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It just gets better and better for Wanstead skipper Arfan

12:43 18 August 2014

Arfan Akram hits out for Wanstead against South Woodford (Pic: Graham Hodges)

Arfan Akram hits out for Wanstead against South Woodford (Pic: Graham Hodges)

Archant

T20 and league success makes for a successful weekend

Things just seem to get better and better for Wanstead skipper Arfan Akram, as his team enjoyed another fantastic weekend with league and T20 cup success.

Following their 21-run win at South Woodford on Saturday, the Herons were in T20 action in the regional semi-finals at Swardeston Cricket Club in Norfolk.

“I would say that out of the four teams at the semi-finals, we were the underdogs on paper,” said Akram, “but on the day we matched them on ability.”

First up for the Overton Drive team were Henley CC and, batting first, the Herons found themselves three wickets down after just six overs.

“Matt Smith then joined me at the crease,” said Akram. “Matt had got a late call-up to the team because Jonathan Das had picked up an injury, but he’s a loyal and passionate team man and managed to push the score on with me.”

Wanstead went on to post 124-9 from their 20 overs, not quite enough for the skipper’s liking though.

“I thought 145 was about a par score to be honest, but our fielding was absolutely phenomenal,” he added. “It couldn’t have been any closer as we had them out for 123, which set us up nicely to take on the home side Swardeston in the final.”

The final was much more comfortable for the Herons as they ran out 77-run winners after posting 146-6 before despatching their opponents for 69.

“Once again, Matt Smith was in outstanding form with a great knock of 60 runs,” added Akram. “And once again our fielding was exceptional, as six run-outs shows.”

Wanstead now face Peterborough Town in the regional final on Sunday at Overton Drive, with the start time to be confirmed as either 1pm or 2pm.

The T20 excitement followed Saturday’s Essex Premier Division derby win at South Woodford, as Wanstead batted first to post 197-8 from their 50 overs, then restricted their hosts to 176-8 for a 21-run victory.

“It was a bit of a tricky, slow wicket,” said Akram. “I had a good knock of 62 but had support from my brother Adnan (29), but the stars were tail-enders Mo Fayyaz Khan and Misem Ali Syed Zaidi with 22 unbeaten runs apiece, who took us on to 197.

“Once again our bowlers were instrumental in the win and we now sit in second place in the league, which is a good place to be at this stage of the season.”

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