Barking skipper Afzal eager to avenge cup loss to Aztecs as sides meet again in league

PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 June 2019

Barking captain Ehsan Afzal says his side are hungry to make amends as they return to Essex County League Premier Division action this weekend.

Afzal and his side will travel away to Oakfield Playing Fields on Saturday to face Aztecs after crashing out of the cup in the semi-finals to the same opponents last weekend.

And the long-serving batsman knows how important it is to get back to winning ways and keep their title charge on track - despite it being so early in the season.

"We have to make sure we get a win under our belt again," Afzal said.

"The boys are raring to go. It may be the best time to play them as the loss is fresh in our minds and the lads are hungry to make amends for last week's mistakes."

Barking head into the clash on the back of a narrow one-wicket defeat to Aztecs which denied them a place in the final of the cup competition.

But the skipper was keen to pick out the positives, although he revealed it was a disappointing defeat.

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"A disappointing loss, but we can take many positives away from the game," he added.

"We were put through our paces. We had a never-give-up attitude and took the game all the way to the final over with one wicket left to take.

"The lads gave it their best and on another day the result would have been very different."

Afzal also revealed he felt his side were short of runs after reaching 247-7 from their 40 overs, adding: "I always thought we were maybe 20/30 runs short when we should have batted Aztec out the game.

"The longer the game went on, it was a swing of 10 runs I believe. An extra 10 runs would have been enough to maybe add more pressure.

"I also believe we gave away another 20 runs in the field which maybe was the bigger change. We had to be tight in the field to win the game."

Hasnain Qureshi scored 138 off just 112 balls, with five sixes and 17 fours, and Afzal was quick to praise his opening batsman.

"Hasnain is one player who can change the game by himself and he carried the team all the way," he added.

"He hasn't been scoring freely, but this weekend he came back with a classy 138. It was a pleasure to witness that innings of such calibre."

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