The Bugle – match reports from 13 July

A fine collection of match reports

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1st XI Shepherds Bush v Southgate

Match drawn; Southgate 4 points

Southgate 287-5 dec (50 overs)

Chris Blake 115

Tom Edrich 115

Shepherds Bush 239-8 (50 overs)

D Woffinden 4-45


Hot, hot, hot.

Skipper Dunnett simply couldn’t handle the jerk chicken that formed the centre piece of the fantastic spread at Shepherds Bush on Saturday.  More on that later, but first let’s talk about the game.

Having won the toss, the Bush made the somewhat surprising decision to bowl first on the hottest day of the year.  In theory a solid cricketing decision, but in practice one they would live to regret.

New opening partnership Blake and Edrich made their way to the crease across a parched outfield and from ball one looked to put pressure on the Bush fielders.  Singles were picked off and both batsmen got full value for attacking strokes.   The bowling was tidy, but the wicket was good and a solid platform started to be built.

Tom was first to his 50 and a couple of overs later Blakey joined him.  Two players, of differing styles being comfortable and confident in playing their own game.  With the 100 stand in the bank, Tom worked 10 consecutive singles and Blakey’s bottom hand came increasingly to the fore.  The run rate began to accelerate, but other than the Sobersesque switch from left arm seam to slow left arm by the opener from the leisure club end, the Bush attack looked too one-dimensional to slow it.  A variety of seamers were rotated and all toiled manfully, but in the face of such a comprehensive batting performance they were running in with hope rather than expectation.

It was less nervous nineties, than selfless nineties.  Both batsmen using their feet to spinners and seamers alike, on their way to maiden 1st XI league centuries.  Blakey first to raise his bat, shortly followed by Tom.  A 217 run first-wicket stand and scores of 115 apiece.  As comprehensive a performance as I can remember.  Great batting, leaving time only for brief cameos from the middle order, including Karan Setia on his 1st XI league debut, and a brief discussion on the pros and cons of running down the middle of the pitch, before the declaration at 285 for 7 from 50 overs.

It appears to have become fashionable in match reports of late to commend the away tea and to lament the comparison with our home fixtures.  I will simply add this: it was a pleasure to tuck into a home-prepared spread, served with a smile by someone who clearly takes pride in what they do.

Former Southgate star D Disorderly walked out to face the new ball, with Hadgie swinging it (on his way to another miserly opening spell), Ashley Sivarajah spinning it (2 for 55) and Tom Allan and Rob Johnson talking it up.  It was going to take a Magnum performance to chase down Southgate’s score.  Not quite 405, but he would need to take the attack to the bowlers.  In the end, he settled for a Featherlite touch and left the biffing to his opening partner.

Woffers came on first change and it wasn’t long before a lofted drive spiralled to cover, delivering the Bush’s overseas Aaron Johnson to the crease and his first ball out of the ground.  Sadly for Jouners (who had been looking forward to a Johnson/Woffinden duel all day, “he won’t have seen anything like Woffers before”) but to the relief of everyone else, a thick inside edge lofted gently to the Haseeb at square leg.  76 for 2 off 20, leaving an enormous amount of work to do, but the Bush kept on coming.

Skipper Dishon led the way before running out of luck and lives, stumped by his opposite number in Ash’s second spell and that should have been that.  But the Bush kept on coming.  Phil switched the bowling around, off spin gave way to leg spin, slow left arm, to right arm pies to right arm “pace”.

A quick flurry of wickets and the Bush were 8 down with 9 men round the bat.  Out came the block and despite the ball beating the bat and finding the edge we couldn’t pick up the last two wickets and had to settle for 4 points. Woffers, Scribbler of the Year 2012

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2nd XI Southgate v North London

Southgate won by 5 wickets; Southgate 10 points

North London 125 all out (45.2 overs)

S Kalagara 5-38

Southgate 127-5 (42 overs)

On the hottest day of the year so far, 11 determined team players arrived at the Walker Ground with only one thing on their minds… 10 points against North London CC. Having under performed over the past couple of weeks in all aspects of play we were not going to let this slip. Heat or no heat the intensity and the fire in our bellies (six packs) was evident from the warm-ups…

Max won the toss and with no hesitation said we will chase… With a look in his eyes at the opposition saying  we are gonna chew you up and spit you out.

The team talk in the dressing room was more of a sergeant gathering his troops to stand up and fight including “Put your flipping phone away” when Josh decided to check a text message he just received midway through Commander Maximus’s attacking game-plan strategy speech.

Josh and Suresh bowled an immaculate line and length with the new ball, not allowing their top order settle, forcing them to play rash shots.

Followed up by Sam Wadham, Sage and Sam Faruqi, there was no respite for their batsmen. Our ground fielding and catching was probably the best it has been all season and apart from their opener, who got 40-odd, none of their batsmen had a clue  at what Commander Mad Max’s men were firing at them. Suresh ended up with a well deserved   5 for 38, Sage 2 for 18 and Faruqi 3 for 29 and our target was 125 off 54 overs.

Our openers mark Hughes (in the team based on great recent form against good opposition bowling) and a fiery Karl Jankowicz negotiated the first 5 overs with solid defence. However North London did have  a very decent left-arm  spinner who opened the bowling and has played more games for their first XI than their seconds this season, managed to lure Karl into an expansive cover drive only to find the edge. 10 for 1.

Any thoughts of “Chasing a low total is not always easy” seemed to disappear  the way Commander Sergeant Mad Max and our young gun Hughsey played the next 13 overs. Well-calculated shots, minimal risk and good singles got us to 38 off 18 overs until there was a yes, no, wait, yes oh b*****ks all within the space of attempting a run. With Commander Sergeant Major Mad Maximus run out for 15 and Hughsey gone for 14, we were 38 for 3 off 23 overs. Overs were not the issue, it was all about application, which Matt Stratten carried on to provide with a patient 10 before he too, was caught at slip.

Enter Oli Bellwood with Scott Ellis at the other end. The ball started to get dispatched to all parts of the ground. Cover drives, short arm jabs, reverse sweeps, swipes across the line, you name it… Scott scored an entertaining 39 and Oli guided the ship home with a good 22 not out. We reached our target with 10 overs to spare and five men down. A well-calculated run chase against some decent bowling. Every man in Southgate colours made themselves count and contributed on the day. Great team effort…

Bring on next week. We are ready and waiting.

Quote of the day…

Omar Hassan, having missed the game due to having to babysit, turned up during our innings, looked at the score board, and said  “Hmmm. 125? Did they declare???”

Suppose you just had to be there…

Yours sincerely, probably the best number 11 in the world. Sam Faruqi

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3rd XI – MTSSC v Southgate

Southgate won by 35 runs; Southgate 10 points

Southgate 185-8 (50 overs)

P Robson 46

MTSSC 150 all out (40 overs)

P Kuleratne 4-65

Well at least one game of cricket this weekend was exciting and nerve-racking. While England cantered home early on Sunday afternoon by a comfortable margin of 14 runs (boring!) the day before Southgate 3s had a much closer shave, nearly throwing away a seemingly wrapped-up victory. All those spectators packed into Trent Bridge should have made their way down to Harrow if they wanted to watch a properly exciting game of cricket.  And with MTSSC top of the league and Southgate chasing them down, this game took on an importance and intensity that was sorely missing from the Test match in Nottingham.

I’ve been stalling from actually beginning to explain what happened so far because I don’t have the scorebook and so am not entirely sure of the team scores, let alone the individual contributions. And also because I don’t know what MTSSC stands for.  I sadly have little propensity for remembering things that might be relevant here, especially as I spent most of the afternoon getting my tan on and therefore this match report will be based on what I think may have happened, propped up with a bit of judicious story telling here and there. There’s my disclaimer.

Captain Carter won the toss and elected to have a bat. The cons: the wicket was nasty and we were swiftly a couple down with not very many on the board. The pros: we wouldn’t have to field in the sun.

We lost a few early wickets with some guys being bowled and some others being caught and maybe some others somewhere else. But I do know that after a while Adam Jouning and Pete Robson found themselves at the crease and began applying themselves well. Adam batted very nicely, especially against the spinners, hitting hard and straight until he slashed at a wide one and was caught at point for 20-something. ‘Blimey! Did I only get 20-something?’ he exclaimed as he came off. I don’t know. Maybe. The rest of the team was busy tucking into a series of extremely large plates of chips. NB Word of warning: Shiv accompanies his chips with chilli sauce rather than ketchup. This is a dubious combination and should be viewed with suspicion.

Pete was joined by Raymond and continued to bat well, mixing some cheeky edges along the floor with some impressive biffing straight back down the ground. Ray kept the runs coming and we passed the hundred mark somewhere around the fourth plate of chips. Although our batsmen kept getting in, no one could really go on and make a big score. New man Kuleratne gave the innings another shot in the arm towards the end of the innings and with valuable contributions all the way down we finished on a very creditable 185-odd for 9-ish.

Tea was impressive. There were at least one and a half platters of sandwiches left at the end. Chicken nuggets were an inspired shout and our top order ate more cakes than we scored runs.

After applying liberal amounts of sun cream and ensuring the Haribo were ready and waiting for the first wicket, we strolled out knowing that to keep our season alive we had to take all ten MTSCC wickets. Kuleratne and Carter opened up. After a couple of predictable slogs over long on, their opening bat managed to smash one down Roy Marett’s throat and their number two was out shortly after slicing one to point. I’ll fast forward to the second to last over because I can’t remember exactly who took the wickets, but do recall Will Temple, who kept excellently, taking a really sharp chance off Roy, and Paul Lassman reacting quickly at point to affect a run out. Kuleratne, Marrett and Byrone all shared the wickets around more or less equally, I think.

Anyway, they found themselves nine down with about nine overs left in the game. Their last-wicket partnership made Haddin and Pattinson’s effort look tame. The overs ticked by and the ease with which they were playing was getting a bit concerning. Four overs to go; three overs to go; 12 balls, 11 balls; ten balls; nine balls; eight balls. Suddenly Raymond managed to sneak a ball through their number eleven’s defences and we won what was undoubtedly the closest and tensest game of cricket this weekend.

Roy wrote on Facebook that we had won by 35 runs. I’ll take his word for it. Season alive. Pulitzer please. Alex Kennedy

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So what does MTSSC stand for? Post your answers in the comment box below and the first correct answer will win a batting masterclass with Len Stokes.

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4th XI

Southgate v Hampstead

Hampstead won by 103 runs

Hampstead 266-9 dec (45 overs)

Southgate 163 all out

The 4th XI gave a very strong Hampstead team a decent game. Hampstead batted first in the baking heat and the first three batsmen went along a 7 an over, clearing the short boundary several times. But we dragged it back and kept chipping away as wickets went down at regular intervals. It was a great credit to Southgate’s young bowling attack that they stuck at it in difficult conditions. There were first senior wickets for Henry Thompson and Jack Lisamore, who both bowled very consistently, and further good contributions from Nirsoosh Sugamaran and Will Dias. Shaffick Babwah added some control with accurate left-arm spin towards the end and an innings that could easily have got out of hand turned into a creditable effort.

In reply we lost wickets regularly. Marcello DeCrensenzo started well and Ricky Gunn made a good 39. Justin Geale chipped in and the lads spent some valuable time in the middle. Doug Gordon

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Sunday Development XI

Southgate v Winchmore Hill

Southgate won by 4 wickets (possibly5)

Winchmore Hill 134 all out (43 overs)

Southgate 134+ for 5 or 6

Niroosh and Will Dias came onto bowl, Niroosh picked up a wicket clean bowling the other opener. Will Dias bowled well but was unlucky not to pick up a wicket. Since things weren’t working out for one of the Dias brothers skipper Tom Edrich decided to give the ball to Matt Dias, who shortly picked up a wicket as the batsmen nicked off to Phil Dunnett. After Niroosh had finished his spell Raymond Bynoe came on and picked up 2 quick wickets putting Winchmore hill under more pressure. In came the opposition skipper who quickly add a some runs to the scoreboard. Both Sivarajah and Berman came back on for a second spell with Sivarajah picking up another 2 and Berman picking up 1, leaving Winchmore hill all out for 134 in 43 overs.

Southgate went into tea knowing that we should be able to knock the runs off in their 37 overs. Once again the teas at Southgate were well below satisfactory as there was enough food to cover both teams and only 3 different types of sandwiches. Southgate went out to bat with Phil Dunnett and Marchy Decrescenzo. Both started off positively but Marchy was first to go as he nicked off to the keeper giving the opposition a bit of hope. Next in was Tom Edrich and both him and Phil both batted aggressively as they carried the team towards the total of 134. Tom was next to fall as he was bowled with only 40 runs to get. Ali Lynch was our number 4 he came and made a quick 27* and with only 1 run to get Phil Dunnett who was on 57 top edged a long hop, this let Karan Setia to come in and hit a four off his first ball to win the match. Ashley Sivaraja

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That’s it – a full set. Thank you gentlemen and thanks to chief copy chaser Peter Jouning

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