Ton-up Westfield inspires Wanstead to first win

�Merv Westfield has found form with the bat for Wanstead, and now captain Arfan Akram believes it won’t be long before he starts picking up the wickets too.

The former Essex county player hit an unbeaten 103 from just 96 balls to help Wanstead to their first Shepherd Neame Premier Division win over Loughton by three wickets on Saturday.

And although the 23-year-old has failed to register a wicket in the league, Akram feels he has just lacked that little bit of luck.

“Merv has been bowling well, getting the inside and outside edges and it just hasn’t gone for him,” he said.

“He is the type of player that gets wickets in clusters, and once he gets one, then they will start to come regularly.

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“Merv will be disappointed he hasn’t got one in the ‘w’ column just yet, but he has been bowling well enough and that really is the main thing.

“Other players around him like Zain Shazhad and Joe Ellis-Grewal, who took five at the weekend, have all stepped up and that takes the pressure off.”

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After that first league victory, the skipper is confident that it will provide a launch pad and that more will follow, starting this weekend with a trip to Ardleigh Green.

“The win over Finchley the Sunday before last gave us so much confidence and everyone took that into the Loughton match on Saturday,” added the Wanstead skipper.

“There was a response from the senior players to help support some of the youngsters and that has lifted everyone.

“Winning, like losing, becomes a habit and hopefully that will be the case now we have a victory.”

But the skipper will take nothing for granted when they make the short trip to Ardleigh Green and he knows that his side could be in for a tough encounter.

“Ardleigh Green are a side that won the league four or five seasons ago and have the potential to cause us problems.

“They are a side who blow hot and cold and we can’t take them lightly.

“We need to apply ourselves well from the off and stay focused on the job in hand.”

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