Career-best leaves Wanstead's Ellis-Grewal on cloud nine
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Joe Ellis-Grewal admitted he was 'pleased' to produce career-best bowling figures in Wanstead's 261-run Hamro Foundation Essex League Premier Division win at Shenfield.
The left-arm spinner returned superb figures of 17.4-8-19-9 as the hosts were dismissed for 139, after the Herons had piled up 400-5 declared.
And the win took Wanstead 16 points clear at the top ahead of a home date with nearest rivals Colchester, with Ellis-Grewal saying: "It was a great first innings, but you've still got to bowl them out and I was slightly worried when they were 75-1 off 20 overs but they batted well.
"There was a bit of spin there and I got my second wicket, then Jahansher [Akbar] got one with his first ball to put them three down.
"Three overs later I had the hat-trick and they were six down and we were really into them then. I don't think I'll ever get a chance of beating that.
"On another day the wickets have been shared, but I bowled pretty well and I'm not going to say I wasn't pleased. Jahansher applied pressure at the other end and made it tough to score for them."
Ellis-Grewal chose to bat after winning the toss and saw Tom Simmons (113) dominate a 144-run second-wicket stand with Robin Das (85), who added 141 with Kishen Velani.
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Former Essex staffer Velani hit 10 sixes and 18 fours to reach 158 off 89 balls to set up the declaration, with Ellis-Grewal adding: "I finally won the toss and the wicket looked good. We lost Yuvraj [Odedra] early but Simmo got away and batted brilliantly.
"He led from the front and to get 100 before lunch is fairly irregular. Robin was well supportive of Simmo and Kish got in and took the game away from them with some phenomenal hitting.
"It was so good to watch and we still had a lot of batting to come. I don't think we've scored 400 in the league before and that was the main reason for batting on, to give that a crack."
Shenfield reached 87-1 before Ellis-Grewal dismissed Jamie Walton (43) and Akbar struck at the other end to remove David Hickey (22).
Ellis-Grewal then removed Karan Parmar, Max Bear and home skipper Ollie Ekers with successive deliveries to make it 97-6 and finished things off in style.
Colchester visit Overton Drive on Saturday, with Wanstead heading to Peterborough Town for an ECB Club Championship tie on Sunday.
"It was a really good performance and it's looking good. Another good performance on Saturday and we could have a big buffer and be looking really good for the next few weeks," said Ellis-Grewal.
"We played Peterborough about 10 years ago in a National T20 quarter-final. They're a good side, with good pedigree, and it will be tough.
"But confidence is high, our batters are firing and the attack is bowling well and availability is good. Hopefully we can continue our run."