Wanstead skipper Arfan Akram helps Wanstead romp to cup win

PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 May 2012

Arfan Akram in batting action for Wanstead

Arfan Akram in batting action for Wanstead

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to Licencing restrictions

ECB National Club Championship first round: Wanstead 273-9 beat Enfield 187-9 by 86 runs

Wanstead made the perfect start to the new season when they thumped Enfield in the first round of the ECB National Club Championship Cup on Sunday.

The emphatic victory for the Overton Drive outfit was one of the few highlights of an otherwise gloomy weekend where the bulk of scheduled matches were abandoned.

Playing at Enfield, Wanstead skipper Arfan Akram led by example after winning the toss and opting to bat.

He was unfortunate not to go on to reach a century when his was the first wicket to fall when caught for 91.

His men continued the momentum, easing to 273 for the loss of nine wickets in the allotted 45 overs.

They then kept their foot on the gas to restrict the hosts to 187-9, despite Enfield opener Jack Plumb recording an unbeaten century.

“Obviously I was really pleased with the way it went,” said Akram, who is also targeting top honours in the league this season.

“It was a difficult pitch and I was really impressed with batting partner Hamza Ahmed who scored 41 runs.

“It was a really impressive performance and the game gives us a good platform.”

The resounding victory was Wanstead’s first competitive fixture of the 2012 campaign that Akram hopes will culminate in landing the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division title for the first time since 2008.

For the past three seasons they have finished runner-up to Brentwood CC and Akram, who has scored more than 600 runs in each of the past two seasons, believes the cup victory against Enfield bodes well for the rest of the campaign.

“Along with the good batting effort a lot of credit must go to the bowlers who were a bit rusty due to the lack of play, but bowled really well,” he continued.

“A lot of teams have not played yet and for us to get out and to get in a good performance like this is only a good thing.

“It was a good win and a good performance.”

On Sunday at Enfield, Wanstead had reached 120 without loss when Akram (91) was caught by Jack Plumb off Michael Davies (3-33).

Ahmed (41) continued the good work before he was caught by Sam Martin off Tom Bolt’s (2-36) bowling to provide the visitors with a solid platform.

Jonathan Das (36) continued the good work until caught by Lee Robertson (3-45) as the Enfield attack started to find their way through.

Yet Kishen Velani (14) and the skipper’s brother Adnan Akram (27) continued to push the score along to post the healthy total.

In reply, Wanstead made early inroads, Kishen Velani (2-27) removing opener Neil Tiley for three runs.

His opening partner Plumb proved to be an altogether different proposition, almost single-handedly guiding his men to a respectable total as the Wanstead bowlers tore through the defence.

Petrus Hattingh (2-27), Zain Shahzad (1-36) and Adam Lord (1-25) were just three of the Wanstead bowlers who ensured that not one of the remaining Enfield batsmen reached double figures.

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