Captain Ellis-Grewal knows Wanstead must keep winning to stay in league title hunt
Wanstead & Snaresbrook captain Joe Ellis-Grewal is eager for his side to continue their current momentum as they look to remain in the hunt for the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Gooch Division title.
The Herons welcome Billericay to Overton Drive on Saturday as they look to build on their eight-wicket victory over Harold Wood and their strong start to the new, shortened campaign.
And with the 2020 season being just nine weeks long the skipper knows how vital each and every game is – and knows Billericay, who beat Shenfield by 80 runs last weekend, will pose a tough test.
“They’ve got some good players, a couple of Essex guys on the books, and some real good club players so we know that we will have to play well on Saturday,” said Ellis-Grewal. “It’s probably going to be our most competitive game yet this season, so we’re looking forward to playing them, and hopefully picking up another win.
“There is quite a few teams that have now won two and had one rained off, obviously Brentwood are at the top and already a win ahead, so it’s really important that we do our best to get another win.
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“The table will start to spread out now with teams that have won two starting to play each other, so fingers crossed we can keep up the momentum.”
Harold Wood won the toss last weekend, but Wanstead bowled them out for 165 as Kishen Velani (2-20), Mohammed Fayyaz Khan (2-26) and Jahansher Akbar (2-32) all nabbed braces.
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Wanstead eased to their target inside 25 overs, thanks largely to the efforts of Velani – who hit 70 off just 48 balls with a six and 12 fours – and young Robin Das, who was unbeaten on 72 at the close.
Das hit two sixes and 10 fours in a 66-ball innings and Ellis-Grewal added: “They had a decent start then as soon as our bowlers found the line and lengths and started restricting the scoring, we built a lot of pressure, and that turned into wickets and we kept picking them up throughout the innings.
“It was a really good pitch and a fast outfield, so to bowl them out for 160 was a really good effort from the bowlers.
“What I really like about our team at the minute – and hopefully we’re going to have this team for a while now with a lot of youngsters in it – is that it’s a very balanced and all-round team.
“We’ve got six or seven real frontline bowlers and at the same time we bat all the way until eight or nine.”
The captain heaped praise on former Essex staffer Velani and Das for their batting efforts by adding: “They really looked a class above on Saturday, I don’t think their bowlers bowled too badly, but as soon as they missed their line and lengths they would just really punishing them.
“We got off to a really good start and then lost a couple of wickets, but Robin batted brilliantly, almost effortlessly to get 70 not out, and see us over the line.”