Barking ‘must win’ says captain Afzal

PUBLISHED: 15:04 23 May 2019

Ehsan Afzal of Barking in bowling action (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

Ehsan Afzal of Barking in bowling action (pic: George Phillipou/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Barking captain Ehsan Afzal says their cup clash with Redbridge is a must-win as they look to ensure their progress in the competition, writes Jacob Ranson.

Afzal's side welcome their local rivals to Mayesbrook Park on Saturday for their third Essex County League Premier Division Cup fixture.

They currently sit top of Group B after last weekend's win over Roding Valley, following an abandonment the week prior.

"It's a must-win, we're looking to progress and a win against Redbridge guarantees that," Afzal said.

"It is an important game; the winner will top the group and will have a favourable draw for the semi final."

Barking picked up a 124-run victory over their opponents in the league earlier this month. And the skipper says it always makes it a tougher game if you have recently played your opponent.

"Playing the same team again so soon does make it tough," he added.

"The hurt from the defeat is still fresh, so I'm expecting some kind of fight back from Redbridge."

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Barking head into the clash on the back of a three-wicket win over Roding Valley.

Afzal added: "It was another good win for us. Chasing has been an issue for us over the last few years, so it is more pleasing that our new signing Keith Browne saw the chase home."

Batsman Afzal insists a good fielding display helped his side at River Playing Field after a strong start from the hosts, adding: "Roding Valley came out attacking and were 35 off three overs.

"Good fielding helped peg Roding Valley back."

And Afzal revealed his players will be working hard in training to improve on their batting performances.

"Our batting performance was decent, but we can work on it a bit more as there are a few rough edges," he said.

Saeed Rauff and Imran Butt both picked up four wickets and Afzal was keen to praise his team-mates.

"The two are at different ends of their career," he said.

"Saeed is raw, fresh and explosive. Imran Butt, the veteran, is getting better with age. Both showed their class and they both held their nerve."

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