Butt blitz sets Upminster up for title-clinching win
PUBLISHED: 08:00 22 August 2016
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Opener smashes 189 at Loughton
Upminster secured the Essex League Division One title and promotion to the top flight with two matches to spare with an emphatic win at Loughton in their top-versus-bottom clash at The Uplands.
Shahbaz Butt maintained his superb form with the bat to score a stunning 189 and lead the visitors to 287-4 declared.
And Connor Whetstone claimed five wickets in Loughton’s reply as Upminster sealed a 151-run win and guaranteed top spot and sent the hosts down.
Upminster captain Alan Ison chose to bat after winning the toss and saw Shafiq Rahman (20) put on 58 for the first wicket in just 10 overs with Butt.
Frankie Hazle fell for single figures, but Julian Whetstone then played a supporting role as Butt dominated the home attack.
The third-wicket pair put on 170, before Whestone fell for 42 in the 43rd over, and Ison then watched on from the other end as Butt moved to 189 from 146 balls, before finally falling.
Butt hit 11 sixes and 22 fours in his stunning innings and Ison decided enough was enough as he immediately declared on 287-4.
Taqi Abbas (29) dominated a 44-run opening stand with captain Fahad Anwar in reply, striking six fours, before being trapped leg before by Connor Whetstone.
And Whetstone ran out Anwar (22), before claiming another wicket to leave Loughton 75-3.
Bilal Butt also fell to Whetstone, before slow left-armer Matt Tigg struck to reduce the home side to 95-5.
And John Curtis returned for his second spell to claim the sixth Loughton wicket, before Whetstone struck twice in the space of four balls to complete his 5-37 haul and make it 114-8.
Upminster could sense the end was near at this point and Curtis claimed the final two wickets, with Ison taking a catch off the seamer to complete his side’s commanding victory.
They host Woodford Wells next weekend and visit Harlow for their league match of the season, before entertaining an Essex XI in the annual benefit match on Sunday, September 4.