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Cricket: Theeban Tavarasa praises Ilford openers Harsh Kumar and Akash Raji after Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division win at Hadleigh & Thundersley

PUBLISHED: 14:00 29 May 2018

Akash Raji finished unbeaten on 45 for Ilford at Hadleigh & Thundersley (pic: Martin Dutt)

Akash Raji finished unbeaten on 45 for Ilford at Hadleigh & Thundersley (pic: Martin Dutt)

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Pair put on 131 for opening stand as Valentines Park outfit won by nine wickets

Ilford skipper Theeban Tavarasa praised opening pair Harsh Kumar and Akash Raji after helping their team win by nine wickets at Hadleigh & Thundersley in the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division on Saturday.

Kumar (76) and Raji (45 not out) shared an opening stand of 131 as the Valentines Park outfit successfully chased a target of 140 inside 36 overs.

Ilford hard earlier performed well with the ball, with Arshad Haroon (3-12), Tavarasa (3-28) and Ashar Zaidi (3-53) taking three wickets apiece as they bowled their hosts out for just 139.

Hadleigh had won the toss, but did not make the most of batting first, though Tavarasa revealed he would have made the same decision had he been given the opportunity.

“If we had won the toss, I would have done the same as Hadleigh and batted first,” admitted Tavarasa.

“All the bowlers performed very well and I would have been happy to keep them below 140 at the start of the game.

“That said, when they were 19-5 and 42-6, I thought we could have got them out for a lower score.

“Our batters were also superb and especially our openers Harsh and Akash, who showed the way despite being young.

“At Ilford, we like youngsters progressing through the ranks together and that’s what we have in them.”

Ilford did, however, bow out of the Dukes Essex T20 on Monday after losing by three wickets to Buckhurst Hill.

After winning the toss and electing to bat, a top score of 54 from opener and skipper Hamza Muhammad saw the Valentines Park outfit close on 134-7.

However, Buckhurst Hill completed the chase with two balls to spare, despite two wickets apiece for Salman Rana (2-26) and Kalpesh Chandracant (2-32).


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