01:00PM, Friday 05 July 2019
North Maids batsman Shazad Asghar.
North Maidenhead captain Imran Butt believes his side need to remain ‘consistent’ and not be ‘complacent’ if they are to continue their impressive season.
North Maids leapfrogged title rivals Cove on Saturday thanks to their comfortable victory over Stoke Green and High Wycombe 2nd’s surprise victory over Cove.
However, the North Maids captain refused to worry about what other sides in the league are doing and would rather see his team maintain their form by continuing to win matches.
“It’s been a very good season,” said Butt.
“I don’t want to focus on what other teams are doing, Boyne Hill, Cove – it’s up to us to win every game.
“It’s just to remain consistent and not be complacent.”
That consistency was on show on Saturday as they put on a strong showing with the bat under pressure from an impressive bowling performance from Green’s Zulfi Butt (6-54).
Fahim Qureshi (39) and Usman Ilyas (9) shared an opening stand of 21 before the latter was dismissed lbw off a Zulfi Butt delivery.
A slight stall in the runs saw both Imran Butt (4) and Sahaan John (6) depart with three North Maids wickets down for just 38 runs on what was a challenging wicket to bat on.
North Maids number five Shahzad Asghar was more than up to that challenge as he built a 60-run partnership with Quereshi, before passing the half-century mark with seven fours to his name.
A steady flow of runs came from the tailend to as Faaez Shamsi (16) and Faizan Shamsi (23) added solid knocks before they too were victims of Zulfi Butt deliveries as North Maids ended their time at the crease 191 all-out.
The Stoke Green response was somewhat short-lived despite a steady opening stand of 31 between Dan Simpson (14) and Qasim Wajid (30). That was built on well as Green looked more than on target to chase down their hosts at 65-3 but the consistent bowling of North Maids finally took its toll – and once it did, the home side went for the jugular as Stoke Green collapsed from 91-4 to 102 all out.
“It was a good win,” added Butt.
“Looking at the wicket anything above 180 was going to be a defendable score.
“The wicket turned and our spinners took advantage of that and we bowled really well as a team.
“We bowled really well and our partnerships were good too. Humza (Majid) and Atif (Khan) bowled really well and we just put the pressure on them and once the runs dried up we kept the pressure on and went for the kill.
“In the end it was a comfortable victory.”
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