Upminster’s Matchplay side lost out to Ilford by just four runs in a thrilling group game at Upminster Park on Sunday afternoon. Over 640 runs were scored in the contest which was a great advert for the competition.
Upminster won the toss and elected to bowl first, and it looked like a good decision as an early run out gave them the breakthrough they needed. However, Ilford batsmen Akhil Anil and Dinuka soon got going and the scoreboard was ticking over at an astonishing rate. At the halfway stage of the innings Ilford were 189-1 and a score in excess of 350 looked on the cards, but the second half of the innings was a different story. Anil bought up a brilliant century before falling shortly after for 103, and Dinuka made 81 before becoming the first of two victims for Harry Bradford as Upminster foughtback. Although four other Ilford batsmen made double figures, none went beyond 20 and the visitors were dismissed for 326. Tariq Khan joined Bradford in picking up two wickets for Upminster.
Chasing such a big score Upminster needed a good start to their reply, and they got it through Kiran Kullar and Harvey Daniels. They kept Upminster up with the rate for the first half of the innings and a shock looked on the cards for some time. Kullar eventually fell for 85 but captain Daniels continued and soon brought up a wonderful century as his side closed in on victory. At the other end Nathan Brown joined in the fun on his way to 57, but when Daniels fell for 109 the required rate began to climb slightly. Upminster stayed in the chase and 15 were needed from the final over, and then 5 from the final ball, but despite the best efforts of Tariq Khan Upminster fell just short, finishing on 322-5.
Well done to Ilford on their win, and good luck to them for the rest of the competition. Upminster need to pick themselves up ahead of their next game at local rivals Hornchurch this Sunday.