Alan Ison’s confident Upminster Cricket Club can have success in Essex League Division One as ‘team’ performs

Upminster players look on from the sidelines (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Upminster players look on from the sidelines (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Victory over Orsett last weekend has added to confidence of young team who are dreaming of achieving promotion this year

Upminster travel to Hadleigh this weekend looking to make it eight Essex League Division One wins in a row and captain Alan Ison is thrilled everybody is playing their part.

Last Saturday they triumphed in a top-of-the-table clash at home to Orsett after dismissing the visitors for 203 in reply to their 279.

It means Ison’s men are sitting pretty in first place and 31 points ahead of their nearest challengers.

Earlier in the season, Upminster won by six wickets against Hadleigh, with Ison taking 4-49 and finishing unbeaten on 90.

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He said: “I have hardly bowled a ball since that day so they shouldn’t be too worried about my bowling!

“I just turn up and try to play to the best of my ability for every game, but if I don’t perform I know there will be somebody in the team who does and vice versa.

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“We have such a strong side at the moment and everyone is looking forward to Saturday and trying to keep us on course for promotion.”

Hadleigh have struggled this year and are currently eighth in the table with just two wins to their name.

One of those victories came at Fives & Heronians last weekend to give them a boost ahead of hosting Upminster tomorrow.

Therefore Ison is taking nothing for granted despite the sensational form of his team, adding: “Eight wins in a row would be nice.

“Hadleigh got a good win last Saturday so will be more confident now. They have a good team and are at home as well so know the conditions better than us.

“They are fighting down the bottom and have a couple of good players, but we know if we play to our best we can beat anybody. It will be a good game, a tough one for us, but hopefully we can get another victory.”

Even though confidence was high, Upminster’s 76-run success over Orsett last weekend sent another message to the rest of the league.

Ison won the toss and watched as openers Shahbaz Butt and Shafiq Rahman both hit half-centuries.

Butt went for 61 and Rahman for 50, but some late hitting from Harry Jenkins (33) and Louis Pickering (44) helped get Upminster up to 279-8.

The form of wicket-keeper Butt has caught the eye in recent weeks with competitive scores of 56, 50 and 61 in three of his last four innings, after three centuries at the start of the campaign.

“It is the same for anybody who gets 50, not just Shahbaz,” said Ison after his opener’s latest fine innings. “If you do get set, you really want to go on and get a hundred, but it only takes one ball in cricket.

“What was pleasing was the fact both our openers got half-centuries in such a big game. They have both delivered for us and that continued all the way through the team.”

Upminster’s spinners took control in the field with Connor Whetstone impressing on the way to 3-25.

He was supported well by Matt Tigg (2-33) and Rahman (2-37) added to his batting exploits. Former first team captain Ollie Peck also played his part by claiming 2-44.

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