May 18 2013 Latest news:
By Kirk Blows
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Batsmen must come good to avoid relegation battle
Ilford captain Maz Malik believed the defeat by Colchester and East Essex at the weekend summed up his side’s season so far but insisted there is much to be positive about.
Ilford remain third from bottom in the Shepherd Neame Premier League after a match in which the skipper was happy with much of his side’s performance with the exception of one crucial area.
Malik said: “This match was similar to how much of the season has been for us so far.
“I thought we were good in our bowling and fielding, but we weren’t very smart with our batting.”
With Ilford winning the toss and deciding to bowl first, Colchester and East Essex reached a tally of 147-9, with Andrew Kennedy (33) and Julian Russell (32) their top scorers.
Babu Veettil (2-27), Vilas Kutty (2-33), Abir Chippa (2-36) and Theeban Tabarasa (2-38) claimed eight wickets between them.
The hosts struggled with the bat, however, with Colchester’s Gareth Fisher in imperious form as he claimed seven wickets for the loss of 47 runs.
Gagan Bhogal top-scored for Ilford with 31 runs, but once he was caught by Tom Blundell to leave the score at 51-5, it was only a matter of time before they succumbed to the inevitable and were all out for 95.
Fisher recorded stunning figures of 9-4 against Woodford Wells earlier in the season and he was in great form again at the weekend.
However, he also won the benefit of the doubt on a few occasions as far as Ilford were concerned.
Malik said: “You’ve got to say he bowled really well, there’s no doubt about that.
“But I think he also got some good decisions – there were quite a few LBWs.
“Once he’d claimed his first few wickets it was always going to be an uphill task for us.”
Malik remains optimistic about his side’s prospects in the second half of the season, but acknowledges that Saturday’s visit to second-bottom Woodford Wells would be the perfect time to return to winning ways.
He said: “I’m not too concerned about our position at the moment.
“We’re playing a lot of good cricket and there is a lot to be positive about.
“We’re competing in every game and one good result can take us right up the table.
“The game against Woodford Wells is a big one for both teams.
“But if we win our position will look a lot rosier.”