Herons skipper Joe full of praise for champions Chelmsford

PUBLISHED: 16:00 13 July 2018

Wanstead skipper Joe Ellis-Grewal (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Wanstead skipper Joe Ellis-Grewal (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Wanstead host Chelmsford this weekend looking to maintain their hold on first place

Joe Ellis-Grewal has praised the quality of Chelmsford ahead of Wanstead’s clash with the 2017 Essex League Premier Division champions on Saturday.

The clubs will go head-to-head this weekend at Overton Drive looking to produce another close contest like the last meeting on May 12 at Chelmer Park.

Wanstead scored 173-9 with the bat and managed to restrict Chelmsford to 151-9 in reply to pick up 13 points from the draw.

After such a tight game, the two clubs have had contrasting fortunes since with the Herons top of the table while last year’s champions are down in sixth.

But Ellis-Grewal said: “I think Chelmsford are a top side, they are defending champions and they are in a similar boat to us.

“They have a few people out injured and they are victims of their own success with some of their players playing for Essex.

“Obviously that is fantastic for club cricket because that is what we are here to service to an extent, but they are a really good team with some top players.

“Everyone knows we will have to be playing well to pick up a win against them this weekend.”

Although Wanstead are in first spot with 151 points at the halfway mark of the season, Ellis-Grewal is well aware they have yet to hit top form.

Last weekend they visited local rivals Ilford and managed to come away with an 85-run victory, but they had to come through several testing moments.

The Herons looked well set for a big score with Kishen Velani (73) and Bilal Patel (46) at the crease, but the former was caught and the latter was unluckily run-out.

It saw Wanstead collapse from a strong position of 116-1 to 202 all out, but it proved enough runs to defeat Ilford.

A superb spell at the top by Zain Shahzad (3-11) reduced the hosts to 39-5 and despite 33 from Essex’s Ash Zaidi, they were dismissed for 117 in the 34th over.

Captain Ellis-Grewal picked up 2-31 from eight overs while young bowler Jahansher Akbar claimed 3-37 on a good day for the Herons.

The skipper added: “We have not been playing great of late and at Ilford we were still pretty far away from a perfect performance, but it is pleasing we are starting to string a few results together.

“We are doing really well to be picking up these wins and to be top of the table, so hopefully when we get a few players back and other guys come into more form it will look good for us come the last six or seven games.”

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