Upminster Cricket Club captain Alan Ison hails Shahbaz Butt after another Essex League Division One fifty
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Connor Whetstone impressed with the ball as the leaders extended their advantage at the top of the Division One standings
Upminster captain Alan Ison lauded the performance of Shahbaz Butt following Saturday’s Essex League Division One success.
The leaders beat closest challengers Orsett by 76 runs to make it seven successive victories in the division.
After winning the toss, wicket-keeper Butt top scored with 61 while fellow opener Shafiq Rahman added 50.
Further contributions down the order of 31 from Harry Jenkins and 44 by Louis Pickering helped Upminster reach 279-8 from their 50 overs.
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“I won the toss and whoever did was always going to bat first because it was quite a dry pitch,” said Ison.
“Shahbaz and Shafiq have got us off to a good start all year and they did the same again on Saturday.
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“The 61 for Shahbaz was excellent and he hit some really high quality shots during that innings.
“Shafiq has been getting a lot of starts and it’s up to him to go on, but it was nice to see him get a fifty.
“When Shahbaz gets past 0, I think he always believes he is going to get some runs and it’s proving the case.
“Some of the shots he scored on Saturday were of the highest quality and it was a shame he couldn’t get a big hundred.
“Harry and Louis put on a really good partnership together with Harry playing well and Louis, only 17, hitting some big sixes which was nice to see.”
John Curtis and Will Chuter opened up for Upminster with the ball, but it didn’t take Ison long to throw the ball to his spinners.
Connor Whetstone recorded the best figures of 3-25 off his seven overs while Matt Tigg chipped in with 2-33.
Rahman (2-37) and Ollie Peck (2-44) played their part as Orsett were all out for 203 with Paul Bennett top scoring with 77.
“It was turning quite a bit, you had a lot of dry patches so there was not a lot in it for John or Will,” said Ison.
“It didn’t take me long to turn to the spinners and ‘Benno’ was the big wicket after playing well for 77.
“He was the one we wanted and once we got him out we knew we could keep it tight and push the run rate up for them.
“Connor bowled really well, he was turning the ball nicely and Tiggy did a good job so it would be hard to pinpoint one spinner.
“It was a good bowling performance all round from us and everybody in the team is doing well. You don’t see the same person contributing, it changes every Saturday.
“That is what I wanted. For it to be about the team, not individuals, and it seems to be working right now.”