Club Cricket Conference

Thursday, 6th August 2020

Wanstead retain crown with showdown success against Shenfield

By Charles Randall

11 September 2013


Wanstead & Snaresbrook CC came up on the rails to snatch the Shepherd Neame Essex Premier League title after a second-versus-first showdown with Shenfield, a 50-overs match the champions won by eight wickets.

This was the climax of an extraordinary season. The 2012 title holders Wanstead trailed as Chingford and then Shenfield set the pace at the top, but they quietly picked up victories to stay in touch as other challengers dropped back.

On the final Saturday a burst of heavy rain gave Shenfield a tricky strip to bat on, and Kishen Velani snapped up four quick wickets with the new ball. Suhaib Sarwar (28) and Matthew Salisbury (22) stopped the collapse, but Wanstead turned the screw with spin as Joe Ellis-Grewal and Rehan Hassan shot the visitors out for only 96 in 26 overs.

Felsted School leaver Hassan took 4-1-5-4 with his leg-spin and left-armer Ellis-Grewal claimed two wickets for a run in his two overs. Then Hassan hit 45 not out to complete the job and set off Wanstead celebrations. Among the first to tweet Wanstead congratulations was club man James Foster, the Essex and former England wicketkeeper.

The last-day result was quite a turn-round as Wanstead had been demolished at Shenfield by 125 runs in the longer format in June, their batsmen failing against the spin of United Arab Emirates all-rounder Arshad Ali and left-armer Sarwar.

A couple of weeks earlier Wanstead ended Chingford's interest with a crushing eight-wicket win, thanks to an undefeated 113 by all-rounder Velani. Then at lowly Ilford, openers John Chambers (76) and Arfan Akram (107) delivered a 10-wicket victory after Ellis-Grewal's six wickets. Only leaders Shenfield kept up the pace.

Chelmsford and Ilford finished with a 202-202 tie at Chelmer Park, but the end of the season finally confirmed relegation for Colchester & East Essex and Buckhurst Hill to be replaced by Loughton and Harold Wood. Some consolation for Chingford was their success in winning the Dukes League Cup, a seven-wicket win over Brentwood in the final, with Ben MacGregor taking the man of the match award.