Upminster beat Fives in Essex League Division One
PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 August 2016
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Ison's men closing in on title
Upminster maintained their march towards the Essex League Division One title with a five-wicket win over relegation-threatened Fives & Heronians.
John Curtis and Shafiq Rahman shared seven wickets as the visitors were dismissed for 194, before Shahbaz Butt maintained his excellent form with the bat to hit a run-a-ball 113 as the hosts won with 10 overs to spare.
Visiting captain Ben Britton chose to bat first, following his side’s emphatic win over Billericay a week earlier, but saw Gary Norris and Gary Edwards fall cheaply, to Curtis and Julian Whetstone respectively.
Curtis also accounted for Terry Ballard, before Fahad Iqbal and Pete Kilpatrick combined for the best partnership of the innings.
Kilpatrick fell to Rahman for 37, before Connor Whetstone (2-30) claimed a quick brace, and Rahman (3-34) also removed Ali Raza and then Iqbal, for 82, having hit 11 boundaries.
Curtis mopped up the innings with two late wickets to finish with 4-23, but Upminster lost Rahman cheaply in reply to Sarfaraz Ahmed.
James Evans impressed alongside Butt, following his call-up to the first team, and made 43 from 75 balls before falling to Iqbal but Julian Whetstone departed cheaply to Ahmed.
And Upminster skipper Alan Ison suffered his third successive duck, lasting only two balls before Ahmed had him caught by Greg Summers.
Butt was stumped by Britton off the bowling of Ahmed (3-47) after hitting three sixes and 15 fours to take Upminster to the brink, before Harry Jenkins and Terry Wyatt secured a comfortable victory that puts Upminster 51 points clear of Southend, who have climbed above Orsett into second place.
Defeat leaves Fives 18 points from safety at the other end of the table, with four matches remaining.