As you know the Walker ground is hosting the Middlesex v Somerset Twenty20 match on Sunday 10 July (and if you haven’t sold any raffle tickets and/or volunteered to help get the ground ready on the day then you’d better get in touch with Doug Gordon pronto – you can email him at email@example.com)
What you may not know is that as part of the entertainment Pinky, the Middlesex Panthers’ mascot, has challenged someone from the club to an obstacle race. Pinky will be in full mascot gear, while you will have to wear enormous boots to even out the odds.
So come on, make a name for yourself and help entertain the huge crowd. Please let Rob Johnson know if you’re man enough (or indeed woman enough) to take on Pinky. Rob’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
** 2s grind out a draw against Harrow (and manage to file a match report!)
*** 3s’ game washed out
**** 4s dismantle Shepherd Bush to earn their first win of the season (and file two reports!)
Here’s how it happened…
Acton v Southgate
Southgate won by 8 wickets
Acton 95 all out (35.1 overs)
Southgate 98-2 (15.2 overs)
J Jouning 66*
Following the previous week’s enterprising but ultimately fruitless attempt to combat holes in the covers and flash floods with Sage’s flannel found in the back of Steve’s shed, the trip to Acton was a chance to regain some momentum and re-establish the mantra ‘10 points, 10 wickets and 10 dropped catches’. With Woffers returning for his now customary game every other week, and Creese preferring to spend the afternoon doing Armstrong and Miller impressions at an RAF Summer Ball, all the usual suspects lined up on a humid and overcast afternoon.
With pre-match preparations of chasing each other around in a square* (*copyright Ben Hartman), throw downs, high catches, low catches and mainly dropped catches becoming all a bit monotonous for some, half of the team opted for a new approach – turn up after the toss and 11 minutes before the game actually begins armed with a variety of schoolboy excuses. First was Twink* Dunnett (pronounced Doo – nay) with ‘Fais told me to wait for him outside my house at 1045 and didn’t arrive til 1130 innit’. 3 – 0, Faisal. Next was Durgas with a more concise ‘sorry, skip’. Given the lovely teeing up of young Philip, Fais’s tardiness was in fact applauded rather than chastised. Woffers never arrives in time for a full warm up just because he is a Northerner and warm ups are for those types who would usually be seen sporting one of Creese’s pink neckerchiefs on a group stroll through the streets of Brighton. As for Arshey, it is always a bonus if he arrives before tea. This week, however, Arshey opted for the deceitful pre-emptive strike tactic of phoning ahead at 12 to inform Captain Johnson that he would ‘be there in 15 minutes’. Message picked up by the Skipper at 12.45 – no sight nor sound of our opening bowler, but marks for brazen bullsh*t. With all excuses duly delivered and dismissed by RJ with the same disdain Dunnett shows for sober girls in the Leeds (Met) Student Union, there was just enough time for us to drop a few skiers served up by Athers and to trot out some time-honoured clichés such as ‘come on weasels big game today, heads on, let’s stick to the basics, execute our plans and have lots of bubble early doors’. You got that, Chaturanga ? Good lad.
So, to the cricket. Johnners called correctly with his double headed coin and invited Acton to bat on what looked like a swamp running through a postage stamp. Kumara ‘I am bored of having thrown downs all day and want to go to nightclubs’ Chaturanga was asked by the Skipper if he would like to ’take the rock’ first up. With inside information from Athers that our new recruit has become transfixed by the world of WWF, confusion reigns as to whether the reply ‘yes, Rob’ was to the captain’s proposition of opening the bowling. The first over passed without major incident from a cricketing perspective but did witness the arrival of our eleventh man – Uncle Hadge. With a page 1 textbook excuse of ‘broken down car’ having already been relayed, Hadge had just enough time to meander down to fine leg, put down his water bottle and roll a couple of ‘relaxants’ after his ordeal in getting to the ground. Hadge followed Chatski with another maiden, a few more overs went by and it seemed as though Acton were playing for the draw six overs into the game, despite them batting first.. The requested ‘bubble early doors’ began to subside, Fais’s shouts of ‘quick spin, lads’ were falling on selectively deaf ears and fielders were attempting sums in their head of another 45 hours at 9 overs an hour (if Chats has a long spell) = another 5 hours out here. ‘Shettttttttt’ as Chats would say. Fortunately, Hadge’s aforementioned ‘relaxants’ were beginning to kick in and he trapped Acton’s opener, a recent arrival from Ealing, LB douche for a duck on debut. Chin up. Post match merry chat and banter revealed this was his second duck in two days. Double chins, son. In fact, it was double chins all round given his 22 stone frame. 6-1 soon became 12-2 with Dunnett taking a very smart catch standing up to Hadge. The only thing missing at this point was Creese congratulating young Phyllis on what ‘lovely hands’ he possesses. 12-2 great start Southgate, all the clichés rolling back out ‘great areas you two’, ‘top drawer in the field everyone’, ‘2 brings 3 lads’ etc. With Hadge’s tail up and Shooter McGavin umpiring at his end, another wicket followed with the outgoing bat being given out LBW before the ball hit his pads. Fortunately for Shooter, the ball did hit his pads vaguely in line with the stumps and Acton were in serious trouble at 12-3. Hadge on for a ‘10 for‘. A couple of fortuitous boundaries came off Chatty before he shattered his Uncle’s dream of doubling up on a ‘Michelle’ by bagging a couple of LBW’s at Dom Joly’s end. At a perilous 20-5, Acton were tottering much like many of Philip’s female polytechnic friends after a couple of mango and blueberry Bacardi breezers. Following the captain’s ‘I don’t want to be chasing any more than 50’ request, a relative recovery ensued with a massive partnership of 30 before Hadge claimed his fourth, leaving the home team back in the proverbial at 50-6. Three more wickets for the irrepressible Uncle Hadge, a few late order hacks and a few good shots by the only Acton batsman to offer any resistance saw them reach 96 before Woffers took the final LBW from Shooter’s end. 3.15 pm, 96 all out, Hadge 7 for well supported by Chats, Woffers and some tight overs from Arshey saw us return to the matchbox sized changing room in high spirits (some of us from non cricket related sources) and mumbling the token ‘we’ve only done half a job, lads’ although we all knew messing this one up would be sub-village.
With roughly an hour to bat before tea, and the opportunity spurned for some frivolous tea-watchman banter, Jouners and Durgas marched to the crease and took their respective guards. ‘Shooter, Dom… I’ll have a yard outside leg please and just so you know, I’m batting 3 ½ yards in front of the white line which is about 20 yards from your white stick..’.
‘Right you are chaps’ came the reply from the men in white coats, their Golden Labradors sitting impatiently behind them. The first over went by without alarm but the second six-ball sequence saw the alarm bells activated for Acton with Jouners launching their opening bowler for a six over long on followed by a swivel pull over midwicket for a one bounce 4. Jouners off and running, Arshey still off running to find the ball. Durgas followed up next over with a stylish clip off his legs for 4 before nicking off. In came Wato at three, the only other bloke in the country outside of Vikram Solanki trying to keep Duncan Fearnley in business. Jouners continued in belligerent fashion, mixing leg-side mullering with off side placement and timing. With this guy beginning to cry at the harsh treatment being dished up, an off spinner was brought into the fray. Jouners belted his first two offerings for 6 and 4 and a couple of dots followed to try and encourage the captain to keep him on (both ends). As more boundaries were leaked, Shooter McGavin followed in the bowler’s footsteps – reduced to tears – as with the score rapidly mounting, opportunities to ‘get in the game’ were running out. With an avalanche of runs at one end and none coming from the other, Wato fell LBW to Dom Joly for single figures.
Next in was Athers, fresh from a chanceless century against Brecon School Under 13’s earlier in the week. Jouners continued in now familiar fashion, smashing the ball to all parts. Athers, wielding his Newbury ‘Krakatoa’ barn door, supported him at the other end with some sumptuous cover dives finishing on 20 not out to Jouners’ exhilarating 66 not out. A thoroughly impressive performance to win so convincingly, particularly coming off the back of a losing draw and a washout in the previous weeks.
In the unfamiliar territory of taking tea with the game over, the victorious side were treated to the acerbic tongue of a bipolar tea lady. A not all that unreasonable question of ‘are those all the sandwiches on the top there for us?’ was met with ‘don’t you dare tell me how to do the teas, I’ve been doing teas here for 71 years’. Sorry yes, on reflection, I appreciate what an absurd question that was and thank you for answering the question I asked. A couple of minutes later, the same hostess brought out an assortment of hot sausage rolls and some other nondescript roll type inviting us to ‘have as many as you like, Dear, plenty more where these came from’. It’s a game of two halves.
Speaking of two halves, next week sees us at home to Enfield before the turnaround – another vital game in the promotion quest. Another clinical performance should be ‘a l’ordre du jour’… James Watkins
Southgate v Harrow
Southgate 166 all out (52 overs)
Harrow 157-8 (48 overs)
The second XI’s day began with a brief inspection of the pitch, and the verdict reached instantly was that although the pitch had been covered during the week’s rain, the covers had clearly leaked. Next we moved on to a very respectable warm up, spoilt only by the news that T Yeomans (standing in as skipper in V Katyal’s absence) had lost the toss and we had been inserted. With the start time already delayed by half an hour to allow the wicket to dry a little, the fielding side took issue with the 5.5 ounces of fire-engine-red leather that Sage had provided at the start of the day. After at least 15 minutes of deliberating the game finally began, courtesy of two proper cricket balls obtained from B Hartman’s bag.
It may have occurred to you that this report has somewhat meandered towards the first ball of our innings and, unfortunately, this is no accident. The reason for the dithering is that there were no performances really worth congratulating, and no faults that you will not have already read about. Too many batsmen took time to establish themselves and then failed to take advantage, and too few can honestly say that shot selection was not their downfall. P Robinson scored 21, M Joseph 33 and S Ellis – making his debut in the 2nd team – played a crucial innings from number 9, running out of partners on 28.
So after 52 overs during which the conditions had transformed from damp, overcast and muggy to hot and sunny, the 2nd XI considered the equally daunting tasks of defending a below-par score (166), and tackling a lasagna in a dehydrated and demoralised state. And that is when the afternoon took a turn for the better. First we were treated to a genuinely excellent chicken and seafood paella, and then our bowlers turned in another superb performance.
A Quiyum opened the bowling, and his 10 overs up the hill returned two wickets at the cost of only 27 runs. Before breaking down with a knee problem, B Hartman’s six overs at the other end were typically disciplined* and we quickly found ourselves back in the game. O Ali – bowling for the first time since his internet rant sparked by being denied the opportunity to read about his excellent bowling performance of two weeks ago in a match report – was again outstanding. He led the Trees’ comeback, taking 4-71 in his mammoth 21-over spell. At around 30 overs, Harrow had heaved, dabbed and irresponsibled their way to 85-5 – roughly half the runs scored, half the wickets taken, and a more defendable run rate required. The game was in the balance. With O Ali in sparkling form at one end and S Faruqi (14-1-1-47) at the other, wickets fell at regular intervals and the modest flow of runs dried to a trickle. At 120/8 after 40 overs, the game seemed like Southgate’s to lose, and we duly obliged (almost). Our fielding, which up to that point had been excellent – Umpire Steve told O Bellwood that his was the best catch that he had seen in 60 years of club cricket** – deserted us. Catches went down, heads – to an extent – followed, and the day ended with us having to swallow the bitter taste of Harrow passing the score of 155 that they needed to grab the winning draw and 4 points.
We are playing quite a lot of good cricket at the moment- perhaps not enough of it with the bat – and I genuinely believe that we have more than enough talent and team spirit to make a charge up the table in the second half of the season. Max Joseph
* I can only say ‘typically’ from what I’ve heard, as my only previous experience of Ben’s athletic endeavor is of him setting up a curious running-in-a-square fitness drill in Regent’s Park.
** O Bellwood passed on the opportunity to say that he could think of two that were better in this game.
Southgate v Ealing
Shepherds Bush v Southgate
Southgate won by 23 runs
Southgate 106 all out (43 overs)
Shepherds Bush 83 all out (40 overs)
Not surprisingly we were stuck in on a very wet park pitch in Wembley. The Bush had never played there and both teams hope never to play there again (pavilion covered in graffiti, no showers and locals who believe they have a right of way straight across the pitch). The pitch was very slow and low and the ball swung around a lot (I think the usual adverb is prodigiously, but I can’t spell that). It was the lowness of the bounce that accounted for two inexperienced batsmen at the top of the order. Both Berman and Sharma played back to a good length ball while attempting to work the ball to the leg side (or went for horrible slogs depending on how charitably you interpret the shots) and were bowled. New man Ford Roy got a leading edge to an away swinger, again working to leg, Kunjal Haria was very unlucky when an inswinger hit him on the back foot and ricocheted onto the stumps and then Mel Dowsett chipped one that popped to midwicket. So at 20-5 we were in some disarray (and nearly all of the 20 were wides and byes. Any shots that were played got stuck in the long grass).
There was some rebuilding between Doug Gordon and Will Green, the primary tactic being to block and wait for extras and fortunately their keeper didn’t have his best day. This slow and stodgy approach inspired some good-natured sledging from the oppo about the ball never leaving the square, but when it did it got lost in the long wet outfield. (And anyway Gordon gets this every week, so it’s water off a duck’s back). When Will got out eventually Matt Dias carried on the good work. The first boundary of the day was hit in the 33rd over when Gordon clogged a spinner over mid on. The next over the spinner had his revenge when one turned and bounced and Gordon gloved, out for 24 in 35 overs!
Jon Baker and Niroosh Sugumaran hit useful runs at the end and we finished on 106, with extras top score by miles. At this stage I was just pleased that we’d made some sort of game of it. All out for 30 was on the cards.
As the tea was lost somewhere between the Bush and Wembley, their innings started straightaway. Alex Habberley bowled the opener with one that nipped back and at number 3 out strode a man who had bowled 20 overs. This gave us heart, indicating there wasn’t a lot of depth to their batting line up. Number 3 turned out to be a decent batter, but feathered one behind to Shiv-raj on the last ball before tea. So at the restart we knew we were right in the game. This was confirmed when Alex took another two wickets. They built a partnership and things started to look bad for us. The bowling was rotated and Ford Roy and Jon Baker both got LBWs (this was probably the most surprising aspect of the game – the Bush had brought an umpire to a 4th XI game!). Around this time there was an epidemic of dropped catches. There were at least six spread around the team. A couple were difficult, but others really should have been pouched. At this point I was thinking that this would be the usual story for this year – we have a good tight game that the oppo really enjoy as they win with a couple of overs and wickets to spare.
But not this time. Alex finished a long spell of 14 overs with 4-37. Then Niroosh got a wicket and Josh came back to finish things off courtesy of a third LBW from the proper umpire. All five seamers bowled well, taking advantage of the conditions by bowling straight, but the key was the momentum we got from the 10-over spell before tea. Doug Gordon
And now an alternative view on the same match from Josh Berman. Truly a Bugle first (probably)
On an overcast morning, the team gathered at Shepherd’s Bush’s home ground in Wembley. The wicket was damp and sticky wicket and hard to identify from the rest of the field due to the fact it was exactly the same colour. Did I say field? What I meant to say was swamp, which would explain why there was only two boundaries in the whole match. The ground was unique in the way that the changing rooms were outdoors and the sight screen was a once-white building that had been painted in graffiti by the bad men of Wembley.
Inspired by the gleam of the Wembley arch in the distance, Doug and Josh opened the batting. Runs were hard to come by and the dismissal of Josh playing a pull shot about ten minutes too early lead to a collapse: Shivraj, Kunjal, Mel and Roy all fell cheaply leaving us in a sticky position at 40-4 or 5. However Doug battled on, reaching a well- deserved 24, comprising of one meaty four, spanked straight over mid-off. Matt Dias hung around for a few overs, scoring a very valuable 10-ish, bolstering the measly total of 70 odd at this point. Throughout the innings wides and byes continually occupied the scorer and after the innings came to a close in the 44th over we still had a chance with a grand total of 106 on the board.
The team was devastated to hear that the tea had been delivered to the wrong ground, particularly Kunj, who needed refuelling after being at the crease for almost five minutes. After a brief discussion, the Trees took to the field. Alex opened up and bowled well exploiting some of the few imperfections on the wicket, and with some economical bowling from Josh and Sugumaran at the other end, Alex skittled through the top order, taking four or five wickets.
A few phone calls later, tea had arrived and in all fairness, it wasn’t bad. After taking to the field for the second time in the day, we continued to sustain vast amounts of pressure on the Bush middle and lower order with some tidy bowling from John and Roy. Some ugly swipes from the Bush middle order and some quite frankly VILLAGE fielding from the travelling side made the victory a little less likely. Not wanting to name any names, but I must say, Kunjal’s drop was the pick of the bunch. Frustration began to escalate as the victory was slipping away from us, but some accurate bowling from Josh at the end ensured the victory. Well done to Shivraj as well, who made up for annoying a large proportion of the team with his lack of banter with some tidy keeping behind the stumps.
The weather is the only winner as all four league games are wiped out by rain. But there is a Sunday game, oh yes! Which we lose – see report below. Oh well, there’s always next week
Southgate v Shepherd’s Bush
Shepherd’s Bush 70-3 (21 overs)
Indian Gymkhana v Southgate
South Hampstead v Southgate
Southgate v Uxbridge
* Don’t forget to get in touch with Doug Gordon to get some raffle tickets to sell for this year’s big fund-raiser. Full details on the homepage
** And if you haven’t paid your annual subscription yet, do it now. Contact Ricky Gunn, or better still just send him a bag of money
Wembley v Southgate
Wembley won by 133 runs
Wembley 236-3 (43 overs)
Southgate 103 all out (36.4)
Wembley’s rained off matches on Saturday plus a burst water pipe on their main square meant that their Chess Valley League game was called off, so a contingent of quality players eager for any game at all accompanied veterans Charlie Meyers, John Haskell and Dave Joshi on the annual day out to N14.
Olly Bellwood gamely took on the role of captain, but owing to his delayed arrival, Ricky accompanied Charlie to the middle and (SCC may wish to note this) won the toss at his first attempt of the season. Livewire Marcello De Crescenzo was incredulous at the next development – “You put them in?!!!”.
History proved this to be the wisest way to avoid an early tea and guarantee five Wembley batsmen a chance to shine. Southgate’s side comprised four adults of varying ability, six of the Under 15s XI plus not-yet 17 Julius Thomson whose first touch of a cricket ball it was since last summer. Nevertheless, Julius and Sayed Sultani bowled quite tightly and it was only by the 12th over that the run rate reached four for the first time. The sound hands of Matthew Dias at mid-on then accounted for both opening batsmen, off brother Will and Marcello respectively. Callum’s first over was treated disdainfully but he tightened up wel,l unlike Olly who sportingly came on for four overs at fifth change to help Wembley restore the run rate. Full marks to Olly who brought all the boys into the game and handled the fielding positively and sensitively. The pick of the bowlers was Matt Dias who, though suffering 13 in an onslaught in his final over had given away only 28 in his previous eight. The youthful fielders were always enthusiastic, with Matt and Shiv-Raj catching the eye in particular.
Chicken legs and delightfully crispy chips formed the highlights of a much appreciated tea before Southgate embarked on a reply.
Ricky’s projected long spell of umpiring was unexpectedly shortened by a continual clatter of wickets, including Olly who was looking to enjoy himself before lobbing a catch to Haskell. Marcello endeared himself to the cosmopolitan opposition by his effervescent attitude and positive strokeplay. Acting on coaching advice from square-leg (habits die hard) he eventually chose to run in a straight line wicket-to-wicket rather than re-enacting his shot in the air over and over again while jogging to the other end, and made an entertaining 23 out of 46 for 5 before being caught by Matt Peet, the universally acknowledged safest pair of hands on the field.
Enter veteran Gunn, author of this piece and erstwhile bunny of the rotund and reflectively pated Charles Meyers who was being saved specifically for this entrance – Chinese water torture at its meanest. Having holed out for 0 in last year’s game in a desperate attempt to assert ascendancy over the perpetually smirking Meyers, 12 months of planning came to fruition. The strategy was to dance down the wicket, make the delivery into a slow full-toss, and deposit the ball a mile away. As so it came to pass … down the wicket, meat of the bat, sailing away to deep square and … Matt Peet.
I am not renowned as a religious man but as the ball descended towards Matt’s waist nothing less than a miracle occurred. From behind a black cloud parked over East Barnet a celestial orb burst unexpectedly into view and the ground – and Matt’s miss – was bathed in sunshine. He and Charlie were crestfallen and speechlessly disbelieving at what had happened. Back at the office, plan A was reverted to: feet embedded in crease, push away for a single if you can watch it for long enough, and no more dancing down the track except perhaps to block and run back to safety.
A partnership of 26 blossomed with Callum Silva who batted sensibly for 11 but became a run out victim partly through a very tight decision, partly through a slow start, but also through Ricky’s failure to recognise youthful inexperience of looking for a quick gettable run. Delmore batted 17 balls for 5 in a ninth-wicket stand of 15 – the second highest of the innings – and threatened to deprive Syed and Julius of knocks as overs ran out: this anxiety was misplaced following a firm drive back to the bowler. For the record, the Middlesex Senior was eventually bowled by a rapid leg-cutter for 38 as S Patel cleaned up with 3 for 0 in ten balls and we closed on 103, a massive defeat by 133 runs … but Wembley had had a good day and all our boys had a chance to do something.
Delmore and Ricky saw Wembley off at 10.00 as they apologised for having to dash away to lock up their own pavilion. Daphne dutifully collected her husband and took him home for his supper. Ricky Gunn
T20 Prize Draw – Southgate CC and Breakthrough Breast Cancer
Southgate CC is taking advantage of the Middlesex v Somerset T20 match at the Walker Ground on Sunday 10 July to support the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity and raise funds for the club.
We are running a raffle with some great prizes:
Cricket bat signed by the England team
Kevin Pietersen Test shirt
Eoin Morgan ODI shirt
And many more general prizes
All prizes have been donated to support the good causes. Tickets will be £2 each and the revenue will be split equally between SCC and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
The draw will be made on the day. We hope all players and members will support this event by selling tickets to friends, family and colleagues. Tickets will be distributed by captains and committee members starting on Saturday 18 June.
We also need volunteers to help set up the ground on the Saturday morning prior to the game and on Sunday 10 July to sell tickets or do other jobs.
This is Southgate CC’s main find raising event of the year. As well as supporting a worthy charity it is our best opportunity to raise money to improve facilities. (We have just had to purchase a new screen for the back ground and new covers on the front ground will be needed soon).
Please contact Doug Gordon to request tickets or volunteer.
A grim weekend for the Trees with the 1s managing a draw and the three other teams all losing
Here’s what happened…
1s – KitKat Chunkys* and Woffer’s Yorkshire grit help the 1s to a hard-fought draw
* If the KitKat marketing team is reading this, please send free samples to The KitKat Secretary, Southgate Cricket Club, The Walker Ground, Waterfall Road Southgate, London N14 7JZ. About a million should do it. Thanks!
Harrow v Southgate
Harrow 168 all out (48 overs)
Southgate 127-8 (49 overs)
With Captain Johnson venturing to the States on a scientific expedition to establish if any other foreign objects would cause parts of his body to swell up, the reins of the Gate’s winning machine were passed to T Allan for the trip to Harrow.
The weather leading up to Saturday had not been promising and the author feared a wasted 95-mile round trip (unfortunately it wasn’t the weather that put the author in the frame for the TFC award). However, with thoughts of six wins from six and another red inker to add to the average, the Three Counties Juggernaut set off promptly at 0930hrs. Only a quick stop at the Shell on the A1 delayed progress, but with two KitKat Chunkys for £1 on offer it proved an essential interruption.
Upon arrival at Harrow the groundsman was busying himself on the square with a plethora of equipment including a leaf blower, indicating a slightly wet track. Soon after the little Sri Lankan in his little blue uniform and caretaker manager Allan arrived. It was quickly ascertained that James Watkins had lost the plot and had vowed to kill Steve Jobs after his Mac had crashed on Friday. Not a reason to miss cricket you might think, unless it contained all the revision notes for the impending final law exam. (Good luck for Monday!). Arshy was also unavailable, with rumours circulating that he had finally sunk in the quicksand he had been running in the last two weeks. With two spaces to fill it was a pleasure to see members of the club old and (relatively) new step up at such short notice. Into the fray walked Billy Dean who, although having updated his trouser and boot combo from that worn by Brian Close, was still as energetic in the field as ever. Billy was closely followed by himself 20 years younger. A double take revealed Scott McGuinness, another fine fielder who increased the number of “proper arms” in the field up to a respectable three.
An excellent warm-up ensued then Allan, proving that all dirty Raa’s are great tossers, called correctly and promptly inserted Harrow on a wet one. A delayed start was the verdict from the umpires, thinking they were presiding over the third test. With a 30-minute delay the Gate used this time wisely with Alvin organising his kit, Hadgie smoking six B&H, Phil perusing his female-heavy Facebook account and Faisal convincing Chatty that he can bowl the doosra. With Kit Kat Chunky one consumed we strode onto the pitch with purpose, a team in winning form. Another 10 please.
We started well with Hadgie rolling down the hill, and smoking up the hill at fine leg, and Chatty taking the new ball up the hill. Harrows openers, Walker and Hussain, predictably went at the ball too hard too early on a sticky one. The dangerous and in-form Walker was caught well of an edged cover drive by Dean Junior at cover point off the bowling of Hadgie, then Hussain fell to Chatty, beating a length ball to action man Deano at mid off, who took the sting out of the ball by palming it straight up in the air and catching the return. Excellent work, 9 for 2.
Harrow’s middle order then set about rectifying the damage the only way they know how. Plan A was to swing hard, and swing hard they did. Plan B – see Plan A. Relatively short straight boundaries helped their cause and they managed to put on partnerships of 41, 44 and 36 for the 3rd, 4th and 5th wickets respectively. Chatty was steady, but due to the wet conditions swing was hard to come by which stifled his effectiveness somewhat.
Hadgie bowled well, returning 2 wickets for 24 off 11, his second wicket taking care of the number 4, who was caught by Faisal. Hadgie was eventually replaced by the author, who hates bowling at Harrow and unsurprisingly didn’t fair particularly well in the damp conditions. Chatty was replaced by Woffers, who was the pick of the bowlers. At first the Harrow batsmen were not sure what to make of the wiley flight and guile of the man brought up on the wet uncovered minefields of Yorkshire. However they soon returned to type, with the forward defence or massive lofted drive the only two shots in their repertoire. Harrow’s number 3 had slapped his way to 49 before Woffers did him with his quicker ball, hurrying him into a front foot pull shot that disappeared straight up into the clouds. Necks craned skyward, and Jouners could be seen out the corner of one’s eye haring round from first slip to take an excellent running catch at approximately short fine leg.
Wicket keeper Morris came in and hit some well-timed hefty blows off both Woffers and Faisal, the latter having replaced the author at the “Yip” end. Faisal “Beefy” Mir bowled with good pace, but not with the accuracy with which we have become accustomed over the last few games. Woffers soon accounted for Morris after skying a massive drive to the author at extra cover. Hang time 5.25 seconds.
Woffers continued his excellent day in the field with his best Gary Pratt impression, running out their best batter on the day, Mungrue, with a direct hit after an ill-advised single.
Harrow’s lower order managed to scramble a total of 168 with Mir snapping up the number 7 caught by Woffers. Woffers then disposed with the rest of the tail with another catch for McGuiness, a stumping following a charge down the wicket and horrendous mow, and then (you guessed it!) another catch, this time for Dunnett. It was an excellent display by Woffers, finishing with figures of 15-04-45-5. A marvellous effort in the field by all, especially Dunnett who looked great behind the sticks from all positions, with the cordon providing the best vantage point. Overall our bowling was not as controlled as it should have been and as a result Harrow were around 30 runs to the good.
As always at the west-London ground, tea was a fabulous affair, with a good mixture of white-bread sandwiches interspersed with a selection of bahjis, samosas, hot dogs, pasta and an entirely separate table containing a platter of fruits and various cakes. The only blemish on an excellent 20 minutes was junior Dean sitting in Uncle Hadgie’s seat adjacent to the bahji’s halfway through the break. A naive mistake, and one that needs to be worked on if McGuinness wants to cement his place in the first team. More practice needed.
Following tea the normal partnership of Alv and Jouners was reunited, however this didn’t last long. With the ball seaming around and the two opening bowlers hitting a good line and length, runs were at a premium. Jouners fell first, bowled by a decent delivery. Captain Allan didn’t really have chance to get going, being given out LBW to a hooping in-ducker. Alvin continued to battle in tough conditions with the author, leaving the correct balls and punishing the rare bad one. Just as the Harrow attack had been blunted, a slip of concentration from Alv resulted in a loose drive to a ball that stopped on the wet pitch. A decent catch at mid off brought Chatty to the crease.
As Chatty took his mark he was subject to some friendly banter until the Harrow lads were informed that his English was as good as Mr Walker’s Sinhali. Although this was a good sledging deterrent, it would also contribute to the author’s downfall. With the author going well and eyeing up another win, and more importantly a red inker for his average, a gentle cover drive bought two more runs. Or that was the plan. Unfortunately, Chatty had other ideas and in any language it’s not good cricket for both batsmen to be at one end. Early shower for the author and thoughts of that second Kit Kat. Chatty then fell LBW to the opening bowler and with the score at 43 for 4 Faisal and Hadgie were left with a big task. Harrow brought on their spinners, and although runs were hard to come by the pair at the crease looked comfortable, with some excellent cover drives from Hadgie. The two Harrow spinners are no pushover, especially on their own turf, and forcing the pace proved very difficult.
Hadgie went and then Faisal, both being caught off the same spinner. With Dunnett and the man of the moment Woffers at the crease it looked like an effort similar to Cardiff 2009 was needed. Both played well, and Woffers was eventually bowled for 7. George “Deano” Clooney then entered the fray with the hopes of the team on his shoulders, and a promise of a bronze being commissioned if he won the game from the mire the Gate found themselves at 81 for 8. Clearly one of the youngsters hadn’t seen Deano bat previously, such was his ill-advised comment to “keep him on strike.” Next ball promptly rattled the boundary boards.
Phil and Deano battled well, however with the real prospect of the first loss of the season upon us the conversation on the boundary turned to Duke. Nope, not the 90-year-old chap, but the good old Duke of Spain. And it duly did, resulting in a quick stoppage and only four overs left to survive. With McGuinness planning his quick get away to Old Street for a rap battle, and the second Kit Kat being consumed, Dunnett and Deano saw out the remaining overs, with Phil top scoring with 26 and looking a much-matured player. Final score 127 for 8.
One point is better than nothing, however I shall use this opportunity to once again highlight that the scoring system in this league is antiquated, and promotes unexciting cricket that in no way reflects the way the game has been played nor the strengths and/or weaknesses of either side. The sooner it’s changed the better.
In conclusion: good deals on chocolate on the A1, not tight enough with the ball, good fielding, improved tea etiquette needed, poor application with the bat, English dictionary for Chatty, rubbish league rules. Matt Creese
** Exciting news from the KitKat marketing department. They’ve agreed to send 10,000 KitKat Chunkys to the Walker Ground every Saturday until the end of the season, but in return they want someone to dress as a KitKat Chunky and walk around the ground for a few hours on Saturday. (Uniform supplied! It’s 8ft tall, made of top-quality foam and might smell a bit as it’s been used at shopping centres in and around central Hertfordshire for the past year.) I say a few hours, it’s actually eight, preferably 10). So, volunteers needed please. This vital supply of essential sports nutrients courtesy of our dear friends at KitKat could mean the difference between us winning league titles and the misery of relegation. Add your name in the comment section at the end of the Bugle and it could be you…
Southgate v Eastcote
Eastcote won by 25 runs
Eastcote 169=9 (50 overs)
Southgate 144 all out (45.2 overs)
3s sunk by Uxbridge lasagne muncher *
Southgate v Uxbridge
Uxbridge won by 5 wickets
Southgate 104 all out (34.2 overs)
Uxbridge 105-5 (37.1 overs)
The best laid schemes of mice and men…
A good start to the season has seen the 3s adopt the unconventional tactic of batting first, setting a gettable total and duping the opposition into a false confidence before skittling them out.
So, Sage duly lost the toss and we were put into bat on a heavily rained upon but drying wicket. At 30odd for 4 spirits were high on the bench and confidence flowed as the lower middle order that has served us so well in past weeks strode to the wicket.
However, even with a standout innings from the ever reliable Dan P-K and some random flailing of the bat from the tail, we failed to build any significant partnerships and came to a dismal halt on 104.
Spirits were duly lifted by a hearty lasagne and some quick wickets after the interval, but in strode their wily number seven. Having consumed a good few lasagnes in his time and purporting the value of a quality block, he duly bored out 30 overs for a quality (hmmm) 10 not out that saw them over the line.
There were definitely some ups in the field and at points we were still in the game but sadly these have been pushed out of this scribblers memory by the haunting vision of a fat man nibbling singles to fine leg.
Roll on next week. Mike Carter
* It goes without saying that this is no reflection on the quality of Sue’s magnificent lasagne
4s – Gunn shows his balls as 4s come up short against Ealing
Ealing v Southgate
Ealing won by 3 wickets
Southgate 147 all out (49.3 overs)
Ealing 150-7 (41.1 overs)
It gives me great pleasure to inform the club that for once we were beaten in a game of cricket that involved little or no umpiring controversy. Here endeth the good news.
SCC’s 11 men turned up in Eastern Cornwall (Harlington actually, but Dave Lowen left home at 1045 and only just made it) for a game against many old friends and lots of people we have played cricket against for many years. Guess who kept up the season-long tradition by losing the toss and with great glee was inserted by the opposition?
Lowen and Gordon opened and as usual we got to 30-odd without any difficulty. Lowen was caught in the ring and the Crab was joined by former Surrey 2s star Riches. For seven overs it looked like we might take the game away from them with Riches contributing a robust 25 out of a stand of approximately 25 with Monsieur le Crab keeping up an end. Both fell in quick succession, including Doug forgetting the location and walking for an edge while not being at the Walker Ground.
Ricky then the got the worst 25 of this season (and possibly any season) and was finally dismissed at the sixth attempt by an individual realising that Ricky would actually euthanise his innings when, and only when, someone clung on to one of the dolly catches he was giving the Ealing fielders in turn.
The rest of our team all got in and out for about 12 each. Kunjal, Mel and Luke all looked as if they might push on, but the accurate bowling of John Lindley and Alan Price (wasn’t he in the Animals?) kept us in check. The septagenarian pair were ably supported behind the wicket by Bob Fisher, who is even older. We were all out in the 50th over after colts Alfie Packer and Marcello Di Crescenzo both attempted to play some lusty blows.
Bowling. Rohail bowled quickly and got three wickets, but he knows he will bowl better. Chips found himself cast in the unlikely role of second seamer but bowled the ball of the day as their opening bat was surprised by some late swing and found himself stumped by Gunny without the use of the preferred wicketkeeping aids, preferring to use his te*ticl*s as some form of deflector. It was the ball of the day on many levels.
The strangle came as usual as Ealing’s batsmen were bored equally by Stokes lack of variation and the entreaties of their experienced player who has accompanied Lord Straightbreak in a number of representative games to “not play a shot against the left arm slow bowler as if he gets one wicket he might get six.” Sound logic. Game plan achieved. Entertainment zero.
We had four bowlers in the side and three of them had only managed four wickets in 30 overs (three if you credit Gunny’s gonads for the stumping of the year.) Then 14-year-old Marcello Di Crescenzo took the ball and immediately things started to happen. Their obdurate skipper (who had been dropped twice after misreading straightbreaks, so he must be classed as obdurate rather than talented) finally holed out to short third man. Marcello took two more, including a magnificent running, diving, full-length, stretching catch from the skipper at midwicket, which would have been a slow walk to the left for a competent fielder. Game on.
They got home by three wickets in the last over and yet again we lost a close one. Nice to not have to finish on “What could have been if the umpiring decisions were correct.” This week they were. Thanks Ealing for a game of cricket. Can we play you every week?
* 1s thunder to another crushing win (and Phil Dunnett puts his Facebook lovelies on display)
** 2s win
** Sage leads the 3s to another win
**** 4s flop but Captain Stokes files the shortest, angriest match report in living history
Here’s how it happened, fact fans
North Middlesex v Southgate
Southgate won by 8 wickets
North Middlesex 149 all out (44.5 overs)
Southgate 150-2 (36 overs)
Firstly, now that I have completed my first year at university I’ve been instructed to write my first match report. (I’d like to add that my first year involved consuming copious amounts of alcoholic beverages, a lot of sleep, and not a lot of work, so this could be very dodgy!)
Thirdly, I apologise in advance about grammar, spelling and all that crap… especially the lads from Durham Uni, aka the Dirty Raa’s – you know who you are!!
Now for the game – as me, Alv and Faisal strolled into the dressing room around 11.15am we were greeted by the usual Creesy, Rob and Athers and a new addition to the 1st team, our long-awaited overseas player, Chathuranga Kumara, who arrived in the UK on Friday afternoon. He’s staying with Rob and Tom (poor guy), and has already been given about five different nicknames – Chattu, Chatty, Chatts to name a few. Anyway, after our usual fielding drills, where most of the team show off their pathetic arms by throwing the ball looking like girls and Athers asking me what action I had with females over the week, Johnson, who has been on a whole quite a good tosser this year, duly won the toss and of course stuck North Mid into bat.
Two minutes before we walked out Arshy rocked up with his sports bag full of an array of different spikes/shoes. Arshy then shared the new rock with Hadgie, fresh from his 10 B&H consumed during his version of the warm-up. The pair started well causing the Mid problems and Arshy claimed the first wicket with a well earned caught behind. That led to a steady partnership by North Mid’s captain Alex Hill and in-form batsman Evan Flowers where they looked to punish any ball we put down to them, but soon enough Big Arshy rolled in, dismissing Flowers when he chipped the ball straight down Watto’s throat, who must be top of the catches list this year. Then a moment of brilliance from Tommy Edrich who dived full length then jumped up and fired in the perfect throw for me to whip off the bails, removing big Maxwell Creese who turned like I tank, may I add, once being sent back by the Mid’s captain. This did our wicket total a favour and also our ears as Max likes to talk a lot and most of it is usually a load of shit. However, enter another load mouth fresh from the party bus and Mr Stanford’s rubbish 20/20 tournament – Mr Sempar.
The Gate continued to cause problems and when our newest addition Chattu came onto the scene the pressure continued for North Mid and it wasn’t long before Chattu claimed his first wicket for us with a controversial leg before, oh well! Chattu bowled with great control, nibbling the ball away from the right handers. Faisal took over from Arshy and bowled with serious pace and venom and missing the bat on many occasions. Mr Sempar batted very ugly and most scoring shots were mooed to cow corner. He was sporting some very stupid pads that were no bigger than my keeping pads, and when he got hit just above the knee, where a normal pair of pads would have protected, I couldn’t help myself but laugh. Faisal’s pace called for a third man and fine leg, which were our two Sri Lankan friends, who are the complete opposite of each other: Hadgie leaning against the wall chuffing on his cigarettes (shock) on one side and on the other was Chattu refuelling with water, Lucozade and in general looking a damn site fitter than Hadgie. Faisal then removed Sempar with a looping slower ball that connected with the leg stump on the full, just about removing the bails. Back to the party bus, pal.
Creesy then came on and bowled beautifully, slow looping off spin forcing the batsmen to play watchfully. But they didn’t, Creesy picked up his two wickets in the same over with contrasting balls, one perfectly-placed dipping delivery that was snaffled tidily by Alv at slip, and the other a perfectly-executed arm ball that landed plum on the batsman’s toe. This left the Mid struggling at 118 for 7. Faisal and Chattu came together again to knock over the rest of the tail, leaving us 150 to win. Special mention to our main man Chatty who bowled superbly to end up with figures of 3 for 21 off 11.
Tea, which was very nice, came and went and new opening partnership of Alv and Watto set out to chase down the target. One of the moments of the day was watching the Hoff, who had been kind enough to come and watch, talking to our new overseas about cricket, tanning or Baywatch… who knows? But Chattu looked a tad confused, thinking ‘Why is an American who used to run down a beach for a living talking to me at a cricket match?’ Anyway, back to the game. Watto and Alv both batted well and positively and ate into the Mid’s total. Just as they were settling into a nice rhythm Alv was given out to somewhat dubiously LBW to Sempar. Needless to say he wasn’t very happy. Then the very next ball Athers was trapped dead in front. Not out. Fair enough. We weren’t complaining. Athers, who this year has learnt a whole new array of strokes known as ‘attacking shots’ took over what had Alv started. Watto was run out after batting very well for his 45, which bought Creesy to the crease… At this point I think I got bored and went to play on my phone and look at lovely ladies on my Facebook! But those two, like last week, smashed it and we won basically.
The day ended with the Chairman buying a jug, Alvin eyeing up the women present, and me and Tommy E getting an earful of bullshit from big Max. 50 out of 50. Top work lads! Phil Dunnett
Southgate v Barnes
Southgate won by 6 wickets
Barnes 171-9 (55 overs)
Southgate 174-4 (43.3 overs)
In a slight contrast to the Mills and Boons-esque nature of last week’s match report from Jonno, and in keeping out of the seedy world of Vikas’s soliciting, this report won’t have a 12A rating.
The opposition was Barnes, who finished third in the league last season, so we were thinking they should be OK opposition (if that’s possible in this league). There were familiar aspects of this days cricket, and the jarring notes of unfamiliarity.
The warm-up was, as usual, an undoubted success (for those in the know, delete the ‘un’), only marred by RDG seeming to greet a random hooligan. However, as the hooligan proceeded closer to the team we realised that it was Oli. Who knows what prompted Oli to go through the realms of a number 3 all the way down to 0.5, but the report must carry on.
The details of the toss were blurred, as we only had five minutes to get in and changed for fielding. Obviously Vikas must have won the toss, but no mind can comprehend Vikas winning his first toss of the season.
Last week’s marathon 23 overs bowler, Yeomans, was visible shaking in fear at the prospect of another muscle-shattering effort, especially as this week we were one bowler short. After a timid start, which seems to have been picked up from watching some Test cricket on Sky; Yeomans got a Test match wicket – someone fending off a rearing delivery into first slip’s safe hands. At the other end Abdul’s accurate bowling went without a derserved wicket, including perhaps a 50% fine for disagreeing with the umpire.
Anyway, there wasn’t much to be said about the Barnes innings apart from one fellow getting a 50, shortly into Sam’s and Ashley’s bowling spells; while the rest of the batters seemed to be still playing Test cricket and blocking the **** out of it. Sam and Ashley bowled their best spells of the season and were at home bowling to the non aggressive batting – 19 overs for 2 wickets for Sam, and 20 overs for 5 wickets from Ashley (we’ll store that jug for when you’re 18, fella).
From the Southgate fielding perspective there wasn’t much to comment about – apart from possibly watching the worst Aussie fielder (Jeremy Clarkson’s voice) in the world. Now there are rumours going around that Matty’s shoulder was done bowling at the Sri Lankian touring squad. However, after much digging around and rumour mongering, it was discovered that the injury was caused, whilst attempting to throttle RDG for casting aspersions about he’s sister’s character. For anyone who’s interested, she’s Victoria Thornton on facebook and she’ll add anyone going, even RDG.
Onto one serious note, the keeper took a bail to the eyebrow and the ball to the lips in the same ball (never seen that happen before), after Ashley bowled the batsman. Emmons stepped up to the plate and announced to Ashley that he wasn’t wearing a box, so to be careful – to which Ashley replied: ‘I’m going to bowl an arm ball at you’. And so he did that, with an arm ball spearing into the left testicle, only to be fortunately stopped by some children-saving glove work.
Barnes ended up with 171 for 9 off 55 overs, which left with Southgate needing 172 off 45 overs. After Jonno’s texting of Sue last week, there wasn’t even the favoured lasagne – just pasta; anyway, we were all fed and watered and stumped off to pad up or to beer up.
Emmons was to open up with Thornton, Emmons departing for 10 – and Yeomans out to the crease. At this stage Yeomans was feeling quite refreshed, after only bowling 8 overs or so and this could be seen through the exquisitely timed drives. Thornton carried on to 41 with some lusty blows, until a rather ugly looking hack against a length ball from a spinner accounted for him.
Out stepped RDG, possible glad of not batting with Vicki’s brother, and together the batters carried on serenely within sight of the total, until RDG tried to boom one drive too many off an off spinner and got caught for 23. Joseph strode to the crease confidently, after being in form for most of the season – however he departed for 10 and Vikas was batting. Yeomans and Vikas saw the team home with one and a half overs to go and a 6 wicket victory was to be had.
In summary, out of all the teams we have seen this year, we have been the best by a massive margin. Only a slight lack of confidence, and a lack of arrogance from not winning a lot of games last season have held us back. But as Sam rightly emailed this week, win the next game and we are in the top 4 and back in the hunt. Clark Emmons
Southgate v Harrow Town
Southgate won by 57 runs
Southgate 186 all out (50.3 overs)
Harrow Town 129 all out (38.5 overs)
With two wins and a winning draw from the 3s’ first four games, the mood at the ground was somewhat buoyant, with Sage in particular being unusually chipper. Even losing the toss and being put into bat couldn’t dampen the mood, with our skipper proclaiming we would of batted anyway.
However, when it actually came down to doing some batting, things didn’t start so brightly. After ten overs there was still confusion as to which figures on the scoreboard indicated the runs and which the overs. Yet the team on the sideline were still quietly (some would say very quietly) confident, as we hadn’t lost any wickets yet, that things would change.
Things did change: we lost three wickets, Paul, Scott, and myself, at regular intervals and for not many runs. What started as a slow start quickly began to look like it could end in a complete collapse. However, through all this, Clive Burrows batted very sensibly while hitting the regular boundary to ensure the scorer was kept on his toes.
Clive was joined at the crease by Daniel Pyzer-Knapp and the two seemed to steady the ship, until Clive was caught at mid-on for a decent knock of 35. Clive’s dismissal resulted in another mini-collapse as Luke and Mike both quickly came and went, leaving us in a precarious position of 80 for 6.
The next man in was Scott McGuiness. Both him and Dan initially struggled to find their rhythm and were often left frustrated as their shots found the fielders. Nevertheless, they both persisted and eventually things started to click, in particular Dan seemed to free himself from his self-imposed shackles and proceded to smash three boundaries in one over.
The two put on a much-needed partnership of over 50, with Dan top scoring with a very good 73 and Scott supporting him with 22. And with some classic Nadeem stroke play (I will humour him) at the death, we were able to put on a very respectable total of 186 from 51 overs.
The team went out into the field confident that our total would be difficult to chase, especially with two sprightly boundary riders in Delmore and Sage willing to chase down any flick down to fine leg or smash to cow corner.
The team’s confidence was rewarded as Mike and Sage picked up two quick wickets and it seemed we might be in for an early finish. However, a couple of dropped catches and some lusty blows from the opposition’s number 3, and the tide seemed to be turning towards Harrow Town. Then stepped up Scott (figures of 2-34), who succeeded in tempting their number 3 to sky one to mid-off. But he wasn’t finished there, he then decided to charge to mid-off and take the catch himself (as you do).
Throughout this drama, Sage kept one end tied up and was rewarded with more wickets, and eventually finished with excellent figures of 5 for 36. Yet, the crucial blow was struck by Nadeem (figures of 2-29), who managed to convince Harrow Town’s best batsman to take a suicidal dance down the wicket, which resulted in his stumping and the end of the game.
The result leaves the 3s second in the table, and with an important home game against Uxbridge (who sit third in the table) this week, the team will want to continue this good run of form and cement its position in the promotion places. Chris Sabine
Lohana v Southgate
Lohana won by 3 wickets
Southgate 156 all out (49.3 overs)
Lohana 157-7 (38.4 overs)
5 games 1 Point (and Doug won that one)
Suicidal of Pimlico regrets to inform the rest of the club that the 4s lost again (somehow!!!!!) The team’s batting looked a little fragile (Lord Straightbreak of Cantbatanymore at 4) but performed well enough if a little slowly. 126-2 with 12 overs to bat is a launch pad. Cue 4th XI collapse of Sri Lanka/Cardiff proportions. Actually it was all in the quest for quick runs. Doug got runs again ably supported by Dowsett and Stokes. David Lowen played very well until holing out at mid off. The Brains trust thought we were 40 short of par (They have played before these brains trust people and are invariably right)
Our bowling looks better than our batting on paper, so although they were favourites we had a chance. Niroosh (watch that name) opened the bowling and picked up his first league wicket. Alex was at the other end. He will have better days. The Boston Stranglers (Shah and Stokes) chipped out six in the middle (actually it was more like 11, but this isn’t the forum for whinging about umpiring decisions, is it) and reduced them to 100-6. Numbers 7 and 8 played sensibly and saw them nearly home before Rohail was too quick for the 8. Too little too late.
As far as the return is concerned we are picking 13 including Fletcher and the Duke of Straightbreak (Lord Straightbreak’s dad) who are both 80 and will be wearing white coats. Nothing like an even playing field, is there.
A Promising Opening Month
We’re one month into the league season and with Ron taking a week off from Bugle Headquarters I though I’d provide a little review of our first month and preview some important projects and events coming up.
In an exciting 4 weeks for the first XI it’s been a pleasure to see runs scored by all of the batsman and wickets shared around allayed to excellent team morale and some exciting finishes so far so good. (Insert your own cliché here along the line of not counting chickens one game at a time before the fat lady sings).
It’s no great secret that the primary goal of the first XI is to get a promotion slot and as a club I hope this ambition is mirrored by all of our sides. We’ve had excellent availability and some guys who would have been certain first XI players have found themselves in the 2nd XI, with good 2nd XI guys finding themselves in the 3s and so on.
Although this might be a tough pill to swallow on a personal level it’s great news for the club and if we’re serious about being a successful league club this fierce competition for places is exactly what we want. It’s vitally important that we grab some points in the next month when availability is at it’s strongest.
I joined the club in 2004 I played in 3rd and 4th XI teams prior to rising through the ranks, I really hope that we as players and as a club realise the importance of getting performances in the book and suggest to anyone unhappy with their selection that they try and see the bigger picture. The captains have a tough job balancing sides and keeping people involved but I’m sure everyone will have their opportunity to shine, it’s a long season after all.
With that in mind I would like to urge players to make themselves available for more Sunday matches as this is often a good chance to get that 50 that you need to feel in form or get a spell under your belt we also have some good weekday fixtures including the Bertie Joel Knockout to look forward to so lots of opportunity for good cricket.
It’s been great to have a few old faces return to the club this season with Arshad Bhatti, Scotty McGuiness and Huw Cahill all back in SCC colours. I’d also like to welcome the new brigade, including Clark Emmons, Max Joseph, Mike Carter, and our Aussie import Matt Thornton who as I write has just notched again, (with a hundred I might add) which is his second of this season, not bad going for an opening bowler!
This week we also welcome to the club Chathuranga Kumara, a 19 year old all rounder from Sri Lanka who arrives on Friday courtesy of a scholarship with Sri Lanka Cricket, I’m sure I speak on behalf of the entire club in wishing him well and welcoming him to Southgate Cricket Club.
Southgate will play Highgate Cricket Club in the first round of the Middlesex League t20 on Tuesday night at Highgate, commencing 18:00 or thereabouts.
Please come and support if you can!
Club Events & Fundraising
So what do we need to make money for? Well as you can imagine the costs of running club each year eat up all of our profit and in order to improve our facilities and stabilise the future of our club we urgently need to improve our income.
There are various funding streams to tap into and we need more people with passion for the club to lend a hand looking through the options, making applications and seeing if we can tick the right boxes. Please volunteer if you fancy getting involved and can give the club some time and thought.
As a club we are very lucky to have two marquee events taking place this season with firstly a Women’s ODI between India and New Zealand and then a Friend’s Life t20 between Middlesex and Somerset.
As a club we are looking to raise money at the Middlesex t20 and this is an opportunity for you to help you club by selling tickets for the Southgate CC Charity Prize Draw.
Working in conjunction with Middlesex County Cricket Club and Breakthrough Breast Cancer we are selling tickets at £2 each for the chance to win some exciting prizes. This include:
• A signed and framed England Team Cricket Bat
• A Middlesex CCC t20 shirt autographed by all of the players
• A signed Kevin Pietersen Test shirt
• A signed Eoin Morgan ODI shirt
• A round of golf at Finchley Golf Club
The prize draw will take place on the day and the profit from tickets sales will be shared 50/50 between Southgate CC and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
This is a massive opportunity for us as a club and I would therefore ask each member to sell as many tickets as they can between now and the 10th of July. Our financial future is, like many things in the hands of us, the members of the club. Take action and do your very, very best. Doug will be giving each captain tickets to hand out to players, sell as many as you possibly can, get your family and friends selling, badger your work colleagues. There will be a prize for the person who sells the most tickets!
An area where we are looking for help is with sponsorship, this year Willmott Dixon Group join our existing sponsors Underpin and Makegood and the Dipali. They will be primarily our colts sponsor and will display advertising on the ground for the Middlesex t20 and at SCC matches later this summer.
We really need to attract a couple more businesses to help us financially; if you have an idea or a contact please let us know.
Well done to Faisal for a really good curry evening at Dipali on Saturday I’m only sorry I had to leave so early as I missed a late night by all accounts with Adrian Carr confirming that it’s not the influence of Mrs Sage that prevents him getting two games a weekend in these days but actually more because he’s regularly found at all night raves, please refer to this photo of him in his fluorescent party outfit!
We need to organise some more events throughout the summer and anyone wishing to get on board with something should drop us a line.
Good luck to all on Saturday!
1st XI Match Report
Harrow Town 199 all out
It was business as usual on Sat 28th of May as Southgate entertained the quite enigmatic Harrow Town. Laden with plenty of talent, able to knock big scores off for fun and to top it off do it with a smile. It was however to be a very different tale of sorts this time as the new ‘Positive Southgate’ who fearing no-one this season comprehensively outclassed them in all departments.
Southgate 10 points
Harrow Town 0 points.
As per usual the early birds arrived for a hit and bowl and certain rituals were carried out beforehand. Hadgie lighting up, Johnson in deep thought, Allan loosening the shoulder up – hoping it doesn’t fall off. Creese trying to break in those new squeaky pads and letting off the remains of the ten protein shakes he had consumed earlier for breakfast, Mir trying to bowl the doosra (now that he has been officially retired from bowling) and Durgs wondering has he got enough equipment? (in comparison to the whole team put together). On the other side of the nets it was Watkins talking of the demise of a certain Duncan (Duncan Fearnley that is) and how he was now referred to as “Drunken Duncan” due to habitual imbibing. And then of course there is 1st year fresher Dunnett who recently banned a few of the lads from viewing his facebook account, which I must say hasn’t gone very well with a few of our voyeurs. It is this which I believe has generated a healthy early turn up in the mornings as they all huddle around Phil’s Iphone in eager anticipation of the tasty delights he has to offer from the night before. Young, scantily dressed phenomena’s who send the blood rushing to the right part (note emphasis on “part”) of the body of our eager viewers who are battling/jostling each other for the best position. Once this prescribed procedure has taken place it is only then that our weekend warriors kick-start in on honing there skills for the battle ahead.
For those who can turn up to the early sessions in the morning it is a great chance to have a hit and a bowl / bang one out if you fancy and is overall a good team bonding experience. It gives the opportunity to guys who can’t make nets on a wed night due to work commitments or travelling etc for a good run out before the game.
If you can make these early morning starts they are thoroughly recommended.
Now back to events preceding the start of the game. Johnson wins toss (as his dream predicted after having a toss) and had no hesitation in inserting Harrowistan Town. Arshad Bhatti who had been kept out by a hamstring injury was back for his debut in the ones to open up the attack alongside Hadgie initially. Two slips, a gully and the covers open, a positive field from the new no-fear Southgate. Then the events that unfolded in the first over truly took positivity to a new level.
Let me take you through it, first ball drilled straight down the ground for four, no-one moved. Second ball even more absurd, the Harrow opener dances half way down the track and literally tracks Arshie dispatching it straight down the ground, yet again in devastating fashion. Third ball dot, fourth ball dances down again and wafts straight up into the air and gets dropped amidst a swirling gust resulting in a two. fifth ball dot and sixth ball just like the first races to the boundary. Fourteen runs yielded of the first over, a baptism of fire for Arshad on his debut 1st team match and food for thought for Johnson.
For me the pro-activeness and positivity of Johnson this year has stood him in great stead and this was duly noted as he decided to hold Hadgie back and introduce David Woffinden, who just rocks up these days five minutes before a game wandering what all the fuss is about. Dave started off as Dave does, nice and tidy giving nothing away and making the batsmen work for their runs. The decision was fully justified as Woffers snagged the first wicket in his first over with a typical caught and bowled, no pace on the ball, forcing the batsman to play early leaving the incumbent highly frustrated. Not the first certainly won’t be the last.
This type of early wicket is a huge boost for a side that has just took to the field and put to the sword in the first over. Even though we didn’t get the wicket of Virendar Sehwag at the other end we managed to place a little seed of doubt into the way he was playing and that’s all there was to it to folks. The next couple of overs were bizarre in comparison; he completely shut up shop not even trying to play the odd risky shot, which was good for us. The number 3 came in looked decent, but he departed with the score on 52 courtesy of an expertly timed stumping down the leg side by Phil Dunnett, who has come on leaps and bounds this year with the gloves and is probably the first name on the team sheet these days. A run later the other opener departed looking in all sorts of trouble and then the squeeze was on. A special mention must be given to the two opening bowlers as they bowled well in tandem despite the first over and hit good areas throughout their spells.
The fourth wicket partnership produced an 83 runs but they took an awful long time doing it, going at three an over. Hadgie was introduced down the hill after Johnson fully exploited Arshad’s fitness. This was evident he hobbled down to fine leg and chased balls down with gutso and determination, even though it was in slow motion. Chin up Arnie “you’ll be back”, to bowl 20 on the bounce next week!
Hadgie managed to ensnare a false shot from their no. 4 and break the partnership, the score being 136-4 of around 35 overs. The no. 5 who batted sensibly gave it away on 45 to Johnson who came on for two overs and went for 28, but importantly got the wicket 142-6. Creese was introduced at Johnson’s end and Mir at Hadgie’s (1-24 of 5 overs) end to clean up, and clean up is what they did.
Mir managed to get the skipper who looked dangerous, caught playing a false a shot. Creese at the other end got their no. 8 caught behind (doosra no doubt) and they were now 169-7 with not many overs to go. Their no. 6 who usually bats at 4 (and is a decent 4) wasn’t looking the happiest batting at 6 and decided that he was just going to stick around rather than go with intent and try to up the scoring. He fell to Mir playing around one for 18. Mir then bowled a perfect slower ball to get their no.9 with the ball pitching leg and clipping off (must be all the doosra practice in the nets, early birds you know what I mean) 199-9. Creese then enticed their no. 10 with another one of his doosras, caught Johnson at long on and Harrowistan Town were all out for 199. Creese ending up with 2-23 of 6 overs and Mir 3-13 of 7 0vers, Woffers finished up 2-36 of 17 overs and Arshie 1 – 56 of 14 overs . A great effort all round.
Now to batting, actually I’ll fit a paragraph for tea. After weeks on end of Sue’s lasagne (meat and veg) and plenty of dodgy stomachs come sunday morning, Johnson decided a change was needed. He duly text Sue to see whether she would give the lasagne a rest for a week and to his surprise come 4pm there lying in front of him at teatime was paella. Paella, yes folk’s you heard right Southgate has officially gone international.
To the surprise and somewhat bemused Southgate 11 who couldn’t quite work out where Sue had sprung Paella from they had no trouble in hoovering it up (there’s one for you Ricky Gunn, has Paella ever been served up at Tea time? Get your teeth into that, maybe she was a Barca fan? (my personal opinion).
Anyway did I mention hoovering, aah yes. A certain A. Rolt who just finishing the first half of his game on the back was headed for the clubhouse. From time to time some games tend to finish fairly close for tea at the same time and a whole mass of people are crammed together waiting for their tea, this was one of those instances.
What usually occurs is that you let the first team and their respective opponents take their tea and then wait for yours. Southgate 1s were first up as they finished first and duly took their international cuisine and sat down, followed by the Harrow Town boys, or were they? A mysterious character with what could only be described as a mountain of food on a plate could be seen kind of drifting in between the Harrow Town boys queue, yes folks Rolty.
First with a double visit to the bread basket at one end of the table and then heading for the drinks which were at the other end of the tea table Rolty could be seen weaving his way in and out of the Harrow Town players who were queuing up in an orderly fashion, only to be pushed and shoved by this man with a mountain of food on a plate coming towards them.
It was a classic sight to behold which somewhat perplexed Sue as now she was running out of tea for the Harrow Town boys who had displayed excellent teatime etiquette.
Keep up the good work Rolty.
Right batting, 199 to chase with the best part of 48 overs. Durg’s and Jouning open up and blitz it with shots played all around the park in a glorious manner. The opposition did not know what and their bowling was quite frankly sub-standard.
Jouning was back to his brilliant belligerent best, cutting anything short and driving with intent, whether that’s on the up (usually is) or along the deck and Durg’s (Bishoo in my book) first pulling anything short to the boundary and then dispatching even their decent deliveries.
Positive intent is the order of the day and in my opinion for the rest of the season, not just for the openers but the whole team. Jouning fell with the score on 89-1 with one that stopped on him for a much needed 43 and then Bishoo (Durg’s) fell on 41 to a low sliding grubber lbw, 89-2.
Enter Creese and Allan, after taking a backseat last week Creese was in no mood to scratch around and play second fiddle. He went about his business with crisp, clean attacking strokes and put it to the Harrow Town bowling. Allan at the other end, in need of some valuable time at the crease after a slow start to the season, demonstrated a resilient like defence pushing ones, twos , determined not to give it away.
It all ended up with a clinical display of cricket from the Southgate batsmen strolling home at a canter, not breaking sweat and doing the business. 200-2 with Allan finishing on 53* and Creese on 56* and more importantly another 10 points.
That’s 40 points out of 40 with 40 wickets taken (sorry had to get that in) and extremely well done. We are showing a real cut throat attitude on the field, one which I’m very happy with and would like us to continue and adopt. Fear no-one and back yourselves, I’m off to perfect my Doosra and then I’m going to have a pint of me , Huzzah!
Faisal ‘Doosra’ Mir
PS: Thanks for all that attended the curry night, it was a real success and a brilliant night. The restaurant welcomes our return and I hope that we can do a similar type of thing in the near future.
2nd Team v North Middlesex
Turning 30 poses many mental challenges. Perhaps the most difficult is the realisation that in a youthful 2nd XI, you are fast approaching the oldest in the team. Fortunately for your correspondent, Singleton M was a few months ahead at Solihull Maternity Ward. As senior patron, he pronounced last Saturday as the worst day of his life.
The match vs North Middlesex was not itself the (primary) reason. It turned into a belter of a game, one where a side used to winning perhaps could have had the confidence to drag themselves across the line.
The opposition managed to squeeze 2 pitches into the space where one usually resides, resulting in a very short, downhill, with-the-wind boundary, but with no local rules a la Kenton: it was set to be a high scoring match.
Indeed, North Mid won the toss and elected to bat first. At 40-0 from 9, it looked like a good decision as one opener, who certainly had eaten a good breakfast, lofted anything on a length over extra cover. Despite setting various traps for him, the elusive camel escaped.
On came Sivarajah, whilst Yeomans had a one over break before continuing at the other end. Immediately the runs dried up and pressure accounted for the captain. The no 3 didnt look like he would last all that long, but he kept getting away with loose square cuts. At the other end, the big hitting opener vastly improved his game and shut up shop, much to my amazement. 35 runs came from the next 16 overs, but crucially no further wickets.
After drinks, the wickets in hand were essential as N Mid eventually accelerated to 245-6 in 50 overs. Siva and Yeomans were particularly impressive to bowl with such control. Probably a par score on a wicket with some variable bounce but little lateral movement.
In reply, Robinson somehow escaped a plumb LBW decision first ball and he and Edrich laid solid foundations at 70-0 from 18 overs. The was mild panic when drizzle started falling and we thought 30 could be required off 2 overs in order to catch up with the rate. Where do they breed pessimistic umpires?
Fortunately the sun came out and Robinson (36) felt he’d be better off umpiring at square leg so promptly nicked off. Emmons followed swiftly to the spinner’s arm ball and Edrich (40) was given LBW off his box. Schlonggggggg. That spinner ended up with 5 for, and bowled 25 overs straight. At drinks, we were 100/3 and those 2 extra wickets down proved to be crucial. With Yeomans gone soon after, at 140-4, Dawson-Goodey (31) and Joseph (44) put on a potentially match winning partnership to take us up to 200.
However, realistically, as RDG was extremely well dropped on the fence (think caught, toppling over the line, threw ball back into play) then finally caught on the fence, the game was up. 21 from 2 overs with 4 wickets in hand was mathematically possible, but after 3 wickets in 5 balls, Siva was left holding the fort. I’m no expert on Siva’s batting, but Edrich has educated me and I now see that keeping the entire field on the boundary until the final ball was optimistic of his biffing ability.
We ended on 234-9 from 50, a credible result, but these are matches we ought to win in order to keep up any intentions of bouncebackability
Patrick J Robinson
3rd XI Report
I’d like to be able to tell you about the opening hour of Saturday’s game, but I can’t. Unfortunately, a hurried glance at the captain’s email late on Thursday evening wasn’t quite enough to absorb the vital information, and your author arrived at the home of Wycombe House CC to discover the game was about to get underway… at Boston Manor!
Ordinarily, this would have been a minor hiccup. Sadly, the combination of hopeless optimism and misplaced confidence displayed first by Wycombe House players and then a local pub landlord meant that the directions to the desired location were wildly inaccurate. By the time a local minicab firm had delivered me to the right place (a blessing in disguise – more on that later), the game was in full flow with Southgate wobbling slightly at 70-3.
And things were to get worse before they got better. Wickets at regular intervals on a difficult surface put us at 130 for 6. The general consensus on the boundary was that we weren’t far short of a par score, but we were disappointed not to have capitalised on some hospitable bowling. It was with some relief, then that we savoured a 7th wicket partnership that did take full advantage, as captain Sage and colleague Scott McGuiness combined sensible shot selection with lusty hitting to add 96. A total just shy of 250 looked extremely competitive.
So, to tea, and dark clouds loomed over what appeared to be the clubhouse of Trainspotting CC with the ominous backdrop of the M4 flyover punctuated by fork lightning and menacing thunder. It was a truly disconcerted cricketer who hesitantly tiptoed across the gents to a rusty trough, eyes trained on every step for discarded needles and vermin. The horror of the facilities, however, belied amiable hosts and some truly tremendous sandwiches. Don’t judge a book, chaps.
Upon restarting a drizzly rain threatened to develop into a full downpour, seemingly the greatest threat to a Southgate win as three quick wickets from opening pair Thornton and Quiyum put us firmly in the driving seat. It was at this point, though, that we began to truly appreciate the value of our late order runs when we were faced with that scariest of sights; an amateurish batsman in black trainers and a t-shirt putting our bowlers over the fence for a handful of sixes.
Assisted ably by his captain the t-shirted enthusiast set about making short work of our total and, while we managed to dismiss his partner, there seemed no obvious plan to remove the hitter. Indeed, had he grasped the rules of cricket as clearly as he was seeing the ball, he may have made a real game of it. Fortunately for us, he didn’t, and an ill-advised gardening expedition saw his bails removed in one of the more embarrassing dismissals you could see in senior club cricket. Despite some vehement protests, the stumping was deemed valid by all bar the victim.
After that, there followed a slightly anti-climactic resolution as the young men of Wycombe House’s tail neither troubled the scorer, nor did they give the weather-gods much of an opportunity to intervene. All in all, a surreal end to a surreal day, and there was plenty of time for a quick visit to the off-licence before the champions league final. Forza Barca.
4th XI match report
Richmond 176 all out (41 overs), Southgate 155-9 (51 overs) – 1 point
A good game of cricket and the first point of the year for the 4s, but ultimately a disappointing result. We had Richmond 90-7 and they got away from us to get a reasonable, but very getable target. So in these circumstances not to get all ten points was under-achievement.
For just about the first time this season we had a good start from the opening attack. Alex Habberley bowled straight and with pace and was rewarded with 2 wickets in his opening spell, both bowled. Arvind Shah bowled a typically tight spell and also picked up wickets. Rohail Razzaq replaced Alex and struck immediately and then also picked up a further wicket. Most of the Richmond batsmen were aggressive but after a couple of big hits took their leave. Throughout the fielding was good and at 90-7 we were feeling confident. However the Richmond skipper came in and played very sensibly for a 50 whilst well supported by some of the lower order batsmen who defended resiliently. Frustration grew as the low, easy target slipped away from us. Simon Mills had a go, but without much luck. Eventually Alan Rolt made the breakthrough with one that turned (a sign of things to come!) and Alex came back to clean up the innings.
Still, we’d bowled them out in 41 overs and we’d have settled for a target of 3.5 an over for 50 overs at the start of the day. Things were not so rosy a few overs in when we were 8-2 and Ricky Gunn (top edged pull) and Kunjal Haria (played on from chest high) were gone. One of the Richmond openers was much quicker than we usually face in the 4s and gave Will Dias a tough time. Will batted bravely but eventually retired hurt after nasty blow on his knee. There was a period of consolidation with Doug Gordon and David Lowen and we were feeling comfortable again. Then the spinners came on. The skipper bowled turning leg spin to a tight leg side line and they had an off spinner who gave it a good rip at the other end and turned it square. The runs dried up a bit and Lowen went trying to push things along. This opened up an end and Will Dias and Mel Dowsett went in quick succession to big turning off breaks. Rohail Razzaq started steadily and with a target of 50 from the last 10 the win was still on. Surprisingly the spinners were taken off and were replaced by medium pacers. Initially runs came more freely, but dried up when the opening bowlers came back. These proved difficult to get away and we feel behind. Gordon, Razzaq and Shah perished trying to hit quick runs and it was left to Rolt and Habberley to bat out two overs for the draw.
Southgate Under 15s racked up an entertaining 129 against Cockfosters at The Walker Ground, being bowled out within 18 of their 20 available overs. After losing both openers early on, Marcello De Crescenzo continued his recent vein of form with 29, Syed Sultani hit two straight sixes in a belligerent 39 and Toby Bamber supported with 21. When we came to field, Niroosh stunned the opposition by hitting the stumps in each of his four overs to record a return of 4 for 6 as Cockfosters subsided to 39 all out. Syed took two wickets and Marcello, Matt Dias, Alfie Packer and Noah Bergman each took one.
The Under 15s lie third out of six in Division 1 of Middlesex Colts East Area; the Under 11s are equal top with Winchmore Hill in Division One of their age group; the Under 13s are still seeking their first win so are currently holding the basement position.
If you would like to contribute something to the Southgate CC Bugle please get in touch to Big Ron, RJ or your skipper…you might like to note that the 2009 post Twinckenham Hitler video has been allowed back on by youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wc_52gNxlPA