Cricket: Jamal Francis urges Gidea Park to build on derby joy by beating Billericay in Essex Division One
PUBLISHED: 16:00 07 July 2017
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Gidea Park beat Harold Wood last weekend and skipper wants another win
Gidea Park & Romford skipper Jamal Francis is keen to add to a confidence-boosting win last weekend when they host Billericay in Essex League Division One this weekend.
Park earned a thrilling three-wicket success over Harold Wood last weekend to clamber out of the relegation zone.
Next up is another home game against Billericay, and Francis is keen for his team to get on a good run of form, saying: “It’s a result we are looking to build on and it was a confidence-booster too.
“It was encouraging to get the win, especially as it has taken us out of the relegation zone — it’s not nice being in the bottom two.
“The league is still so tight, though, so we know how quickly a couple of wins can change things.
“We’ll be looking to take what we’ve learnt from our matches so far into the rest of the season.”
If Park are to collect another win this weekend, one man who could be key to their chances is bowler James Pegram.
Pegram finished as the pick of the attack for Francis’ men last weekend in their derby win over Wood, recording figures of 4-36.
And Francis is aware of how important Pegram’s performance with the new ball was in ensuring Park claimed bragging rights over their local rivals.
“James’ job last weekend was to get us wickets and keep the batsmen on their toes,” added Francis.
“We knew it would be a tough pitch to bat on and that the Harold Wood batsmen would struggle to get in.
“James stuck to his task well and was able to reap the rewards and helped us a lot too.”
Park were also indebted last weekend to half-centuries from opening batsmen Zisan Abedin and Kasi Hoq.
Abedin smashed 56 runs off just 55 balls, including eight boundaries, while Hoq top scored with 72.
Lower down the order, George Rogers finished unbeaten on 52, but Francis knows the knocks of Abedin and Hoq were crucial.
“Whenever you’re chasing a score in excess of 250, you know you will always need at least one good innings from someone,” he said.
“Both Zisan and Kasi did that brilliantly for us up top and they both played really well and deserved their half-centuries. Both of their innings eased the pressure on the middle order a little and it set the tone for us with the bat.”