Ilford delight at last ball win over reigning champions Brentwood
PUBLISHED: 18:00 24 May 2012
Brentwood 232-8 lost to Ilford 236-8 by two wickets
Ilford beat reigning champions Brentwood with the last ball of the match in an enthralling Premier Division encounter at the Old County Ground on Saturday.
The visitors appeared to have little chance of victory when they found themselves eight wickets down and needing 50 runs from the last five overs after the hosts had posted 232-8 off their allotted 50 overs.
The odds had hardly improved at the onset of the last over with Ilford still needing 12 runs for the win.
But in a breathtaking display of tenacity by the visitors kept themselves in contention for the first five balls of the over, before securing victory with the last ball of the match.
“It was a fantastic performance and it is always nice to beat a big side like Brentwood,” Ilford’s delighted skipper Maz Malik said.
“It would have been great to have chased down their 232 with four or five wickets to spare, but from the spectators’ point of view it was just a tremendous game of cricket.
“Gurdeep Kandola provided the spine of the innings and batted throughout and it was him and Sajid Ali that were there in the last over.
It is good following the disappointment of the last game and it was good to get back on track. It is great for self-belief and we want to maintain that feeling.”
Brentwood won the toss and opted to bat, but were rocked when the hosts struck quickly as Kandola caught opening batsman Jonathan Walford (3) off Vilas Kutty (1-54).
However, Brentwood, the Premier Division Champions for each of the last three seasons, quickly got the innings underway as Aaron West (57) crafted a half century.
Dave Hammond (17) pushed the score along until he was trapped lbw by Kanishk Singh (3-50) and then West was bowled by Theeban Tavarasa (2-47). The champions pushed on, despite losing Ronnie Saunders, who had posted just a solitary run when he was caught and bowled by Sohail Idrees (2-23).
An impressive knock from top scorer Joe Buttleman (61 not out), allied to a valuable 25 from Sam Pountney, put the hosts firmly in the driving seat.
Pountney fell to Idrees, but Max Osborne (15) proved to be an able replacement until he was bowled by Singh as Brentwood pushed on to reach 232-8 in 50 overs.
In reply, Ilford looked to have it all to do when Osborne (2-33) removed the openers cheaply. Skipper Malik had posted just seven runs when caught by Harri Jones and Gagan Bhogal had yet to score when Redwood caught him for a duck.
The arrival of Kandola got them underway as he stayed at the crease for the remainder of the innings, providing a crucial knock of 86.
He formed a series of profitable partnerships, firstly with Indrees, who added 22 runs until removed by Ian Belchamber.
Vilas Kutty was next, contributing a precious 27. But despite the efforts of Khaleeq Malik (5), Abir Chippa (20), Kanishk Singh (13) and Prithvi Sarvaiya (2), Ilford found themselves still well adrift of their target. Yet Kandola and Ali refused to go down without a fight.
As they entered the final over the duo kept their hopes alive, until Ali clinched victory with the last ball of the match.
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