Barking captain Afzal says it’s vital to beat Redbridge in home opener

PUBLISHED: 14:00 03 May 2019

Ehsan Afzal of Barking (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Ehsan Afzal of Barking (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Barking captain Ehsan Afzal says it’s vital to win against local rivals Redbridge and build on their season opener.

The Mayesbrook Park outfit sealed a comfortable 130-run victory over Roding Valley in the first match of the Essex County League Premier Division last weekend.

But the skipper knows it will be a tough test against Redbridge, despite their opponents losing by 64 run to Aztecs.

“It is important we win this week as we will be away from league cricket for a month, so it is important that we take maximum points before the break,” he said.

“It will be a tough game but if we perform like we did last week we should be in a good place to win.

“They have a few players who previously have caused us a few headaches in the past. All we can do is prepare well for the game and perform again.”

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The experienced batsman says a strong start to the campaign is always vital if they want to win the league title, adding: “The start is always important. We are playing teams who were runners-up and third in the league last year.

“Wins early in the season will be important as these teams will be competing for the title at the end of the season.”

Barking cruised to victory over Roding at River Playing Field with Pulkit Gupta the stand-out performer with 55 runs and Afzal said: “It was great to start the season off on the right foot. Everyone got to participate and got some runs and overs under their belt.”

Captain Afzal heaped praise on Gupta and his batting line-up as well young bowler Saeed Rauf who picked up four wickets in the match.

“Pulkit is by far the best batsman in the league,” he added.

“We have strengthened the batting order by signing Keith Browne who is an experienced player and the return of Sager Seth who was away from cricket for a while.

“Saeed has been knocking on the first team door for a long time. He has worked his way up through the ranks and had and amazing weekend.

“He was given the new ball and did what he knows best. He has a bright future ahead of him and will be a handful for many teams.”

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