SCINTILLA CC followed up a glorious weekend by defeating Benfleet CC in their respective Essex Sunday League play off.
Scintilla arrived at Benfleet already on a high, as just 24 hours before the crucial play offs the Barking & Dagenham outfit had beaten Aztecs to win the Essex County Cricket League Cup Final 2017.
With skipper Shaha Riadh ruled out for the game, it was left to Adil Ejaz Bhatti to resume the captaincy. Despite not playing, Riadh was still in attendance and backed the team admirably from the sidelines. Scintilla won the toss and opted to bat first to reach 155 all out from 33.3 balls by teatime.
Mohammad Badrul Alam Chowdhury (Bappy) struck 34, with all rounder Abul Hasib (23) and the warhorse Sajal Rahman, who was severely jet lagged, adding 21. For Benfleet Munday claimed 4 wickets for 20 runs from 8 overs. It was nowhere near the score the team had hoped for, but they came out after tea with a plan to unleash the full force of the fast bowlers.
Due to rain affecting play a revised target was set – 132 from 34 overs for Benfleet CC. It didn’t matter, as the home side were all bowled out for 99 runs. R.Zammit was top scorer with 34. Bappy and Rahman took two wickets apiece, with Bhatti, Ashfaqur Rahaman Nobel, Hasib and Ayaz Karim taking one each as Scintilla won by 33 runs.
Captain Shaha Riadh commented, “It was difficult for me not being out there on the field today, but such is the spirit within our team that any of the starting eleven can be named as captain and each one would do a splendid job. We enjoyed the moment but our focus is straight back on now as we prepare for a special final in our debut season in the prestigious Essex Sunday League.”
Stand-in skipper Bhatti is fast forging a reputation as an outstanding leader after taking over the helm for the Scintilla cup side in May. He humbly echoed Riadh’s sentiments, “It’s easy when I have ten lions around me. Really, the key is our resilience. These boys never give up – I just do the talking. We greatly look forward to another prestigious final.”
Scintilla will now meet Harold Wood in the league final on 24th September.