Ellis-Grewal: Wanstead win over Hornchurch 'a tale of two halves'

Wanstead players celebrate taking the wicket of Hornchurch batter Ronnie Saunders

Wanstead players celebrate taking the wicket of Hornchurch batter Ronnie Saunders

Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal admitted his side's 15-run win over Hamro Foundation Essex League Premier Division rivals Hornchurch was a 'tale of two halves'.

The Herons saw Yuvraj Odedra (34) and Tom Simmons (56) put on 62 for the first wicket, with Akashsivan Suresh (22) and Arfan Akram (26) also making starts as they posted 194.

And Jahansher Akbar claimed 5-29 as they fought back with the ball to eventually wrapped up victory at Overton Drive.

Arfan Akram in batting action for Wanstead against Hornchurch

Arfan Akram in batting action for Wanstead against Hornchurch - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Ellis-Grewal said: "It was a cracking game of cricket between two really good sides on a hot day.

"It was a really good wicket, a bit on the slow side, and after the start we got, I thought we'd get 300.

"Their spinners bowled well but we had some poor dismissals where guys got in and got out. At the halfway stage, with only 194, we were pretty disappointed thinking it was very gettable.

Zain Shahzad hits six runs for Wanstead against Hornchurch as Paul Murray looks on

Zain Shahzad hits six runs for Wanstead against Hornchurch as Paul Murray looks on - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

"If we'd bowled Hornchurch out for that, we would've fancied our chances of chasing it comfortably.

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"We bowled and fielded unbelievably well. It was a tale of two halves, disappointing, then brilliant."

Zain Shahzad and Kishen Velani had early success to remove the Hornchurch openers, with help from Ellis-Grewal.

Zain Shahzad in bowling action for Wanstead against Hornchurch

Zain Shahzad in bowling action for Wanstead against Hornchurch - Credit: Gavin Ellis

But the visitors looked well set as George Hankins (46) and Billy Gordon (23) put on 56 for the third wicket.

"It was one of the best catches I've ever taken, coming from nowhere and diving full length towards the boundary," said Ellis-Grewal of Paul Murray's dismissal.

Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal celebrates taking a fine catch to dismiss Hornchurch batter Paul Murray

Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal celebrates taking a fine catch to dismiss Hornchurch batter Paul Murray

"But it summed it up, if it wasn't me it was someone else. They got to 94-2 with Hankins, an ex-pro, and Billy, who has been around, but we got them and after another little partnership we got a couple more."

Adeel Malik raised Hornchurch hopes again with a run-a-ball 32 before more inspired fielding by the hosts.

"Adeel was whacking a few and looking good until he was caught in the deep, off a terrible ball by Jahansher, before going over the line for six," added Ellis-Grewal.

"Zoraiz [Saeed] is only 16 years old and showed character after getting out for nought batting at three, the catch turned the game.

"It was very fitting that Jahansher, in his first game back, got the last wicket thanks to a diving catch by Kish [Velani] at cover to finish with five."

Wanstead head to Brentwood this weekend looking to make it three wins in a row and the skipper said: "Brentwood is always a game we look forward to. We're playing good cricket and we're almost there in terms of a full performance. We just need to get the batting to click.

Joe Ellis-Grewal in batting action for Wanstead against Hornchurch

Joe Ellis-Grewal in batting action for Wanstead against Hornchurch - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

"They like turning up to play us and we know it will be tough. We're pretty much at full strength and if we play at our potential we've got a good chance."