CRICKET: STANFORD-LE-HOPE had targeted a winning start to the season and so far it has been going exactly to plan.

The team were relegated from Division Two last summer but have hit the ground running with two wins to their name and one game abandoned.

Stanford took over at the top of the table from Woodford Green with a 68-run win over Epping which left skipper Lee Knight satisfied with the start to the campaign.

“We targeted the start of the season to get some points because over the last couple of years the start of the season has been a problem for us,” Knight said.

“So I’m pleased with how things have gone for us so far.”

Stanford were put into bat by their visitors and started well, scoring 45 runs after the first seven overs.

But as the ball got older and the pitch started playing up, Stanford started losing wickets.

Michael Gray (44) and New Zealand overseas player Dylan Eginton (28) steadied the ship but the team were forced off by a downpour.

They came out and Stanford declared on 200-9 after 44.4 overs.

Epping’s reply started well as they reached 60-1 but a change of bowling had the desired effect as the visitors were bowled out for 132 in 34.4 overs, with Ross Poulton taking four wickets and Eginton three.

“The pitch seemed to play pretty well during their innings, which was frustrating, and they were cruising,” added Knight.

“But we made some changes to the bowling and it worked.

“A lot of teams struggled with the weather. So it was a good day to get a win, ” he added.

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