Ilford captain is confident young team will get back on track in coming weeks

PUBLISHED: 16:00 12 July 2018

Saf Imtiaz in batting action for Ilford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Saf Imtiaz in batting action for Ilford (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

The Valentines Park club lost by 85 runs to Wanstead last weekend and sit fifth ahead of hosting Billericay on Saturday

Ilford captain Theeban Tavarasa has challenged his team to string a run of wins together in July in order to give themselves a good chance of finishing high up in the Essex League Premier Division.

The Valentines Park club are fifth at the halfway stage with a points total of 119 from nine games, but they were top a few weeks ago.

Winning the title was never a serious aim for Ilford, but if they want to finish in fourth or fifth position, Tavarasa has called on his side to get back on track when Billericay visit on Saturday.

He said: “From the next four to five games, we need to target winning at least three or four and 1if we do, I’ll take that.

“To finish fourth or fifth, we definitely need to win three or four of the next four to five, but we have a good run.

“We have Billericay, Shenfield, Hadleigh & Thundersley and Southend-on-Sea, so if we can win three or four we should definitely be in the top half come the end of the season.”

If Ilford are to return to form on Saturday, they will need to put in an improved display with the bat after they were dismissed for 117 last weekend.

Wanstead were all out for 202 after batting first at Valentines Park with Kishen Velani hitting 73 and Bilal Patel adding 46.

Mohammad Ahktar (3-47), Ash Zaidi (2-19) and Tavarasa (2-41) did manage to pull the game back in Ilford’s favour after the Herons were 116-1, but they couldn’t score 203 to win.

Essex all-rounder Zaidi scored 33, but the next best effort was 23 by number eight Haaris Ayub.

Batting has been a problem for Ilford over the last few weeks as they were all out for 95 away to Chelmsford on June 30.

Although they scored 213-6 in a winning effort at Hornchurch on June 23, at home to Chingford a week before they were dismissed for 131.

Tavarasa is confident his young squad will improve over the next few weeks, however, and backed them to deliver against Billericay on Saturday.

“We have been bowling well this year and fielding quite well too,” said Ilford’s captain.

“I think you could say in the past we have been a reasonably average fielding team, but we have been bowling and fielding well and it is just our batting which needs to click.

“The weather has been good, so we will have better wickets to bat on and I’m pretty sure someone will put their hand up soon.”

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