Wanstead captain Arfan Akram gestures at Shenfield (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Mixed weekend for Wanstead

Sam Park
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
8.45 AM

League win followed by cup exit

Wanstead captain Arfan Akram was in philosophical mood after mixed results at the weekend.

The defending Essex League Premier Division champions remain top of the table after beating winless Shenfield by 57 runs on Saturday, but bowed out of the National Cup with a narrow 10-run loss to Brentwood the following day.

Put into bat by their hosts on Saturday, Wanstead were all out for 258 with returning skipper Akram (61) and Essex and England youngster Kishen Velani (69) leading the way with the bat.

Shenfield made a decent start in reply, with their top order all making useful contributions and Suhaib Sarwar (56) going on to make a half century.

But the middle and lower order batting crumbled at the hands of spinner Joe Ellis-Grewal, who picked up 6-39 off 10 overs.

Akram said: “It was a very good pitch and often good cricket gets played on those types of pitches. Kishen was exceptional and to be honest I’m disappointed we didn’t get a few more runs.

“We bowled brilliantly, with them needing roughly 100 runs off the last 20 overs, but we went out and got the last seven wickets.

“Joe was exceptional and the other bowlers did well to apply a lot of pressure at the other end and earlier in the innings.”

Sunday saw Brentwood bat first and post 146, with Aaron West (34) the top scorer.

Ellis-Grewal (3-23) was again the pick with the ball, but there were braces for Mo Fayyaz Khan (2-13), Usman Sahar (2-43) and Zain Shahzad (2-28).

Wanstead’s top order failed to get going, though, and only Adnan Akram (35) offered resistance in the middle order.

They remained in the hunt, however, and late resistance from Shahzad (15) and Ellis-Grewal (24) put them within touching distance of victory.

But after Shahzad was out caught the tail was quickly undone leaving man of the weekend Ellis-Grewal stranded with the total on 136.

Akram added: “Sunday was disappointing and it just didn’t really go our way. It was a difficult track which never makes it easy and no one really got in.

“It’s one of those things we will learn from and come back stronger for. We had a weakened side which consisted of what I would call a lot of our squad players against a full strength Brentwood side, so to take them all the way like that was a mammoth effort.

“Most of the guys involved are all products of the junior club, so there is a lot pride and positives to be taken from that, even though it’s never nice to be out of a cup.”

Wanstead will host Premier League new boys Harold Wood this Saturday.