, our First XI hosted Springfield CC and opted to field. That decision looked justified as captain Jamal Francis took three wickets for 10 runs, ably supported by Aditya Kumar (three for 28) and Omar Ayaz (two for 16) keeping the visitors to 150 for 9 off the allotted 40 overs.
In reply, despite losing their number two for a single run, fellow opener Sachin Vaja (33), Ubaid Kiani (41), Sam Hewitt (29) and Francis (13) moved the score on nicely and at 123 for 5 looked on the way. However an untimely lower order saw the innings cut short at 134 and the feeling this was definitely a missed opportunity.
Our Third XI were on the back foot at Hutton as they justified opting to bat - their wicket-keeping opener racking up a solid 104 off 103 balls, holding firm with support from captain Harris in a total of 237 from the required 40 overs. In reply, only Walleullah Wasiq (29) and Park captain Greg Hammond (42) offered enough in what was a tough run chase, the target ultimately proving too much in the 31st over.
Back at home, our second game at Main Road saw Park Fourth XI host Harold Wood with a mixture of experience and ages.
Losing the toss and put into bat, Patrick Dalton (32) Mohammed Rashid (19) and Jonathan Ashin (35 not out) helped the total on but with no other batsmen reaching double figures the total of 132 was there to be shot at and despite a very early lbw dismissing Wood's opener for a duck, the next two batsmen eased the score to 134 after just 24 overs.
All the signs are there, it is just putting it together through the innings.
Here's to better fortune for all our teams this weekend!