ESSEX pace bowler Jahid Ahmed starred with both bat and ball for Wickford on Saturday, in a Shepherd Neame Premiership match.

But Matthew Bate's men, who took on Brentwood, still search for their first win of the season after the weather intervened.

After a rain-delayed start at the Patmore Memorial Ground, Wickford looked in real trouble at 60-6 with only Bate himself, who hit 20, getting among the runs early on.

But young Ahmed, coming in at number eight, cracked a fine unbeaten 60 to lift his side to a 167 total.

With Ahmed also taking three wickets and Antonio Mullins two, Brentwood looked to be heading for defeat at 117-7.

But, when the last hour arrived, conditions had become distinctly gloomy and Brentwood not surprisingly took the opportunity of coming off due to the poor light when the chance was offered by the umpires.

Soon after rain arrived and Wickford's victory chance was denied them - although they did pick up eight points for the draw.

"When we stood at 60-6 I would certainly have taken eight points, but in the end it was disappointing," said Bate.

"I certainly don't blame Brentwood for taking the light when it was offered - I would have done the same.

"The weather has meant that the league season hasn't really got going for us yet which is disappointing as we had some lovely Saturdays in the month leading up the the new campaign."