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Ali Raja insists Ford Cricket Club ready to deliver in crunch Essex County League Division One tie with Barking Cricket Club

PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 July 2016

Ford bowler Ajmal Baig (left) and Muhammad Nadeem face the camera after impressing (pic: Ali Raja).

Ford bowler Ajmal Baig (left) and Muhammad Nadeem face the camera after impressing (pic: Ali Raja).

Archant

Ajmal Baig shone with the ball and Muhammed Nadeem hit a century last weekend as Raja’s men earned an emphatic victory over Roding Valley

Ford face one of their biggest games of the season this weekend as they visit Essex County League Division One leaders Barking twos.

Chairman Ali Raja expects a tough challenge, but believes his men can go on and achieve a third consecutive victory in the division.

Barking have only lost two fixtures in the league this season out of 12 and sit top of the pile with 194 points.

One of their defeats was at Ford back on May 21 and with Raja’s side starting to hit top form – a thriller could be on the cards this Saturday.

He said: “This will be our biggest game of the season so far as we play Barking at their home ground.

“We’re very confident that we can beat them as we have defeated them already at home and we’re on a good run at the moment.”

Last weekend Ford demonstrated their title credentials by sweeping aside second-placed Roding Valley with ease.

Ajmal Baig picked up 5-38 from his nine overs as Valley were dismissed for 206 – a total Raja’s team chased down for the loss of just four wickets and in the 33rd over.

Ford’s chairman Raja, played and finished with 1-54, while Zain Mughal also impressed and claimed 2-33.

It was an impressive display and moves Ford up to third in the table and only 33 points behind Barking with two games in hand over the Division One leaders.

Raja added: “It was a great victory, but we wanted to bat first on the wicket because it was very flat.

“Our bowlers did really well to restrict Roding Valley. Me and Zain took early wickets, but they had a partnership in the middle-order.

“Ajmal came on and took wickets in both of his spells. He’s a tall bowler and can get extra from a dry, flat wicket. To take five on a hot day and flat track was a good effort.”

Ford’s bowling display was excellent and it was backed up brilliantly by a stunning showing with the bat. Muhammad Nadeem struck 105 to ensure his team got home with 12 overs still remaining.

“He batted superb and got his runs quickly. His 105 not out included 15 fours and he has now become the clubs leading hundred scorer so congratulations to him,” said Raja.


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