Hafeez thrilled with Wanstead triumph

PUBLISHED: 12:45 28 July 2015

Shaz Hafeez of Ilford looks on (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Shaz Hafeez of Ilford looks on (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

Ilford skipper pleased to end end near three year wait for win over Herons

Shaz Hafeez says it is brilliant that Ilford have finally ended Wanstead’s stranglehold over them with a 47-run success on Saturday.

Prior to the weekend win, the Valentines Park club had not beaten the Herons since the final game of the 2012 season.

But they triumphed on home turf for their second win in their last three matches, much to the delight of skipper Hafeez.

“It’s a great win. We haven’t beaten them for a number of years so it was good to finally get one,” he said.

“Given the situation we find ourselves in, it’s good as well. Buckhurst Hill are now in the fight alongside us.

“Hopefully we can pick up a few more wins because we’ve still got three of the bottom four left to play.”

The hosts were put in to bat and 181 before being bowled out, with Hendro Puchert (56), Neville Jacobs (52) and Akash Raji (20) the only Ilford men to make double figures.

But Hafeez believes the weather made it tough for batsmen, adding: “We probably would have bowled first had we won the toss too because of the damp conditions.

“Given it was still a bit wet, we though we’d try something different up top but it didn’t work.

“When we were 66-5, we thought that anything over 170 would be a fighting total so we were pleased to finish with over 180.”

In reply, Wanstead progressed to 51 for no loss before Hendro Puchert made the breakthrough, dismissing Arfan Akram for 24.

From there, Mukesh Bhatt (4-24) took up the baton while Theeban Tavarasa (3-23) also shone was the Herons were dismissed for 134.

And having seen his bowling attack defend the total so well, Hafeez was impressed.

“We always felt confident that our bowling line-up would cause teams problems and it does make it easier to rotate them when they are all taking wickets.

“Mukesh has been inspired since joining and he was great once again. It’s always good to have a couple of spinners that perform well.”

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