Tigers bare their teeth in Bengal triumph

London Tigers have issued a powerful statement of intent after the opening week of the Victoria Park Community Cricket League season

LONDON TIGERS have issued a powerful statement of intent after the opening week of the Victoria Park Community Cricket League season.

The league newcomers recorded a crushing 98-run win over Bengal Tigers in their first fixture of the new campaign, raising the prospect that the club can challenge for the title in their maiden season in the league.

London Tigers coach Jawar Ali said: "It's a good start considering it's our first game in the league, although we have played a lot of eight-a-side cricket before.

"A few of our team have played in the league before and they think we've got a chance of winning the title, but we'll really see how good we are when we play Island in a couple of weeks, because they're a strong side."

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In a match reduced to 13 overs-a-side, London Tigers smashed a stunning total of 172 for five as top three batsmen Raihan Ahmed, Saiful Khan and Khaled Ahmed each passed 40, before restricting Bengal Tigers to a total of just 74.

Having been flayed for more than 13 runs an over, Bengal Tigers skipper Kevin Cook also backed the newcomers to challenge for honours.

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"Batting-wise, they were as good as anything we saw last year, and that's taking into account that we played [double winners] Goodmayes," Cook said.

Adam Turtle top-scored for Bengal with 26, though the team's highlight was a running catch in the deep by Rob Hannon to dismiss London Tigers opener Ahmed four runs short of a half-century.

"It's as good a catch as a Bengal Tiger has ever taken," Cook added.

Caledonian Conquerors came through a challenging opening fixture to record a one-wicket win over Hackney-based London Wanderers.

Alex Chetkovich (24) and Howie Shearing (20) helped Wanderers make a blistering start, taking 47 runs off the first four overs, but Sajid Rehman stemmed the flow of runs and returned figures of four for 35 as Wanderers were dismissed for 121.

Despite losing wickets at regular intervals in reply, a fine partnership between Bazlul Haque (37) and Waqar Ali (32) allowed Conquerors to reach the target with 10 balls to spare.

James Crutcher hit the first half-century of the season with a graceful 51 not out as Victoria Lounge recorded a 44-run win over Chats Palace. In reply to Lounge's total of 141 for four, Peter Hatting made an electric start, taking Palace to 60 without loss, but his dismissal by Alastair Dunning sparked a collapse and Palace were eventually dismissed for 97 in 13.3 overs.

The borough's London Fields collected a comfortable six-wicket win against Old Fallopians, who had Aman Pattar (33) and Rafe Smallman (26 not out) to thank for reaching a total of 111 for four.

Despite losing opener Faraaz Samadi to a spectacular run-out by Old Fallopians' John Shaw, London Fields made short work of the run chase as the clean-hitting Karl Lacis and excellent stroke play of Paul Teasdale saw Fields home with six wickets in hand.

Victoria Park Juniors fell to a three-wicket defeat against newcomers The Ducks after collapsing from 89 for three at the halfway stage to 110 all out. Scott Doody scored 30.

Ducks openers Sibet Hussain (44) and Husnain Abbas (28) made a positive start in reply and despite a flurry of four wickets in as many overs, they held on to reach the target with three overs to spare.

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