Wanstead captain delighted to return to winning ways at rivals Ilford
PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 July 2018
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After losing narrowly to Hornchurch the week before, the Herons bounced back in style at Valentines Park
Joe Ellis-Grewal was pleased to see Wanstead keep hold of their lead at the top of the Essex League Premier Division table on Saturday with an 85-run win away to local rivals Ilford.
After batting first at Valentines Park, the Herons managed to get up to 202 before they were dismissed with 19 balls of their innings left.
Former Essex staffer Kishen Velani top scored with 73 and received good support from Bilal Patel (46) and it was enough to beat the home side, who were dismissed for 117 in the 34th over of their reply.
“Ilford are big rivals of ours and we’ve had a lot of good games with them in the past and it is a tough place to play,” said Ellis-Grewal.
“The wicket always spins a bit and they have some really good spinners and they were right up the top at the start of the year.
“We knew it would be a tough game and obviously it is great to get back to winning ways and pick up 20 points.”
An outstanding spell from Zain Shahzad (3-11) helped reduce Ilford to 27-3, but when a break occurred for everyone to watch England’s World Cup quarter-final with Sweden at 3pm, Ashar Zaidi had steadied the ship.
The hosts were 70-5 with the Essex all-rounder and Aditya Nair (15) putting together the best partnership of the match for Theeban Tavarasa’s men.
When Wanstead and Ilford retook to the field, the Herons knew if Zaidi stuck around they could be in trouble.
Fortunately for the visitors, Ellis-Grewal had him caught on the boundary for 33 by Jahansher Akbar on his way to recording figures of 2-31.
Akbar (3-37) then came on and mopped up the tail to help dismiss Ilford for 117 and keep Wanstead top with 151 points at the halfway stage – 14 ahead of Chingford.
Ellis-Grewal added: “Zaidi is a professional cricketer and has played a lot of cricket and is a very good batsman, but Ilford have a lot of big players.
“Zain’s spell at the start was phenomenal. In hot weather, to bowl six overs on the trot where they were playing and missing multiple times and take three wickets was really good.
“We had them five down and Zaidi got away from us a little bit, but once we picked him up the lads were brilliant to close it out.
“Jahansher has come up from the twos over the last few weeks and has bowled outstandingly well for us.
“He got three wickets at Ilford and has taken to first-team cricket like he has been playing for seasons, so that was really good as well.”
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