Theeban takes seven wickets, but batting collapse costs Ilford

South Woodford 137 beat Ilford 84 by 53 runs

Ilford captain Maz Malik has urged his side to put Saturday’s dismal 53-run defeat away at South Woodford to the back of their minds and begin their climb up the Premier League table.

After bowling out the home side for 137, Ilford were skittled for 84 with only three players creeping into double figures.

But Malik preferred not to dwell on his side’s uncharacteristically poor performance with the bat and to focus on the plus points from the game, including an incredible seven-wicket haul from bowler Theeban Tavarasa.

“It was a disappointing result because we were fantastic in the field. It was a shame we wasted it because the bowlers, and particularly Theeban, were outstanding,” he said.

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“He got six wickets against Loughton and then seven on Saturday. He is bowling well.

“It was a game of two halves, we could have won it. We did enough to win it with the ball.

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“A few tough decisions went against us – five lbws and one tight stumping – but we didn’t bat well enough.

“We had a chat afterwards and agreed we’re playing well and batting well generally, we just have to put Saturday’s game down as a blip.

“We’ve been performing well with bat and ball, we were excellent against Brentwood last week, but Saturday’s result negates that good performance.”

Ilford, who staved off relegation on the final day of the season, are currently sixth in the table, having won three and lost three league matches in this campaign.

Their inconsistent results have mirrored the general theme throughout the division this season, but Malik insists his side can begin to mount an improvement, starting with Saturday’s visit of Hainault & Clayhall to Valentines Park.

“All we can do is keep trying to get better, keep playing to our level and we’ll get the results,” he said.

“We lost Saturday’s game rather than someone else winning it, but we know our strengths. We know we can compete against anyone and we just have to prepare ourselves for another tough game on Saturday against Hainault.”

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