Ford Cricket Club ready to show they mean business in the Essex County League Division One warns chairman Ali Raja

PUBLISHED: 14:30 06 July 2016

The cricket season is under way (pic: Jonathan Brady/PA WIRE)

The cricket season is under way (pic: Jonathan Brady/PA WIRE)

PA/Press Association Images

After losing at home to Newham seconds last weekend, they’ll take on high-flying Redbridge Parks on Saturday

Ford chairman Ali Raja is confident his team can get back on track in the Essex County League Division One this weekend.

Last Saturday they suffered a four-wicket defeat at home to Newham twos and face Redbridge Parks next.

This weekend’s opponents are second in the standings and have only lost twice in the league all season.

Raja has backed his team to deliver, however, and feels they can still gain promotion this season.

He said: “We have a tough game but I’m sure we’ll bounce back. We have a strong team with almost 15 to 16 players to pick from so we’ll go in hard and hoping to win.

“I believe we are good enough to finish in the top two, if not win the league, because all the teams in the division are beatable

“By getting a victory at Redbridge Parks, we’ll be showing the rest of the sides that we do mean business.”

Ford struggled at home to Newham on Saturday and could only manage to make 176 before being dismissed in the 41st over.

Imran Adil scored 58 but the next score of note was from captain Imran Rafiq and it wasn’t enough.

“We had plenty of rest as we didn’t have a game for two weeks. We were very disappointed with the result after a good start given to us by Imran because we didn’t bat well - our target was to score 220,” said Raja.

“Imran and Muhammad Nadeem have been scoring runs, but Nadeem missed out this week and our middle order didn’t bat well, although the conditions were also tough.”

Newham’s reply was affected by rain and they were set 138 to win off 35 overs, which looked achievable.

Nomaan Shah did his best to help Ford by taking 3-23 off seven overs, but the rest of the bowlers struggled.

The visitors eventually got over the line with just nine balls to spare as they won with four wickets in hand.

Raja added: “The weather did not help at all. Our target was to score 220 and more as the rain was in air.

“We knew it could come down to run rate, but having been bowled out inside 45 overs it helped the opposition as they had to score less in 35 because our run rate wasn’t great.

“Nomaan bowled well again, but we just did not have enough runs on the board to defend the total.”

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