DIVISION 1 – ESSEX COUNTY CRICKET LEAGUE
IN THE WEEK of the celebration of Eid Al Adha, a 31 run win was enough to retain top spot for Scintilla Cricket Club.
The latest run of games saw third placed Millwall CC visit Oakfield Playing Fields, looking to take advantage of a home slip up and make up ground in the race for the championship.
Things are tight at the top of the table, with at least four teams in the title race – and Ishaq Shawn’s men didn’t let any Eid feasting and indulgence intervene in their quest for the match points.
Scintilla won the toss and elected to bat first, and a below par batting performance saw the home side bowled out for 142 after 31 overs. Emphasis would now be placed on Adil Ejaz, Hanif Kibria and Altaf Bhat to orchestrate matters on the park.
Sajal Rahman and Mj Hasan contributed 63 runs with both delivering two thunderous double sixes, and at the tail end Bilal Khan and Saad Bidiwala etched out 25, which would prove to be crucial to the outcome of the game.
After tea the talismanic Mohit Gupta was in no charitable mood as the all rounder set the pace – dismissing openers Pushpendra and Shetty, and the crucial stumping of wicket keeper Bajaj with 25 runs on the scoreboard.
Straight after his third wicket Scintilla were dealt a major blow as Gupta retired through an injury sustained from his last ball and wicket. He was replaced by Fazlur Rashid and then Aqib Ejaz, who both proved flawless in the field.
A spirited and determined team performance saw the fall of three wickets to Adnan Walayat, and one apiece from Ishaq Shawn, Saad Bidiwala, Sajal Rahman and Shamim Ali saw Scintilla home after 31 overs.
Winning captain Ishaq Shawn is taking nothing for granted. “Our only focus is on the next game and the next game alone,” he said. “Today we were below par but the strength of character of this team is special and our never say die attitude is second to none. There’s still plenty of cricket left to play, and there are some exceptional teams who are more than capable of putting a run together during the business end of the League campaign.”
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