Hainault skipper Sharif leads by example in comfortable win
PUBLISHED: 18:00 17 May 2012
Hainault & Clayhall 284-7 beat Upminster 164 by 120 runs
New Hainault & Clayhall skipper Zoheb Sharif made a dream start to the season as his men thumped Upminster at Oakfield Playing Fields on the first day of the season.
Sharif was part of the Hainault team that bagged the Premier Division in 2006 and has returned to the club to get them back on track, following last season’s shock relegation from the Premier Division.
Promotion is the key target this season and Sharif has had his men back in training since October as they bid to make an immediate return to the big time and the benefit of the detailed preparation was there for all to see with the manner of Saturday’s victory.
“It was the first win of the year so it was good to get going,” Sharif admitted.
“It was as perfect a Saturday as you could imagine. We killed the game off in the first 16 overs. Hopefully we can push on from here. We kept going and really had it won with 10 overs remaining.”
However Sharif, who made several first-class appearances for Essex, is taking nothing for granted.
“It is a good start, but at the end of the day we cannot get complacent and we must do this every week,” he continued. “But if we continue to play like we did on Saturday, then there is no other team in this league that can touch us.”
The new skipper led by example on Saturday as he opened the batting and provided the perfect platform for his new team as he blazed his way to 66.
The early progress was briefly hampered when Irfan Shah was removed for a duck by Alan Ison.
Mos Ismail stepped in and added to the tally with a knock of 46, only to be removed just short of his half-century.
All-rounder Suleman Qadir (89) continued the good work with a magnificent innings that effectively took that game beyond the visitors’ reach. Ahmed Ashfaq, batting at number five, kept up the pressure with a knock of 26 to help the hosts to a formidable tally of 284 off 50 overs.
In reply, Upminster’s top-order struggled to fashion any meaningful totals as the hosts opened with spinner Qadir (3-23), who quickly found his way through, removing opener Nick O’Dell who top scored with 35, before taking the next two wickets.
The visitors appeared to have it all to do when Ismail took the next two wickets to leave Upminster mired at 50-5 after 10 overs.
Hainault kept their opponents guessing when they switched things around in the 15th over, now using a variety of bowlers to restrict them to 120-8.
Yet the tail wagged and Alan Ison and Olly Peck briefly rebuffed the assault, before last man Peck was removed by Sharif.
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