Skipper Ison impressed with Upminster’s character during loss to Belhus

PUBLISHED: 16:00 09 July 2018

Upminster players huddle ahead of their Essex League Division One match (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Upminster players huddle ahead of their Essex League Division One match (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

The Division One strugglers scored 291 with the bat on Saturday, but fell short of their 329 target at Village Green

Nicky Ison was pleased with Upminster’s character during their Essex League Division One loss at Belhus on Saturday.

The basement side were facing an improbable task of chasing 329 to win at Village Green and although they didn’t successful chase down the big total, they did manage to score 291 with the bat.

It represented another good showing from Upminster’s batsmen with teenager Kiran Kullar hitting 49, stand-in captain for the day Alan Ison smashing 73 off 39 balls and John Curtis scoring 46 – his highest score for the first-team since 2007.

Unfortunately Max Osborne blitzed 117 not out from only 118 balls for Belhus to help them score 328-5 and it proved just too many runs for the visitors to chase.

“We did show good character and we are batting quite well now. To get 291 after 365 the week before against Woodford Wells shows the batting is in decent touch,” said Upminster captain Nicky Ison.

“Chasing over 320 is never an easy task and we did start really well with the ball, but lost our way in the middle and let them get away.

“Fair play to Max with his hundred, we dropped him on 16 and he really made us pay for it unfortunately.”

As Ison alluded too, Upminster had Belhus in some trouble at 36-3 with Ejaz Khan (1-38), John Curtis (1-66) and Shafiq Rahman (1-24) all claiming a scalp apiece.

If Osborne had been caught by the boundary, the hosts would have been struggling some more, but he was dropped and put on 260 for the fourth wicket with Danny Joyce before Joyce was bowled by Louis Pickering for 99.

Pickering also got rid of Billy Winter, as he claimed 2-66 from eight overs, but down the other end the ball continued to get flayed at every opportunity.

Ison said: “Max really hit the ball so cleanly and made full use of a good deck and the short boundary.

“We didn’t bowl amazingly well to him, but he made us pay and Danny also batted really well for his 99.

“Chasing 329 was always going to be hard if one of the top four didn’t get in and get a big ton.”

The nearest Upminster came to a centurion was Nicky Ison’s brother Alan, who was bowled 27 short of three figures by Joe Joyce.

While his dismissal essentially ended the visitors’ hope of winning, leaving them 183-5, they stuck to their task and battled away to at least get relatively close to the hosts’ score of 328.

Even though it was another defeat for Upminster, Alan Ison crucially appears to be getting into form after also hitting 42 in the victory over Wells.

Nicky Ison, who missed out through injury on Saturday, is hopeful the Division One strugglers can move away from the basement in the coming weeks.

He added: “It was good to see Alan get his first real score of the season and he is looking in very aggressive and good touch now.

“Hopefully we can carry on this batting form over the next nine games and if we do that, the wins will come because you don’t normally score 290 and lose games.

“It was one of them where their guy come off and got a big ton and that is what we were lacking unfortunately.”

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