Captain fantastic leads Ilford to huge win

Ilford captain Maz Malik hailed his team for their excellent all round performance in their huge 244-run win over Ardleigh Green at Valentines Park on Saturday.

After losing the toss, Malik’s side were made to bat first, but posted a mammoth 314-4 from their allotted 50 overs, which included 66 from the skipper and an unbeaten 103 from Sohail Idrees.

In reply, Shahbaz Khan tore through the Ardleigh order, taking 4-25 from his 10 overs as the visitors were skittled out for just 70 in 23 overs, earning Ilford the points.

Wicketkeeper Malik added five catches to his 66 runs, but saved all the praise for his team-mates. “It was a very good performance, everything went our way and you can’t ask for more from the team,” he said.

“It was a very good all-round performance and a very good win.

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“For me to take five catches behind the stumps shows how well all the bowlers bowled.

“It was an excellent performance, it lifts the pressure and long may it continue.”

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Ilford will aim to carry their strong performance into this weekend’s away match at Loughton.

Having begun the season with one defeat and one win, Malik knows his side must be more consistent if they are to challenge at the top end of the table this season.

“It was only one game, so we can’t get too carried away,” he said.

“It’s great for confidence, now we need to keep the consistency up. That’s the key to a strong season.

“It will be a tight game (v Loughton) I’m sure, they all are in this league.

“We’ve got a couple of knocks, but it’s nothing serious and we hope to be unchanged.

“We just need to keep our performance levels high and hopefully get the right result.”

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