Southgate v Uxbridge
Uxbridge won by 21 runs; Southgate 0 points
Uxbridge 171 all out (49.1 overs)
Ashley Sivarajah 5-96
Southgate 153 all out (37.4 overs)
Chris Blake 88
After a disappointing point at Brentham, Southgate returned home to face Uxbridge. With 4 games to go, we hoped that a winning run could push us up what is an extremely tight league.
Uxbridge won the toss, electing to bat first. They started positively, after Blakey had cleaned up their opener, their big West Indian came in and looking to get after the bowling. He particularly took a liking to Sivarajah, who had shared the new ball with Blakey, hitting him for 18 in 1 over, and they were well placed at 80-1 off 15 overs. However Ashley (5-96 off 22) bounced back magnificently, dismissing the West Indian and then bowling consistently well from the top end. We got into our favoured pattern of play with Ashley and the returning Woffinden (2-50 off 18) building pressure from both ends, and the Uxbridge middle order had no response, falling from 83-1 to 142-7. The 8th wicket partnership was an irritation as Ashley tired, but Rob was brought on from the top end, picking up a handy 2-9, and we were extremely happy to have bowled them out for 179 in 50 overs.
Tea was respectable for a home game, there have been recent improvements!
Blakey and Edrich opened up confident of knocking off the runs, but I fell in the 4th over adjudged LBW. If the initial plan had been to see off the West Indian and score freely off the rest, Blakey took no notice, hooking and pulling their main man to the boundary on several occasions. He was exceptionally well supported by Paddy, who was an ideal foil giving him the strike. However we too lost our 2nd wicket on 83 as disaster struck and Paddy was run out for 20. Faisal soon followed chopping on dabbing the left arm spinner and then Dunnett was adjudged caught off his glove sweeping. Meanwhile Chris continued smashing the ball to all parts and set about building another partnership with Adeel. Needless to say, at 137-4 chasing 180 we should have cruised home but the turning point came with Blakey run out for 88. From there Uxbridge got a sniff of winning the game, brought back their West Indian, and we barely made it past 150. Our last 6 wickets falling for 16 was an extremely disappointing and unacceptable collapse.
I strongly feel that we are a decent side and missing out on these wins on such narrow margins. Despite the collapse, out of our top 5 batters, 2 were run out and 2 felt hard done by with their decision. It’s all part of the game though and we are now in a relegation fight, needing at least 1 more win to guarantee safety. There is no reason why we shouldn’t get it at Brondesbury next Saturday. Tom Edrich.
Enfield v Southgate
Draw; Southgate 4 points
Southgate 227 all out (49.1 overs)
Enfield 220-9 (50 overs)
Enfield v Southgate
Southgate won by 18 runs; Southgate 10 points
Southgate 114 all out (38.2 overs)
Enfield 96 all out (44.1 overs)
R Bynoe 4-5
4.30pm. Ten overs into the second innings of Southgate v Enfield (at Edmonton). The “home” side are placed at a pleasant 53-0, chasing 115, with approximately 42 overs to go. Despite Dan PK’s best tempo-lifting efforts, the unsurprisingly gloomy fielders play on without hope or expectation.
It’s a crunch match. Second (that’s us) v third, separated by a mere seven points. If what Adrian thought he heard from someone who said they had spoken to a representative of the league who indicated that this might, although then again might not, occur, is true then the fixture more accurately represented first (that’s us) v second. Rumour has it that high-flying MTSSC cannot be promoted and that if they win the division it will instead be the team in second who return to the Middlesex League proper. Crunch match.
The now finely tuned game plan in the Third XI is simple. We bat first, the top order get not very many, the lower order make sure we reach just about enough, and then skipper Mike and his trio of R’s (Ravi, Roy and Raymond) take ten wickets.
We started right on plan. Lost the toss, stuck in to bat, myself and Shiv-Raj first up. The fast, bouncy pitch took Shiv by surprise, out caught fending off a short one, while I got a jaffa (played the wrong line) and was well caught at first slip – a combined score of 8 for the opening partnership, only slightly on the low side of average this season. Ali added little more, 36-3.
We were saved utter embarrassment by three scores of 20-odd. Marcello played attractively through the off-side, as he always does, before getting out, as he alwa…never mind. Rikki “I-didn’t-hit-it-I-promise” Uppal looked as solid as ever, but even he had to concede that his caught behind this week was definitely out. Raymond was the third twenty-maker, primarily because he’s very good at cricket.
Mohammad Hassan in what, on reflection, was a rather successful spell of bowling, took 5 wickets for 2 runs in 4 overs. Perhaps Shiv-Raj adjudicated lbw calls with a slight over-eagerness, but we have only ourselves to blame for missing a heap of straight (and maybe not quite so straight) deliveries. Tea – little helpings, served on little side plates, sat at little chairs and using little tables – was little consolation to 114 all out. Enter boundary hitting opening batsmen, small outfields, and 53-0 in about ten. Where our story began.
Everybody knows what happened next. The twittersphere was on fire: stories of a remarkable comeback, a breathtaking victory, a turnaround on par with the greatest of cricketing achievements, think Headingley 1981, think a different league entirely from Chester-le-Street 2013.
We took 43-10 in 33 overs. Yep, that’s right, FORTY THREE runs for TEN wickets to win what was – as attentive readers will remember – a crunch match. 4 for Adrian, who catalysed the collapse by pegging back the scoring rate, inducing rash shots that had both openers caught in successive balls. 2 for Justin, who bowled a persistent, long spell, and found a great rhythm at the end. 4 for Raymond who, as I may have mentioned earlier, is simply very good at cricket.
A quick note to say that there is definitely something fishy about tenth wicket partnerships. Consistently they surpass the eighth and ninth wicket pairs in resilience, stubbornness, even talent. At 70-ish for 9, having comfortably claimed the wicket of the unimpressive number 10, we expected an easy conclusion. 20 runs later, and we weren’t so sure. Raymond came to the rescue, but it could have been so very different.
Moving forwards, we should take heart in the spirit we showed at the end of the game, once a couple of wickets inspired some belief and self-confidence. True, Enfield batted poorly, but we were excellent in the field (Ali Lynch in particular) and applied ourselves well in maintaining an intensity and aggression as victory became more and more likely. Let’s remember that spirit, and always play, no matter the game situation, in a similar vein. Innit. Paul Lassman
Southgate v North Middlesex
North Middlesex failed to turn up.
Southgate v Cypos
Southgate won by 10 runs
Southgate 200 (40 overs)
Berman 60, Edrich 40, De Crescenzo 30
Cypos 190-2 (40 overs)