Essex Premier Division: Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal full of praise for centurion Arfan Akram after win over Shenfield

PUBLISHED: 17:00 12 July 2016

Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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Herons all-rounder praises contribution of opener as club get title bid back on track

Wanstead returned to winning ways in the Essex Premier Division with a 73-run success over Shenfield, thanks to a superb ton from opener Arfan Akram.

Having won the toss, Akram helped set the tone for the Herons innings as he smacked 104 off 91 balls as the visitors posted a total of 298, with Kishen Velani falling one short of a half century.

Despite a valiant effort from the Shenfield batsmen, Wanstead were able to skittle their hosts out for 225 in reply with three wickets apiece for Zain Shahzad and skipper Joe Ellis-Grewal.

And having lost to Colchester in their previous league match, as well as being knocked out of the National Club Championship on that same weekend, the team’s skipper was just happy to get that triumphant feeling back.

“It was nice to bounce back, nice to execute our plan well and good to get what was a comfortable win in the end,” said Ellis-Grewal.

“Arfan was in top form and looked a million dollars from the start. There was not a shot in anger and it was a great innings to watch.

“Kishen and others did well too, but we lost a few wickets quickly and could not get past 300, so there was still a little bit of pressure on us to perform with the ball because there are some dangerous players in the Shenfield side.”

Though Wanstead ultimately wrapped up a comfortable success, they were frustrated by Ryan Plom, who topped scored with 87 for Shenfield.

That knock, though, came at a strike rate of just under 80 and Ellis-Grewal admits Wanstead were happy to let Plom plug away as long as Shenfield’s required run rate continued to rise.

“We bowled really well, keeping it tight and driving their required run rate up and up,” added the all-rounder.

“Ryan played a good innings, but he wasn’t going quickly which did us a bit of a favour. Our focus was on driving the run rate up, so we were not too fussed about not getting him out.”

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