Ford Cricket Club chairman Ali Raja thrilled to silence Essex County Cricket League Division One rivals Barking Cricket Club

PUBLISHED: 18:00 26 July 2016 | UPDATED: 09:30 28 July 2016

Ali Raja faces the camera after taking six wickets for Ford last weekend at Essex County Cricket League Division One leaders Barking

Ali Raja faces the camera after taking six wickets for Ford last weekend at Essex County Cricket League Division One leaders Barking


After only making 123 with the bat, Ford delivered an excellent bowling display to stun the leaders and move up to second in the table

Ford chairman Ali Raja was delighted to play his part and silence rivals Barking seconds at the weekend.

The Essex County Cricket League Division One clash saw the leaders host the third-placed team.

Raja’s men were in positive spirits before the game and Khuram Cheema, captain for the day, won the toss and batted first.

But Ford made a awful start and were reduced to 43-7 before their stand-in skipper cracked an unbeaten 37 to help them reach 123 and they were eventually dismissed in the 25th over.

“We were very confident before the game but was really disappointed with the bat,” said Raja.

“It was especially frustrating because it was the biggest game of the season and the opposition players were shouting in our ears.

“When we were 43-7 the opposition players were so confident that they were saying ‘get fifty at least and give us something to bat at.’

“I think it was comments like that which motivated and inspired our captain Khuram Cheema to score runs towards the end that gave us a respectable total.”

After reaching a competitive score, Ford were confident they could get on top of the leaders early.

Raja and Ajmal Baig dismissed Barking’s two openers cheaply before Zahir Mohammed (1-13) and Imran Adil (1-8) chipped in.

Ford’s chairman then returned to finish off the innings and end up with exceptional figures of 6-17.

Baig played his part with 2-20 as the leaders were all out for 66, Raja said: “Having played against them so much, we know their batsmen. I was aware that they struggle against pace and swing.

“Their top order batsmen Alfie Shah and Kashif Mughal were really struggling. After the openers got out cheaply, we kept picking up regular wickets.

“When they were six down, I said to my captain Cheema that I’m ready for second spell as I could see the ball was reverse swinging.

“He brought me on and I cleaned Barking up with the reverse swing taking all four wickets.”

It was a great day for Raja and Ford as they moved up to second in the Division One standings.

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