Captain Alan Ison leads from the front to help Upminster Cricket Club remain at the top of the Essex League Division One
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Division One leaders played two T20 matches last week, but were beaten by Colchester on Friday after seeing off Orsett the day before
Upminster captain Alan Ison was satisfied with his team after a hectic spell of matches last week. The busy period began with a Essex League Dukes T20 North East Group B match at home to Orsett on Thursday.
The hosts won by 40 runs after making 118 from their 20 overs before restricting their Division One rivals to 78-9 in reply.
But they lost by seven wickets the following day in the same competition against Colchester after only hitting 81-7 from 16 overs.
Ison’s men bounced back in Division One, however, to win by seven wickets against Harlow in a rain-affected chase.
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He said: “It was disappointing to lose on Friday to Colchester, but they are a good side and we didn’t get enough runs.
“We got two big wins against Orsett and Harlow, it was especially good to get the result on Saturday in the league.”
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After winning the toss for the Division One clash, Ison made his team field first at Upminster Park.
Will Chuter (2-42) and Matt Tigg (2-47) nabbed a brace of wickets each as the visitors made 254-5 from their 50 overs.
Ison added: “Will bowled fantastically and Louis Pickering did too. He hasn’t had many chances to bowl this year. He got through nine on Satured, picked up one wicket and only gave away 35 runs so did well.
“Matt has been bowling well lately, keeping it tight, but not getting the wickets he got at the start of the year so I was pleased for him.
“All of the bowlers did well, although Harlow got after James Aggio-Brewe a bit, but it was a good effort from everyone in the field.”
Upminster were confident at the halfway mark and that only increased after both their openers made a strong start.
Shahbaz Butt reached fifty before getting out while Shafiq Rahman hit a patient 46 at the top of the order.
“The pitch dried out quite a bit and we have a massive outfield so I was confident at halfway. It was five an over and I felt we could get that,” said Ison.
“Both our openers played well. Shahbs got us set, he batted well and scored his runs quickly. Shafiq, like he always does, complimented him and did a good job for us at the top.”
Vice-captain Frankie Hazle and number four Ison set about getting Upminster over the line for a sixth straight victory.
The heavens opened, though, and the hosts were forced off on 120-2 from 25.5 overs and unfortunately behind on Duckworth-Lewis.
Fortunately they did come back out to bat with a revised target of 194 from 38 overs and Ison didn’t hang around.
Upminster’s skipper smashed seven sixes and one four in a sensational innings of 64 not out to lead his team home.
“Play-Cricket is right, it was seven sixes. It was quite fun, hitting them all over and we had a decent crowd watching,” said Ison modestly.
“It was a reasonably quick innings. It was 64 off about 35 balls so it was good. The most important thing was that we got the win, but it was nice to play a captain’s innings and help get us the result.”
Harry Jenkins finished unbeaten on six as Upminster retained their place at the top of Division One with 158 points from nine matches.