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Cricket: Hainault on the verge of promotion from Essex Division Two ahead of Old Southendian trip

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 August 2017

Hainault skipper Zoheb Sharif (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hainault skipper Zoheb Sharif (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Captain Zoheb Sharif now wants title with promotion all but secured

Skipper Zoheb Sharif insists Hainault are determined to win Essex Division Two this season, with the club on the verge of promotion ahead of their trip to Old Southendian on Saturday.

With a maximum of 75 points still up for grabs, leaders Hainault are currently 70 clear of Horndon in third.

As long as they do not accrue any penalty points this weekend, Hainault are likely to wrap up promotion to Division One even if they lose on Saturday.

But with just nine points between them and Hutton in second, Sharif knows his club cannot afford any slip-ups over the course of the run-in to the end of the season if they are to achieve their ultimate aim.

“The battle is now well and truly on to win the league. There are three games left and a host of factors that could affect it,” he said.

“The gap we both have over third means promotion is all but secured even before this weekend, so let’s see what happens over the final few weeks.”

If Hainault are to triumph at the weekend, they will hope for a much-improved display with the bat from their last outing.

Despite beating Wickford by four runs, Hainault struggled early on and were 42-5 at one stage having won the toss and elected to bat.

Thankfully, a knock of 65 from Dominic Hurst, as well was telling contributions from Matthew Worsnop (36) and Etinder Bopara (44), helped Hainault reach 203 before being bowled out.

In reply, Sharif took 4-35 as Hainault bowled Wickford out in the nick of time to secure the win in dramatic fashion.

But if Hainault are to avoid another nervy end to a game, Sharif knows he may need his top order to show their quality at Old Southendian.

“The top order has no been consistent as we would have liked this season. We have seen the quality we have, but we just need it on a more regular basis,” he added.

“Hopefully we can do that on Saturday. We’re missing a few players, but it’s a chance for others to come in and impress ahead of next year.”

Even without some of their regular first-team players, Hainault should have enough to get over the line and secure promotion officially.

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