Ford Cricket Club’s top order must deliver in Essex County League Division One says chairman Ali Raja

PUBLISHED: 09:00 20 May 2016

The Ford Cricket Team face the camera before a league match (pic: Ali Raja).

The Ford Cricket Team face the camera before a league match (pic: Ali Raja).


Early pace setters Barking seconds face Ford this weekend with the two teams in contrasting form

Ford chairman Ali Raja hopes his team can get back on track this weekend when they host Essex County League Division One leaders and rivals Barking seconds.

After starting the campaign with an away victory at Newham seconds, Ford have been beaten by Redbridge Parks and Roding Valley on the past two weekends.

Barking, meanwhile, have registered three consecutive wins in the division and are sitting pretty at the top of the pile ahead of this weekend.

But Raja is backing his top order to fire after they failed to chase down 179 at Roding Valley on Saturday and were bowled out for 148.

He said: “Barking are a very good side and our rivals. Games against them are always tough and full of drama.

“I’m hoping our batsmen can score some runs because I feel our bowlers can either restrict or defend a good total.

“The batting is becoming a bit of a problem, we are trying hard in the nets, but again our top order failed on Saturday.

“Our top order needs to spend some time at the crease because players like Hassan Masood and Muhammad Nadeem are capable of scoring big runs once set.”

Unfortunately after bowling Roding Valley all out for 178 last weekend, neither opener Nadeem or number three Masood could reach double figures.

In fact, all of the top six for Ford failed to go past nine and it was only a valiant effort from the lower-order that prevented them being dismissed for an even more disappointing total.

Number nine Yousef Khan top scored with 25 not out and Khuram Cheema (24) and Ajmal Baig (16) supported him well.

But Ford eventually fell to a 30-run loss and Raja added: “We lost the game due to some bad shot selection when batting and also a few umpiring decisions didn’t go for us either!

“I was very happy to restrict them to 178 because I thought it was a total we could chase.”

A positive to come from Saturday’s defeat was the performance of seam bowler Baig who claimed 4-28 from his 6.1 overs.

Raja said: “Ajmal is very talented young bowler and this will give him confidence for the rest of the season. He bowled good line and length and got success.”

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