Captain Afzal delighted with Barking's successes as they make progress on two fronts
PUBLISHED: 16:00 30 May 2019
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Barking captain Ehsan Afzal says his side knew they had to be on top form to progress out of the Essex County League Premier Division Cup group stages.
Afzal and his side finished top of Group B after a six-wicket victory over Redbridge on Saturday to move them onto 50 points after three games.
"It was another great victory, I'm really pleased with the performance from all of the team," Afzal said.
"We knew that our group was the tougher of the two.
"We had teams who finished second and third in the league last year, so we knew we had to be on top form to progress through the group."
Barking bowled Redbridge out for 166 after their opponents elected to bat first at Mayesbrook Park after winning the toss.
"When chasing it's always tough as it's a matter of losing a couple of wickets and the pressure is back on you," added Afzal.
"We have had to make sure we don't lose wickets in clutters."
The skipper went on to heap praise on Saeed Rauff and Bhavik Kothari who picked up three wickets each in the encounter.
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"Rauff has come in and settled in really well," he said.
"He has been tremendous with the new ball and struck up a great partnership with Imran Butt.
"Kothari is consistently a tough bowler to deal with due to his change in pace and consistently bowling on one line is causing teams issues."
Afzal also praised the batting unit for reaching the target comfortably, adding: "All the batsman did well, they all took ownership when chasing down the total.
"Pulkit Gupta gave us a great start, he led from the front. As one of the middle order it is always easier when the openers set up such a solid platform for you."
Barking also progressed into the semi-finals of the League Cup with a seven-wicket victory over Bow Green on Bank Holiday Monday.
Despite an early breakthrough, Bow pushed on to 91-1 off 20 overs before Barking hit back with the ball to bowl them out for 145.
"Some consistent bowling from the bowlers helped us peg Bow Green back," said Afzal.
"We knew we were going to get chances, it was just a matter of taking them when they came."
Keith Browne (40) top scored as Barking reached their target inside 22 overs.