Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal: The guys did brilliantly to fight back and win 2017 National Club Championship
PUBLISHED: 14:00 18 September 2017
The Herons skipper lauds character of his team after defending 159 at Essex’s County Ground to become best club side in England
Joe Ellis-Grewal hailed the spirit of his Wanstead players after they delivered on the big stage to be crowned 2017 National Club Championship winners following a dramatic final with Ormskirk at Essex’s County Ground.
The Herons could only make 159 after being put into bat by the Lancashire outfit and it looked a tough ask for the Overton Drive club to defend that low total.
But Jack Lord (4-33) got them off to a flier and the rest of the team backed him up to help Wanstead win by 12 runs, as Mo Fayyaz Khan claimed the final Ormskirk wicket in the last over of the match.
“It’s amazing and you know us at Wanstead never like to do it the easy way,” said a proud Ellis-Grewal after the match.
“We did pull it back because at half time we pretty much looked dead and buried and they definitely came out on top, but to bowl and field the way we did with everyone working hard for each other was brilliant.
“To come away having defended 159 on what was a pretty good wicket is an amazing feeling and I am sure for a lot of the lads it won’t sink in for a while.”
After taking four wickets and one catch, Lord quite rightly won the man of the match award at Chelmsford.
The 10 runs the youngster scored were also crucial, as his 16-run partnership with Jon Das (10) at the end of Wanstead’s innings proved the difference.
Having only made 159, the Herons needed a good start and Lord provided it as he reduced Ormskirk to 43-4 after 14 overs.
Ellis-Grewal praised the 19-year-old seamer, adding: “Jack was outstanding and the bloke works so hard at his cricket.
“He has been in the second XI and has now come up to the first-team and taken his chances. He has been brilliant for us and was our only seamer, so to take the first four wickets was fantastic.
“To get a couple of ex-pros and a couple of current pros out was amazing to watch and he was really up for this game. He set it up for us and took a good catch as well, so it was brilliant for him to set the tone like that.”
After Lord’s early exploits, Wanstead still needed the rest of their bowling attack to produce the goods.
Ormskirk always looked on top while Mikey Jones was at the crease, but the outstanding Aron Nijjar enticed an edge from the opener.
The Lancashire club were 104-6 at this stage and the final was truly in the balance and the tension was building.
Wonderful fielding from the Herons ensured the run-rate slowly crept up and each man played their part for the Essex club.
Kishen Velani did well to keep Ormskirk in check and finished with 0-39 off his nine overs, while Nijjar was superb on his way to claiming 2-24.
Ellis-Grewal delivered when he was required by getting rid of Tom Hartley with the last ball of his spell to end with 1-26.
And when Fayyaz Khan was asked to close the game out and hold his nerve, he showed his experience and class.
The 50-year-old frustrated the Ormskirk lower order and bowled opposition captain Matt Glayzer when he was well set on 34.
It was a huge moment and Fayyaz Khan then had Nicky Caunce caught by Arfan Akram to dismiss the Liverpool and District Cricket Premier League 2017 champions for 147 and claim figures of 2-22.
Wanstead, after heartbreak in the 2012 final against York, had delivered on this occasion and cemented their name in the club cricket history books.
“There were times when Ormskirk were a little bit on top and then we were a little bit on top, but the run-rate kept hanging around four,” said Ellis-Grewal.
“I would think ‘we are keeping it tight here’ and yet somehow they stayed needing four an over, but when guys came on and I asked them to do a job, they did it.
“When we were under pressure at the end, the guys did brilliantly and to get the run-rate up to six and seven an over when they originally only needed less than four was a brilliant effort.
“For ‘Nij’ and ‘Fiz’ to close it out at the end was fantastic and Kishen got a little bit unlucky with his first spell, but came back strong and finished well and it was a really good team effort and brilliant to be a part of it.”
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