Newham pull clear at top of table after Ashraf conquers Ace Avengers with a century
PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 July 2018
Newham opened up a 34-point gap at the top of the Essex County League Premier Division table with victory over Ace Avengers at Flanders Field.
The visitors chose to bat first on a scorching hot day and showed plenty of aggression throughout their innings.
But wickets fell regularly, with seamers Muhammad Farooq and Adnan Khan taking a wicket apiece with the new ball.
The rest were shared by spinners Aamir Shaukat (3-38), Kashif Iqbal (2-23) and Arjun Rana (2-51) as 10-man Ace were dismissed for 218 in 34 overs.
Shaukat was exceptional, taking three crucial scalps, while Rana claimed the vital wicket of Khalid Mahmood (60).
Newham’s openers fell cheaply in reply, but left-hander Adnan Ashraf produced a masterful knock.
Taking extreme caution at the start of his innings, he went on to score a magnificent 119 before Shaukat (30 not out) and captain Sajjad Mirza saw the home side to their five-wicket win.
Rivals Redbridge were beaten at home by Grays, giving Newham a notable cushion at the top ahead of a trip to Roding Valley this weekend.
The seconds visited their Ace counterparts in Walthamstow and saw Zaheer Khan (2-22) claim early wickets.
Karthikeyan Ganesan, promoted from the third team, was then brought on and his controlled swing bowling had the Ace batsmen in all kinds of trouble as he took 6-15.
Ace were dismissed for just 102 in 22 overs and, despite losing an early wicket in the chase, Newham captain Nishant Mittal (30) and Sheryar Baig (24) put on a 53-run stand.
Uneven bounce and clever bowling saw both fall to Shahbaz Khan in quick succession, with Newham slipping to 97-6 before Sharjeel Mirjat hit two boundaries to settle the result.
The thirds hosted Super Rangers at Flanders and, after some early setbacks, had useful contributions from the middle order to post 203-8 from 45 overs.
Muhammad Ahsan (30), Tabish Mahmood (30), Samsam Siddique (26) and 14-year-old Oshada Pahalawithanage (31) led the way with the bat for the hosts.
But Super Rangers batted aggressively in their chase with Ahmed scoring an unbeaten 102 to ensure his team chased the target in 30 overs with six wickets to spare. Haris Latif took 2-26.