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Sarwar stars in Shenfield win
3:28pm Wednesday 27th June 2012 in Local Sport
CRICKET: Another outstanding bowling display proved pivotal as Suhaib Sarwar claimed five wickets as Shenfield beat third place South Woodford.
After winning the toss, Jack Kliber elected to bowl first with a heavy seam attack and spoilt for choice with three spinners to choose from.
Young Matt Salisbury and big Tom Austin started the innings in superb fashion keeping Essex second team regular Nick Browne very quiet as well as youngster Copper to frustrate the South Woodford pairing.
Both seamers swung the ball and were deadly accurate. Austin the pick as he weighed pressure upon the openers, bowling five of his first six overs as maidens. The introduction of Arshad Ali was to prove a pivotal moment as in his first over he removed Browne (19) as his sweep was top edged to Walter at point.
The early pressure was well built by Austin and Ali (2-33) and South Woodford quickly found themselves 65-3 after 29 overs.
Suhaib Sarwar was then introduced and greeted South Woodford with a wicket in his first over, along with four more as he produced a superb spell of 5-52 off 17 overs.
South Woodford were never allowed to get going and never scored at more than three an over until a hefty 17 from Richard Browne lifted the score to a modest 164-9 from the 58 overs.
Shenfield’s approach was positive and Arshad Ali continued his fine form with the bat, scoring an excellent 44 before being adjudged LBW.
After the disappointment of last week, John Walter (12) dug in well and helped steer Shenfield to an opening stand of 50, before being too given out leg before.
Sarwar and Jacob went about rebuilding, and steadied the ship to 100-2. But when the elegant Jacob picked out cover, and the exciting middle order of Ekers, Salsibury and Walton all fell the leg spin of Nick Browne, Shenfield wobbled at 120-6.
As the game got uncomfortably close for Shenfield and the last hour approaching, Shenfield still required 45.
Captain Jack Kliber took to the crease and got off the mark with a massive six over extra cover to put South Woodford straight on the back foot.
The risk paid off as catchers were moved and Kliber was allowed to play safer looking shots as he and Sarwar worked their way towards the 165 target.
The patience of Sarwar with the offensive approach taken by Kliber meant South Woodford ran out of ideas and Shenfield ran out comfortable winners and took all 20 points.