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Essex League: Wanstead on title brink, as Upminster go down

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 September 2017

Joe Ellis-Grewal fell nine runs short of a century against Upminster (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Joe Ellis-Grewal fell nine runs short of a century against Upminster (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Wanstead are on the brink of retaining their Premier Division title after beating Upminster to send them down to Division One.

The defending champions batted first at Upminster Park, after captain Joe Ellis-Grewal won the toss, but lost Hassan Chowdhury for a duck as John Curtis struck with the new ball.

Curtis (2-52) also dismissed Essex youngster Feroze Khushi, before Alex Kirkpatrick claimed the scalp of Arfan Akram (26) to leave the visitors 55-3.

And Julian Whetstone got in on the act to get rid of Essex staffers Aron Nijjar and Kishen Velani as Wanstead slipped to 85-5.

Ellis-Grewal played a captain’s innings, though, and put on 120 for the sixth wicket with Adnan Akram, who hit a six and six fours in his 58 from 88 balls, before succumbinng to home skipper Matt Tigg.

Ellis-Grewal struck 13 boundaries on his way to 91, before falling to Whetstone (3-74) as Wanstead declared on 245-7 in the 53rd over.

And the Herons captain was quick to make the breakthrough with the ball in Upminster’s reply, dismissinng Kirkpatrick and Louis Pickering to leave the hosts 9-2.

Young opener Kiran Kullar dug in to score 17 from 45 balls, before becoming the third victim for left-arm spinner Ellis-Grewal, who had Shahbaz Butt stumped by Jonathan Das for 26.

Brothers Julian and Connnor Whetstone followed in quick succession to Nijjar, who also accounted for Shafiq Rahman to leave Upminster in deep trouble at 65-7.

But Alan Ison and Farid Butt managed to restore some respectability with an 82-run stand for the eighth wicket.

Butt hit two sixes and six fours in a whirlwind 45 off 25 balls, before Ellis-Grewal dismissed him to complete a five-wicket haul.

Ison, meanwhile, got to within three runs of a half-century after hitting three sixes and three fours, when he was bowled by Nijjar (4-67) and Wanstead completed their 74-run win when Ellis-Grewal bowled Tigg to finish with figures of 6-74.

Victory leaves Wanstead 13 points clear of Chelmsford at the top of the table, with a home match against Chingford to complete their season next weekend.

And Defeat sees Upminster 33 points adrift at the foot of the table with a trip to neighbours Hornchurch rounding off their disappointing campaign before the annual benefit match with an Essex XI next Sunday (September 10, 1.30pm).

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