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Upminster Cricket Club captain Alan Ison full of praise after fightback at Fives & Heronians Cricket Club in Essex League Division One

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 August 2016

Upminster's Alan Ison (left) and Shafiq Rahman walk around the boundary rope (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Upminster's Alan Ison (left) and Shafiq Rahman walk around the boundary rope (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

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Leaders won by five wickets at the Paddock with Shahbaz Butt hitting a century, but they were under pressure in the field at times

Upminster captain Alan Ison was full of praise for his bowling attack and Shafiq Rahman after earning another Essex League Division One victory on Saturday.

The leaders won by five wickets at Fives & Heronians after skittling out the hosts for just 194.

John Curtis impressed first up and ended with excellent figures of 4-23 off only 8.3 overs at the Paddock.

But Fives looked on course for a big score at one point with Fahad Iqbal going well at number four.

He was out for 82 off Rahman (3-34), though, and Connor Whetstone chipped in with 2-30 as Upminster’s bowlers enjoyed another good day.

“They were 48-3 and then got to 130-3 so at one stage they were looking like getting up to 250 or 300,” said Ison.

“I changed it up and brought Shafiq on at one end and he bowled really well and got three wickets.

“Connor was at the other end and got two wickets, he helped us keep it tight and build up pressure.

“But Shafiq bowled fantastic, he kept it tight and raised the pressure on them and they were struggling to score.

“John has taken quite a few wickets recently and bowled fantastic with the new ball on Saturday. He should have got the overseas as well because we dropped him when he only had 10 so should’ve got five.”

After only managed to set 195 for the win, Upminster were confident of chasing it down to consolidate their position at the top.

Shahbaz Butt, after batting at five last weekend, opened this time around and struck a run-a-ball 113.

James added 43 at number three in his first appearance for the first XI since the 2015 campaign.

Ison added: “We’re a confident side and believe with our batting line-up we can chase anything so definitely thought we could win at the halfway mark.

“We got off to a good start with James and Shahbaz and his century was unbelievable to be honest.

“He fancied opening this week. I think he saw it was a belter of a pitch and wanted to open up.

“I don’t mind if he wants to bat at five or open because we have the personnel to change it about and he’s a class enough player to bat anywhere.

“His century was probably up there with the best I’ve seen from him. He played some fantastic shots. I’ve watched him score a lot of tons at Upminster, but Saturday’s was definitely among his best.”

Ison was also pleased to see Evans step up from the second XI without any fuss, adding: “James playing was enforced on me really because Frankie Hazle wasn’t available and Louis Pickering wasn’t either.

“He has been playing well for the second team, but was part of the firsts towards the end of last year.

“It was a bit of a shame that he got out for 43 and couldn’t get his fifty. It would have been nice for him to get us home.”

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