Owais Shah spoke to Essex Cricket following the 122 runs success against Hampshire in the LV=County Championship. The right-hander scored a mercurial 161 in the second innings that laid the foundations for the victory but admitted that the wicket did ease as the game progressed.
“It’s always nice to achieve well personally whether it’s a hundred for a five-for but they only mean something if it helps the team win,” he acknowledged. “So it was a special match for me to be able to reflect and say ‘Yes; I helped my side win that game.’
“The wicket got flatter as the game progressed although there was always something now and again in the wicket which allowed seamers to come on and do well.
“It was very tough for batting on day one but then things got a bit better. It was all about getting as many as we could in the second innings because we knew that we had plenty of time to bowl them out.
“Our seamers bowled really well in their second innings, Ryan ten Doeschate deserves a special mention for his efforts in the middle of their innings when he picked up three wickets and overall, all the bowlers performed well.
“I think that’s something to note, we were without our best bowler at the club in David Masters because of injury and so for our attack to bowl the opposition out twice without his services was a special achievement, particularly as we lost Maurice Chambers early on in Hampshire’s second innings to injury, so a lot of credit must go to our bowling unit in the match because they’ve done really well.”
The former England batsman was also very upbeat about the future for Essex.
“Winning a game in those circumstances really bodes well for our future in four day cricket,” he stated. “Let’s not get away from the fact that bowlers win you matches and I think they did magnificently well against Hampshire. They stood up and did the job we asked, young Reece Topley, Graham Napier, Tom Craddock and obviously Ryan and Maurice until he got injured.
“It’s a pity the season isn’t going on a bit longer because we’ve really hit our straps in four-day cricket now and I guess that’s something that we need to work on because we need to get our game together a bit sooner in the summer rather than late on.
“We’ve been in rally good form in these last four or five weeks in championship cricket, you can’t control when you hit your straps but I think if we can get into the mindset that we are in right now earlier next season, it might help us achieve the high standards that we have set ourselves.”
Owais was in conversation with Paul Hiscock.