COLCHESTER and East Essex player-coach Jonny Bassett-Graham says another competent team performance was the key to their impressive eight-wicket win at Hutton.

Darren Eckford’s side remain top of Shepherd Neame Essex League division one following victory over one of their promotion rivals, at the Polo Field Ground.

Colchester dismissed their hosts for 190 and then chalked off the necessary runs to reach their target, helped in large part by a fine unbeaten third-wicket partnership between Kiwi Bassett-Graham (65 not out) and Ben Robinson (56 no).

Bassett-Graham said: “We’re in good form but I think throughout the whole of the summer we’ve been playing some good cricket.

“We’ve been putting in some good performances and guys are putting their hand up every week and taking responsibility during games.

“It’s not about the individual – it’s about the team and that’s served us well, so far.

“I was delighted with the runs I scored but I was more pleased to just stay in there with Robbo, who batted very well alongside me and make sure that we got over the line.

“He’s come back from playing school cricket – he’s a young lad but it was an incredibly mature knock from him.

“With the wicket the way it was, it wasn’t as easy out there as the scoreline might reflect.

“There were occasions where we played and missed a bit but the good thing was that we stayed composed.”

The pick of the Colchester bowlers earlier in the day was Charlie Watts, who claimed 4-29 in his ten-over spell.

He linked up effectively with the experienced Ben Stephens (1-23) to help the leaders restrict Hutton’s batsmen.

“Charlie’s new to the club, this year and we’ve loved having him around.

“He’s coming back from knee surgery and he’ll have been absolutely wrapped with that performance.

“He bowled really well along with Ben Stephens, with the two of them working really well in tandem.

“They didn’t allow Hutton to rotate the strike and push the score on.

“I don’t think we bowled too badly – we did well.

“It wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on as the wicket got wet overnight, which made for one or two softer spots.

“They managed to grind runs out – they would probably have liked a few more but we knew that their score of 190 wasn’t going to be easy to chase.”

Colchester II (202-3) beat Billericay II (200) by seven wickets, in Second XI Division One.