Wanstead skipper Akram keeping feet on ground despite latest win
PUBLISHED: 12:18 17 May 2012
Ardleigh Green 157 lost to Wanstead & Snaresbrook 158-3 by seven wickets
Wanstead continued their good start to the campaign with an emphatic home win against Ardleigh Green on Saturday where they simply outclassed the visitors.
The seven-wicket victory for the Overton Drive outfit followed hard on the heels of last week’s cup demolition of Enfield where they prevailed by 86 runs, the brace of victories adding credence to their title ambitions this year.
Yet Wanstead skipper Arfan Akram is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, despite the convincing manner of their victory and on a ground that he revealed was unplayable 48 hours before Saturday’s match.
“Our ground was under water on Thursday and on Friday night a group of volunteers came in to help get the ground in good condition which shows the attitude of people at the club,” said Akram.
“They took 13 buckets of water off it which left it playable.
“The win on Saturday is just one game for one win as far as I am concerned. It is not the team that starts the strongest, but stays the strongest that will win the league and the challenge is to maintain the consistent form throughout the season.
“There will be games that we win and games that we lose. But what we must do is play to a good standard throughout.”
On Saturday, Akram won the toss and opted to bowl. The decision proved key to the outcome as so effective were the opening bowlers, the visitors’ hopes were virtually extinguished at the outset. Zain Shahzad led the way, taking the first three wickets at the cost of just two runs to finish with figures of 4-25.
Opener Ananda Krishnan (2) fared best of the trio, but still didn’t last long before he was skittled by Shahzad.
He followed up with the rapid dismissal of Paul Hurworth for a duck and then had Kulbir Gill, batting at number three, trapped lbw also for a duck.
Ardleigh Green appeared to have lost any chance when fourth man Thomas Oakley was bowled by Maurice Chambers (2-35) without adding to the score.
R Smith (12) was the first of the visiting batsmen to reach any meaningful total, before he became the sublime Shahzad’s fourth victim.
Yet the visitors refused to roll over and Chris Cook led the fightback, top scoring for his team with 55 runs as he batted out the remainder of the innings.
A series of batsmen joined him at the crease during his unbeaten stand, although only Omarie Allen (11), Anthony Hill (11) and Omar Ayaz (13) reached double figures as Adam Lord (2-37) and Petrus Hattingh (2-14) continued the assault.
In reply, any faint hopes Ardleigh may have had of getting anything out of the game were dashed as openers John Chambers and Akram quickly gained the upper hand.
Chambers (82 not out) provided a solid cornerstone for the hosts as he formed a profitable partnership with his skipper who had added 31 runs to the 91 he scored against Enfield last week, before being removed by Chamikara Mudalige (1-34).
Hamza Ahmed (21) added runs until he was caught by Mudalige off Ananda Krishnan (2-27) who then had Jonathan Das caught for a duck, before Adnan Akram (8) steered Wanstead to victory in the 42nd over.
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