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Essex League Premier Division: Matt Tigg and Upminster in good spirits ahead of Ilford clash

PUBLISHED: 17:00 21 July 2017

Upminster are led off the field by captain Matt Tigg after defeating local rivals Hornchurch (pic: Christian Pickering).

Upminster are led off the field by captain Matt Tigg after defeating local rivals Hornchurch (pic: Christian Pickering).

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Essex League T20 Cup runners-up ready to build more momentum and move away from relegation zone

Upminster players listen to captain Matt Tigg (66) before facing Wanstead in the final of the Essex League T20 Cup (pic: Christian Pickering).Upminster players listen to captain Matt Tigg (66) before facing Wanstead in the final of the Essex League T20 Cup (pic: Christian Pickering).

Upminster captain Matt Tigg is confident his team can keep their good form going when they host llford in the Essex League Premier Division tomorrow (Saturday, 12.30pm).

Last weekend Tigg’s team beat Chingford to move off the bottom of the table before claiming an excellent victory over Hornchurch in the semi-finals of the T20 Cup on Sunday.

Wanstead defeated Upminster in the final by 102 runs, but spirits are high ahead of facing the Valentines Park club, who have relied heavily on Essex’s Ashar Zaidi this year.

“Ilford have a number of players we need to watch out for and if Zaidi plays it is always difficult, but we did pretty well against him last time and it was only our fielding which let us down,” said Tigg.

“We will take positives from last weekend into Saturday and we should be confident. I am hoping we play to the best of our ability and if we keep doing that then the results should come.”

Upminster’s star men came to the fore against Chingford and Hornchurch with Shahbaz Butt and Alan Ison impressing.

Alan Ison acknowledges the crowd after scoring fifty for Upminster against Hornchurch (pic: Christian Pickering).Alan Ison acknowledges the crowd after scoring fifty for Upminster against Hornchurch (pic: Christian Pickering).

Butt scored 94 on Saturday with Louis Pickering (58) supporting him well, as Tigg’s team won by 43 runs.

Upminster took that form into Sunday, as Ison smashed an unbeaten 76 off 38 balls to inspire a 46-run victory over Hornchurch in the last four of the Essex League T20 Cup.

They failed to perform in the final on the same day, getting dismissed for 82 chasing Wanstead’s 184-5, but Tigg is keen to see his experienced players deliver again.

He said: “It would be good if ‘Al’ could take Sunday’s form into the league. He hasn’t played many of the T20’s this year, but he did brilliantly.

“To score 76 off around 40 balls is top-drawer, and ‘Shabs’ followed it up with some runs, so it is a positive for us.

“If our big gun players, as they are known by everyone else, perform, then we will normally put in a good performance and if they are backed up by the rest of the team, it can only be a positive.”

Upminster's Shahbaz Butt hits out against Hornchurch during Sunday's Essex League T20 Cup semi-final match (pic: Christian Pickering).Upminster's Shahbaz Butt hits out against Hornchurch during Sunday's Essex League T20 Cup semi-final match (pic: Christian Pickering).

Upminster have won three of their 10 games in the Premier Division this season with all of their league victories at home.

Tigg’s team have defeated Chingford, Chelmsford and Brentwood on home soil and will aim to add Ilford to that list tomorrow.

He said: “Out of the 10 games we have played in the league we have won three at home, so that is a positive.

“We should know what our track is like and how to play on it and the best teams know how to play at home, so hopefully we can continue our good little run.”

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