Barking captain Afzal is full of praise for batsman Gupta after huge win over Newham
PUBLISHED: 16:00 27 June 2019
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Captain Ehsan Afzal was full of praise for star batsman Pulkit Gupta after he inspired Barking to cruise to a comfortable 10-run victory over defending Essex County League champions Newham.
Experienced Gupta scored a stunning 197 not out off 134 balls to push Barking up to 329-6 after winning the toss and electing to bat first.
Skipper Afzal then picked up his second five-wicket haul of the season to get his side across the line and move them up to second in the Premier Division table.
"Pulkit is a class player who can never be counted out," said Afzal.
"He hasn't had the best of starts to the season, which he openly says himself.
"He gave himself the chance to settle in and then it turned into another master class of batting.
"It was a great win and to beat the reigning champions from last year is a big achievement and we need to kick on from here now."
Afzal feels Gupta will be vital if Barking want to become league champions once again this campaign.
"Pulkit is in great form and is a vital asset to the team," he added.
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"His experience and ability to change the game in all three aspects is really important to us."
The long-serving captain did however admit they could have been better and they must start fielding better to ensure a real title charge.
"Our batting could have been better and in the field we are a bit lethargic," he said.
"We have discussed this and we will have a better showing this week."
Afzal was however delighted to pick up five wickets on his own at Flanders Field on Saturday, adding: "I am very pleased with my performance, it was my second five-wicket haul this season."
Barking will now face current leaders Hawks at Mayesbrook Park on Saturday in a match that could see their opponents extend their lead or the hosts move to the top with a win.
"It is important we play to a good standard. Hawks are at the top of the table, the winner will be sitting top which is where we would love to be," said Afzal.
"Hawks are a strong team and are sitting at the top of the table for a reason.
"They're all experienced players who know how to win.
"We have a team full of match winners, but we have to make sure we keep up our work."