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Rivals ready for cup clash

08:09 25 August 2014

Wanstead captain Arfan Akram hits out against South Woodford (pic: Graham Hodges)

Wanstead captain Arfan Akram hits out against South Woodford (pic: Graham Hodges)

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SNEL Cup Final: Ilford v Wanstead (12pm)

Shahzad Hafeez in bowling action for Ilford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)Shahzad Hafeez in bowling action for Ilford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Local rivals Ilford and Wanstead will battle it out to be crowned Essex League cup kings at Belhus today.

And the duo meet in the final at North Stifford on the back of wins in their respective Premier Division league fixtures at the weekend.

Ilford produced a thrilling last-ball victory over Brentwood at the Old County Ground, after the home side had posted a challenging total of 241-8.

Dave Hammond and Guy Balmford hit half-centuries for Brentwood, as Irfan Sahar (4-51) took the bowling honours for the visitors.

Hendro Puchert and Nigel Jacobs (48) put on 125 for the second Ilford wicket in reply, with Puchert falling one run short of his century to leave them 191-3.

Gurdeep Kandola and Saf Imtiaz (21) kept the scoreboard ticking over before captain Shaz Hafeez and Theeban Tavarasa sealed a two-wicket triumph.

Defending champions Wanstead kept their title hopes alive with a seven-wicket success over struggling Upminster.

Misem Ali Syed-Zaidi (5-31) shone with the ball as the visitors made 202-9 from their 50 overs, with Billy Gordon (73) top scoring.

Captain Arfan Akram (60) and Saurav Prabhaker (42) put on 104 for the first Wanstead wicket, before Adnan Akram (54 not out) and Jonathan Das (29 not out) saw the hosts home after Essex youngster Kishen Velani fell to a first-ball duck.

Wanstead saw their hopes of National T20 glory ended by Peterborough Town yesterday, after a low-scoring quarter-final tie at Overton Drive.

The home side were soon in trouble at 7-2 after two overs and eventually restricted to just 55 by tight Town bowling.

But Peterborough did not have it all their own way before sealing a five-wicket win in the penultimate over of their reply.

Wanstead will be slight favourites for today’s final, having won their three previous derby meetings with Ilford this season.

Akram’s men followed a 23-run win in a limited overs league match in May with a 10-run triumph in the group stages of the Dukes Essex T20 competition later that month.

And they won by six wickets when the sides met in a timed match at Valentines Park earlier this month, after Joe Ellis-Grewal (5-45) and Zain Shahzad (3-46) shone with the ball to dismiss Ilford for 168.

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