Upminster Cricket Club captain Alan Ison happy he listened to Shahbaz Butt in the end
PUBLISHED: 16:00 04 August 2016
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Division One leaders needed usual opener to get runs at Harold Wood on Saturday and he did - batting down the order at five
Upminster captain Alan Ison admitted he can’t take any credit for seeing Shahbaz Butt hit his highest score in six weeks at the weekend.
The Division One leaders maintained their firm grip on the title by winning at local rivals Harold Wood.
Wicket-keeper Butt top scored with 83 as the visitors scored 226-7 from their 50 overs with Harry Jenkins adding an unbeaten 57.
Although Butt has enjoyed a stunning campaign with the bat, his form of late has been up and down.
During his last six Saturday games, he has registered three half-centuries, but also been dismissed three times for single figures while opening the batting.
At Harold Wood he batted at five, Ison said: “I didn’t make the decision to move Shahbaz down the order so I can’t take any credit for that one.
“He wanted to move down himself and I didn’t really want him to, but I listened in the end and it paid off.
“I thought he played really well on Saturday alongside Harry Jenkins, they both did a great job for us.”
Upminster were reduced to 41-4 but a century partnership between Butt and Ison’s vice-captain helped them post a testing total.
Jenkins’ fifty was his first of the campaign having managed several scores of 20 and over this season.
Ison added: “We didn’t make a good start, we were 41-4 so we needed a big innings from Harry and he played really well.
“Hopefully he can take a lot of confidence from that innings and get a big score for us in the final five games.
“I felt it was a good score, the pitch was a bit two paced and with our bowling attack, I thought we could win.”
The confidence of the Upminster captain was spot-on, although it was far from easy against their rivals.
Connor Whetstone (3-37) shone while John Curtis (3-31) showed his experience throughout the Harold Wood innings.
Home captain Richard Brabner struck 62 to take his team within 13 runs of victory, but was finally out to give Upminster the points.
With Matt Tigg (2-24) and Shafiq Rahman (2-45) both nabbing braces, it was a real team display with the ball.
“Connor bowled fantastic and it was good to have him back because we missed him the week before,” said Ison.
“Shafiq bowled really well and got some important wickets for us. He always seems to come on and do that – we call him golden arm.
“It’s important to mention Tiggy too, he bowled excellently again and it was a good performance by everyone in the field.”