Played at Upminster Park
Report by Steve Hamilton
This was our penultimate fixture of the season and one that was
against a strong Upminster side that battered us by 109 runs last
season. What was going to be in store for us this time?
Amazingly, all the preliminaries ran smoothly. We won the toss and
elected to bat on a decent wicket with a fast outfield. Whatís more,
we had arrived with a powerful batting force. I was quietly
Our openers Farhad and Jakeria did not disappoint
and got us off to the perfect start, putting on 81 for the first
wicket after 13 overs. Farhad went on to reach his half century. But
then we lost two more wickets quickly to the loopy slow arm bowling
of the opposition captain D.Brown.
At the crease now were
Azaz and Adnan who dominated the bowling attack and ran hard, making
the most of the fast outfield and putting on 89 for the fourth
wicket. Azaz scored 47, in line with his excellent batting this
season and taking his average to 44. Adnan reached a well-deserved
fifty to lift us to 221. With a couple of cameo innings from Asad
and Jonathan we reached a very competitive tally of 255 from 40
Now it was time to defend our total. Our regular
opening bowlers Syed and Umair bowled a very tight line, especially
Umair who only went for 14 runs off his seven overs. He definitely
deserved a couple of wickets. with two dropped catches and some
unsuccessful appeals for leg before.
After 15 overs Upminster
had reached 74 without losing a wicket and looked at ease on their
home ground. But that was until the newly ultra-slim Azaz came on
and took the wicket of opener D.Ccruz for 26. The batsman had swung
hard and found a top edge that sent the ball up what seemed 100
metres into the sky. The ball now began to fall in my direction at
square leg! Although the whole team was aware of my excellent
catching record and had full confidence in my ability to take
catches safely, I decided unselfishly to let our razor-sharp keeper
run in to take a magnificent catch, breaking the opening stand and
getting the vital breakthrough!
Our leading wicket-taker Asad
then clean bowled Bottoms, leaving the game in the balance at 90 for 2 off 19 overs.
However, Upminster started once more to
take the game away from us as the young Quest passed 50, looking
well in control and setting himself up for big score. He was
supported at the other end by White, taking their reply to 189 for
just two wickets and with our total easily in sight.
until Syed, last yearís top wicket-taker, came back for his second
spell. Syed tempted White to drive to ball towards cover, spurring
Azaz to run in at a rate of knots from the deep to take a
tremendously low and game-changing catch!
bowled Quest for 100 to put the final nail in the coffin and spark a
collapse. The wickets started to tumble, with a run out and wickets
taken by Asad and Jonathan.
Upminster's early solid batting
crumbled and collapsed, sliding from a confident 189 for 2 wickets
to just 232 for 7 by the close of their overs.
We had won by
23 runs against a very tough league outfit, getting revenge for our
heavy defeat last season. Now itís 1-1 and we have been invited back
for a return fixture next season for the best of three!