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Essex League Division One: Captain Nicky Ison and Upminster not fazed by the prospect of facing early leaders Hutton

PUBLISHED: 14:00 15 June 2018

Upminster captain Nicky Ison in conversation with an umpire (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Upminster captain Nicky Ison in conversation with an umpire (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Top faces bottom on Saturday and the 2017 Premier Division club are confident they can triumph in the first of nine 50-over games

Upminster make the trip to Shepherd Neame Essex League Division One leaders Hutton on Saturday, but captain Nicky Ison is confident his team can pull off a surprise result.

After losing at home to Colchester last weekend, Upminster are bottom following relegation, while Hutton – promoted last year – are top with four wins in five.

Hutton have started the year in superb form and have no doubt been helped by the additions of ex-Upminster duo Connor and Julian Whetstone.

But despite the clubs enduring contrasting fortunes so far, Ison is confident things will start to look better for his team with the format switching from all-day cricket to 50-over games.

He said: “I think the change will suit us. We enjoy playing the 50-over stuff a lot more and it is better for our group of players.

“We seem to get a bit confused when it comes to batting during the all-day cricket, even though we know how many overs we have.

“I think with the 50-over games, we know what a good score is, so we feel more comfortable with it and it should benefit our batsmen.

“Also in the one-day format you don’t have to worry about taking 10 wickets, you just need to bat well and restrict teams, so that will suit us.”

While Ison is backing his side to now kick-start their campaign, he is well aware of the talent the Whetstone brothers possess.

Even though Upminster came down from the Premier Division last year, the talented, young duo impressed and were among the club’s star performers.

Ison added: “It will be nice to see Jules and Connor again, two really good lads and players, who we enjoyed playing with in 2017.

“Connor is a dangerous bowler and a very accurate leg-spinner, so we know he will be tough to play against. Then Jules is a very good batsman, especially in this division, so we know it will be difficult against them.”

Upminster’s captain is set to return to the team on Saturday after he missed last weekend’s loss to Colchester with an injury to his hand.

In Ison’s absence, the home side made 240-5 with Shahbaz Butt top scoring with 57 and Louis Pickering (44) and Harry Jenkins (43 not out) chipping in with contributions.

Unfortunately it wasn’t enough as Colchester chased it down with four wickets in hand despite John Curtis’ bowling efforts of 3-68.

After missing last weekend, Ison is confident of returning for the trip to Hutton. He said: “I should be back for Saturday.

“I am down at the moment and I think I will just have a late fitness test to see how my hand is. Hopefully this week of rest will have done me the world of good and I can go out there and play.”

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