Wanstead ‘will be ready’ for tense title showdown says Akram

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 September 2013

Wanstead players celebrate the wicket of Ilford's Haaris Ayub (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Wanstead players celebrate the wicket of Ilford's Haaris Ayub (Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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 DataCo Licencing restrictions

Wanstead captain Arfan Akram hopes their ability to handle the pressure can shine through once again as they go head-to-head with Shenfield for the Shepherd Neame Premier Division title tomorrow.

Akram’s side have kept themselves in with a chance of retaining the title they won last year, without ever heading the table this season.

And it has all now come down to a winner-takes-all clash at Overton Drive against Shenfield.

For one, Akram hopes his side cope with the pressure in their bid to make it back-to-back titles.

“Shenfield have been top for a little while, but I’ve said all along that if we can be there or thereabouts with 2-3 games to go then that’s all I can ask for,” said Akram, whose side have not been out of the top two in the league for the past six seasons.

“We’ve been in the chasing pack and we have a lot of experience in these occasions. Under pressure we have performed well in the past and hopefully that can stand us in good stead.

“The title is won over four and a half months and to win it for a second time on the trot would be great.”

Akram is aware of the strength of their opponents and feels Shenfield deserve to be in with a shout of the title over the season.

“They have a lot of good club cricketers who have been around the scene for some time,” he added. “It’s no surprise to me they are challenging and the league is as competitive as it has ever been this season.”

Wanstead were understrength last week in their 10-wicket win over derby rivals Ilford but Akram hopes everyone will be available for the title decider, including Maurice Chambers, who is playing for county side Warwickshire on loan from Essex.

He said: “Fingers crossed we should have everyone available. We will be waiting until the last possible moment to name the side.

“Going into this game we’ll back our boys to perform. They have the belief that it can be done and we’ve played in high pressure situations before.

“Hopefully everyone will rise to the occasion in what should be a cracking finale.”

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