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Cricket: Ilford captain Theeban Tavarasa excited for opening day trip to Billericay in Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division

PUBLISHED: 15:00 11 May 2018

Ilford captain Theeban Tavarasa celebrates taking a wicket against Hutton (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ilford captain Theeban Tavarasa celebrates taking a wicket against Hutton (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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

Valentines Park outfit won in Essex Dukes League Cup first round last weekend

A Hutton batsman plays a shot as Ashar Zaidi of Ilford watches on (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)A Hutton batsman plays a shot as Ashar Zaidi of Ilford watches on (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Ilford skipper Theeban Tavarasa is looking forward to his team hopefully pitting their wits against Essex bowler Paul Walter when they visit Billericay on the opening day of the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division on Saturday.

Walter was part of the Essex squad that won the County Championship last summer, but it also expected to feature for club side Billericay this term.

Should the 23-year-old feature this weekend, it would certainly be an interesting start to the new campaign for the Ilford batting line-up.

But Tavarasa is excited about the challenge that potentially lies ahead for the Valentines Park outfit on Saturday.

“Paul’s a talented player and it should be a really good game against Billericay,” said the Ilford skipper.

“I’m looking forward to going back to Billericay. It’s a good pitch that I’ve enjoyed playing on in the past, including when I played for Essex’s seconds.”

While Saturday will see Ilford compete in the league for the first time this season, they did progress past Hutton in the Essex Dukes League Cup last weekend.

After bowling out their hosts for just 155, the Valentines Park outfit successfully chased their target for the loss of just four wickets.

The win saw Ilford progress to the second round of this year’s competition, where they will host Belhus on June 10.

And Tavarasa was happy with the confidence-boosting success ahead of the start of the league campaign.

“The game with Hutton was a good starting point for us in our first competitive match of the season,” he added.

“The squad is looking good and performing well, even if we have not been at full strength yet.

“We should be fairly close to full strength for the Billericay game, which is a big game as we want to start strongly.”

Essex spinner Ashar Zaidi was in typically explosive form for Ilford against Hutton, smashing an unbeaten 36 off just 35 balls after taking 3-28 with the ball.

And Tavarasa was pleased with the early-season exploits from the 36-year-old.

“Ash got a few runs and got among the wickets as well, which was very pleasing,” said the Ilford captain. “The real season starts now and we back ourselves against anyone we play.”


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