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Wanstead earn Essex League T20 Cup glory with comprehensive win over Upminster

PUBLISHED: 20:30 16 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:55 20 July 2017

Wanstead celebrate with the Essex T20 Cup shield after beating Upminster in the final at Billericay's Toby Howe ground

Wanstead celebrate with the Essex T20 Cup shield after beating Upminster in the final at Billericay's Toby Howe ground

Archant

The Herons defeated Brentwood in a dramatic semi-final earlier in the day, while Upminster saw off rivals Hornchurch before losing the final

Wanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal lifts the Essex T20 Cup shieldWanstead captain Joe Ellis-Grewal lifts the Essex T20 Cup shield

Wanstead clinched their second Essex League T20 Cup title in four years following a professional performance over Premier Division rivals Upminster in the final at Billericay’s Toby Howe ground.

The Herons scored 184-5 off their 20 overs and it proved too much for Matt Tigg’s team, as they were dismissed for 82 with four overs to spare.

Upminster had produced a sensational display to see off old foes Hornchurch in the semi-finals earlier in the day.

Shahbaz Butt smashed 50 in quick time, as they reached 65-0 off seven overs before the opener was out caught behind off the bowling of Marc Whitlock.

Louis Pickering departed soon after, but Alan Ison and Frankie Hazle put on 39 for the third wicket and kept the scoreboard ticking over.

When Hazle went, Upminster were 116-3 with six overs left and Hornchurch briefly threatened to peg them back.

Ison had other ideas, however, and played brilliantly to finish unbeaten on 76 and help his team reach 190-3.

It looked too much for Hornchurch and John Curtis helped Upminster get off to fine start by having Paul Murray caught behind.

Billy Gordon went to a fine catch from Shafiq Rahman soon after before Chris Sains (38) and Ronnie Saunders (67) steadied the ship.

But just as the pair were approaching a century partnership for the third wicket, Pickering claimed two wickets in an over.

Upminster remained in control despite Saunders hitting fifty and eventually claimed a 46-run victory to book their spot in the final.

It was less straight-forward for Wanstead in the last four, as they edged Brentwood in a thrilling encounter.

Zain Shahzad (15) and Hassan Chowdhury (31) got the Herons off to a good start, but a fine spell of bowling from Charlie Griffiths (3-12) saw Joe Buttleman’s team get on top.

Brentwood picked up wickets at regular intervals and it took an unbeaten 31 from Aron Nijjar to help Wanstead set a competitive total of 131-9.

Mo Fayyaz Khan then had Guy Balmford out for a duck at the start of the chase, but Aaron West and Will Buttleman played magnificently from that moment onwards.

The dismissal of Will Buttleman for 33, brilliantly caught by Tom Cummins, off the bowling of Ellis-Grewal briefly turned the tide for Wanstead.

West was still going along nicely, however, but Joe Buttleman was forced to retire hurt with 23 balls remaining after taking a sickening whack to the neck.

The Brentwood captain had the misfortune of getting in the way of a drive by team-mate West and after bravely trying to recover, he had to call it a day.

With West at the crease, Brentwood still looked in control, but some excellent fielding by Wanstead tilted the balance back in their favour.

A dramatic last over occurred and after smashing 10 runs off Shahzad’s first three balls, West was then run-out by Kishen Velani for an excellent 78.

It left Brentwood needing four off the last two balls, but the Herons kept their cool to seal a dramatic two-run success.

Following a short break, the final got underway at 3pm with Wanstead batting first after Ellis-Grewal won the toss.

Shahzad, only batting at two because regular opener Arfan Akram was away, smashed six fours and two sixes during a fine innings of 54 to get Herons off to a flier.

Feroze Khushi played patiently at three while Velani picked destructively, as Wanstead took control in the final.

Velani departed for a 21-ball 41 and Upminster fought back towards the end of the Wanstead innings.

Curtis bowled a tight last over of his spell, conceding just two runs, but Khushi scored an unbeaten 54 and helped Herons reach 184-5 off their 20 overs.

It was a great score on a relatively slow wicket and with Fayyaz Khan showing his experience at the start of Upminster’s chase.

The Wanstead spinner bowled a superb tight spell and removed Butt and Ison to finish with 2-3.

With 18-3 off 3.4 overs, Hazle looked to bat patiently with fellow youngster Julian Whetstone, but was stumped for 11 by Jonathan Das.

Whetstone and Alex Kirkpatrick briefly rebuilt the innings and helped put on 29 for the fifth wicket, but Velani had Kirkpatrick out for just 12 and the writing seemed on the wall.

Wanstead youngster Jack Lord was then given a chance and grasped it by taking the final five wickets to fall at Toby Howe.

Lord ended up with 5-14 off his four overs, as Tigg’s Upminster were dismissed for 82 to hand Ellis-Grewal’s team the 2017 T20 crown.

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