Barking chase cup double
PUBLISHED: 12:30 09 September 2015
T20 success for Afzal’s men
Barking were crowned the Essex County League’s T20 champions at finals day on Saturday.
The club had to also fulfil a league cup semi-final on the same day, but managed to find 22 players available for both events.
They met Ace Sports in their T20 semi-final tie and captain Ehsan Afzal chose to bat first on a wet pitch after winning the toss.
Barking’s openers scored 33 in six overs, before two wickets fell in quick succession.
Afzal and Alfie Syed increased the run rate to seven runs per over to help Barking to 73-2 at the midway point of their innings.
But after losing three wickets, Barking had Imran Butt and E Shiekh to thank for lifting the total to 151, as both got into the mid-20s.
Barking claimed an early wicket in the Ace reply and, having played at the same ground in the quarter-final on Thursday, were able to build pressure with dot balls.
The run rate crept up to eight per over, with Ace eventually all out for 121 and Afzal said: “It was good to see everyone play well and show a good all-round performance.”
Victory set up a final meeting with Hamilton Lions, who had held Tennyson to 102 and chased it down in just seven overs.
Afzal again chose to bat first after winning the toss, but changed his top two, with O Raja sent out to open the innings with Syed.
It turned out to be a great move as both openers batted really well to score 93 in the first seven overs, with Raja making a quickfire 30.
Man of the match Syed went on to score 71, with Qureshi, Afzal, Sheikh and Butt all chipping in to lift the total to a formidable 226-4.
That left Hamilton Lions needing just under 12 runs per over, and scoreboard pressure plus tight Barking bowling and fielding saw them slip to 30-3 off six overs.
Young seam bowler O Khan was brought into the attack and ran through the line-up to finish with 5-13 as Barking wrapped up victory by an emphatic 175-run margin.
“The team played really well. They were determined and hungry and showed that on the field,” said Afzal. “Alfie Syed showed you don’t need to slog to score runs, but play the ball on its merit and runs come.
“It’s an honour to lift my first trophy in my first season for the club I have played for for 11 years. I’d like to thank all the fans who turned up to watch us on a cold day. It was a great feeling winning, but that feeling is enhanced by the noise the crowd makes and the fans really pushed us all the way.”
Barking play Cosmopolitan in the league cup final at Loughton on Saturday.
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