RYAN Chamberlain made a timely return to form as Clacton's cricketers triumphed by five wickets against Little Bardfield.

The former skipper hit a fantastic 90 not out in Saturday's Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship second division contest at Vista Road.

"Ryan's a really good player," said delighted chairman Gary Kirk.

"He's suffered from injuries all season, which has restricted him.

"However, my hope is that this innings will be the start of a run-fest for the young man.

"It'll be good for the club and Ryan if that were the case."

On the hottest day of the year so far, Bardfield won the toss and chose to bat.

Harlan Greig again took an early wicket, putting the visitors under pressure, but Daryl Hymas (55) and Ed Hitchcock (36) steadied the ship, putting on a run-a-ball partnership of 64.

Bardfield continued to make progress, with Clacton again showing both a lack of urgency and, in many cases, interest in the field, allowing the away side to reach a total of 196 for seven.

Lewis Kirk was again the main bowler, taking two for 52 from 15 overs.

"It's clearly becoming more than a little frustrating to watch this Clacton side in the field," said Kirk.

"All the lads work hard in training but their concentration, or maybe interest, while fielding during a game is becoming so evident.

"Our time in the field was not helped when keeper James Lee twisted his back when taking a catch.

"Sadly James had to be replaced for the remaining part of our fielding.

"What made it worse was that the umpire did not give the batsman out.

"Our batting surface is very good and I was confident we'd reach our target, although we needed our batters to play well - which they did."

Clacton made steady progress throughout their innings, with good contributions throughout.

However, it was Chamberlain's man-of-the-match innings of 90 not out that proved the difference - a sizeable chunk of his team's total of 199, consisting of 17 fours.

Clacton ran out winners by five wickets, taking 18 points to Bardfield's six.

"Partnerships were the key and our batting was the highlight of the day," added Kirk.

"We've talked long and hard about the way we need to apply ourselves when batting.

"Saturday was so good to watch, with excellent running and good shot selection, on the whole.

"We made this chase look very easy."