We must use shorter season to learn how to win regularly insists Ilford captain Jacobs
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Ilford captain Nigel Jacobs says this season is all about learning to win for his side as he knows they have Shepherd Name Esex League Premier Division ability.
Jacobs and his side will welcome local rivals Oakfield Parkonians to Valentines Park on Saturday as they look to build upon their five-wicket win over Loughton last weekend.
Ilford restricted their opponents to 206-7 before chasing it down with a good all-round team performance.
“No disrespect to Oakfield, but from last season even though we got relegated we knew ability-wise there wasn’t much between us and the Premier League teams,” said Jacobs.
“Yes we only won two games in the whole season. It might sound ridiculous, but there was four or five games that we should have won. We had Buckhurst Hill 50-8, we had Chelmsford 30-7 and somehow lost those games.
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“It’s somehow learning how to win what is really important this year. We’re confident ability-wise against any team, but it’s learning how to win like Wanstead do and Brentwood do.”
Ilford must however take confidence from chasing down a big score for the first time in years insists the skipper.
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“The team is going in a good direction, we haven’t chased a score over 200 in, I honestly don’t know how long, maybe three or four years, so that was a big result for us,” he said.
“Everyone chipped in, it would have been good for someone to make a big score, but we’ll be looking to do that going forward.
“The chase was important, but we set it up brilliantly as we know with Prahathen Jayarooban and Pommy (Mohammad Ahktar) we’ve got two brilliant spinners, but Bibin Chacko and Dulen Abayakoon set things up brilliantly so there wasn’t much to complain about.”
Former Ilford colts batsman Jacobs was full of praise for the experienced Ahktar while he is also backing his team to produce the Tier One Hussain group’s top run scorer and wicket taker during this shortened nine-week campaign.
“He played one of the most responsible innings that I’ve ever seen from him over the last few years, 30 not out, and in terms of bowling,” he added.
“We do an internal man of the match and he’s won it two weeks in a row, him being one of the more experienced players in the team, showing that kind of responsibility is a good example for all of the guys.
“I think at the end of the season the top run scorer and top wicket taker should come from our team and I told the guys that on Saturday.
“Oakfield Parkonians are the division below us [in the usual league set-up] so people should be looking to make big scores and big wicket hauls.”