Barking captain Afzal keen to continue rich vein of form as they sit top of the league

PUBLISHED: 16:00 05 July 2019

Barking celebrate taking a wicket (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Barking celebrate taking a wicket (Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

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Barking captain Ehsan Afzal says they must continue their rich vein of form as they pull clear at the top of the Essex County League Premier Division.

Afzal and his side travel away to Low Hall Sports Arena to face Ace Avengers on Saturday as they look to make it four consecutive wins in the league.

But the skipper knows their opponents have been playing some good cricket and that his side still need to improve their own performances.

"It is very important that we do not let this good form go to waste," Afzal said.

"There are still some areas we need to improve on and we are working on them with our coaches.

"Ace have a new look to their team, they've been playing some good cricket and it will be a good game, I'm sure."

Barking head into the clash on the back of a narrow three-run win over Hawks which moved them top of the table by one point.

"It was a great victory; the team fought to the end and never gave up, so it was an amazing feeling to win that one," added Afzal.

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"That win puts us at the top of the table, which is where we want to be and we'll now try our best to stay there and not let this lead slip."

The long-serving captain was full of praise for batsman Umer Mahmood who scored 57 runs in their latest victory.

"Umer Mahmood was great, he showed grit and determination. He looked like a player who is in good form, dispatching anything loose to the boundary," he said.

Afzal also revealed he was confident of picking up the victory the whole way through, despite being bowled out for 228.

"We always say if we bat out all our overs we should be in a good place to win and I thought 228 was a decent total to defend," he added.

"We did miss out on the remaining five balls which even if we got five runs off would have made it a bit more of a comfortable finish."

Sarith Fernando (4-35) and Bhavik Kothari (2-27) led the way for Barking in terms of bowling as they restricted Hawks to 225-7.

"It was a great performance by the bowlers. the pitch suited the spinners and you can see that in bowling card," said Afzal.

"The spinners bowled a good line and were awarded for their discipline."

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