1st XI Beat Twickenham
After a dramatic and tense win over Stanmore the previous week the 1st XI headed to Twickenham where tensions would be high with returning Southgate old boy Rashid Mullahzadah going against his old side.
The only change was Michael Stevens replacing an injured Alvin and warm up/preparation went well especially for Mr Stevens who had a nice run to Twickenham common after missing a train.
For the third time in a row the skipper lost the toss and was inserted on what looked a very good Twickenham wicket.
The insertion came as a slight surprise to some of the team but the decision was a justified one with a) Twickenham absolutely trouncing us last year at their place in our first game to the Prem by chasing and b) by the heavy cloud cover that was above us .
So it was up to us to put up a competitive score on the board not our usual 180 and then back ourselves with ball.
It’s been top of the agenda this season to bat well and long and so we did by racking up 275, our highest Prem score.
Dunnett who had been promoted to open up with Edrich fell early trapped lbw which made way for Stevens at 3. After an unusually poor start to the season MS was determined to try and stick around and show why when on song he is the premier batsman in the side.
With positive intent Mikey went about playing some sumptuous drives and cut shots which put the oppo on the back foot. Tom at the other end looked very assured putting any bad ball away and then retreating into his bunker when good deliveries were bowled.
A good 85 run partnership ensued and gave the team just the right type of platform to push on. It was very enjoyable sight to watch us putting away the bad balls with authority and forcing changes for the skipper of the oppo to get his spinners on early.
Mike fell in rather bizarre fashion by being stumped overstretching to a turning delivery, enter the in form Ayush Sahota who has come on leaps and bounds from a winter down-under .
Arnie went about his business in his rather nonchalant manner and really put the bowlers on the back foot by hitting big boundaries and then was looking to milk it down the ground to get himself off strike.
At the other end much to everyone’s surprise Edrich had raced along to 50 before the 20th over, most of the team were slightly bemused to see such a sight and half weren’t sure if it was Tom who had got a half century. He fell to a quicker ball from Parminder Singh.
Enter Haydan at 5 nursing a damaged hand and notching up his maiden fifty for Southgate with some powerful cut and pull shots . It was a fantastic knock which went deep into our innings and meant the rest could come in and have a licence to up the rate .
Good cameos from the lower order especially Rashid who took a liking to his old team and peeled off a few big boundaries .
We ended up with 275 and now it was time for the bowlers to back up a fantastic batting display .
We opened up with a combination of spin and swing with Rash and Mukesh Bhatt. Both started off really well and we managed to nick off their opener early .
A rain delay meant reduced overs with D/L coming into play so a revised target of 241 of 38 overs was required.
Twickenhams no.3 looked a class act and at one stage the Middlesex 2’s player appropriately named Don looked like he was taking it away from us.
Farhad Mullahzadah had other ideas though, with him bowling consistent lines and pace the Middlesex boy took a chance of trying to go over the top which resulted in his brother Rashid taking the catch at mid off.
By this time Ashley Sivarajah was introduced into the attack and bowled like we know he can bowl with skill and guile.
Haydan was introduced at the other end with the oppo’s skipper in ominous form and on the very first ball he tried charging down the track and hitting Haydan over his head only to find himself completely missing it and being stumped.
After that the rate had been pushed up and Twickenham were on the back foot especially after a fantastic run out by the man of the day Haydan who finished off with a 3 fer .
The skipper also chipped in with 3 wickets at the end and it completed a brilliant win over a good Twickenham side.
Overall a very satisfying day and good momentum going into a crunch game with Ealing next week.
Southgate v Wycombe House
Southgate 2nd XI romped home to a third straight victory by 77 runs at home to Wycombe House. Sam Faruqi lost the toss and announced Southgate were fielding, this proved to be a miscommunication and we were in fact inserted by the visitors.
The bulk of the batting effort was built around a solid partnership between Waqas Khan 61 and Adeel Saeed with 70. Both batsman looked in very fine order throughout and played some excellent cricket shots. In Chetan Tilan – our debutant at number six – we have an exciting talent. A 25 year old batting all-rounder from Pune in India, he is living in London while he completes an MA. Taking guard with 13 overs left, he made an entertaining and stylish half century, taking the total to a commanding 241 when he was the last man to fall. The lush outfield probably cost us 15-20 runs with a number of excellent shots only going for two.
Southgate’s four spinners were set to exploit a used wicket with a decent amount of rough so rain, and a wet ball was far from ideal. Under the clear understanding that we needed to start well and get twenty overs bowled we did exceptionally well. Chetan bowled nine overs of quality off-breaks and collected three wickets. Abdul was his reliable self and grabbed two of his own.
At the 20 over mark Wycombe House were 35 behind on straight run rate (no D/L in 2nd XI matches) and six wickets down. From there on the game was all but won and despite a brief pause for an exchange of opinion with a Wycombe House tail-ender the game was wrapped up.
A veritable trouncing, which is pleasing after they bowled us out for fifty odd last summer.
Special mention to Dan P-K who grabbed three very good nicks standing up to the spinners, and also palmed the ball onto his helmet incurring five penalty runs.
Other points of interest included appeals from both sides for ‘obstructing to field’ involving your correspondent, neither of which were upheld. A series of excellent slides on the mid-wicket boundary from Alistair Lynch and a really good post match session in the bar with representatives from all four winning teams.
Winchmore Hill away next week.
Southgate v Bessborough 3s
Southgate 3’s 229 – 4 off 32 overs Harrison Folland 107*, Shiv 87,
Bessborough 3’s 202 all out off 59.1 overs Sage 5-61, Shoaib 3-60
Southgate 10 points
The 3rd XI continued its winning ways with an extraordinary victory at Bessborough on Saturday.
Losing the toss and inserted, we found ourselves 3-33 off 11 over against one decent and one steady seamer. Fortunately the oppo skipper inexplicably then decided to take of the lad who’d taken 3 -10 and replace him with a young leg spinner who Harrison and Shiv promptly tucked into. His first 3 overs went for 41and the game was transformed. He didn’t actually bowl that badly but H & S simply pumped him for boundaries including some very big sixes over long and long off.
At the drinks break, with score around 140-3 off 22 overs, Sage informed the team that if the run rate continued, he was looking to declare after about 30 overs. “There’s no point in getting too many and we may need 62 overs to bowl them out”. Few of the team agreed, ‘O Ye of Little faith’!!
H & S plundered another 60 runs before Shiv fell for 87 (apparently bored with scoring runs!). Having scored 88 Harrison was told he had one over to get his hundred before we declared. A bit of a tough ask, particularly as he wasn’t on strike, however following a quick single, he duly obliged with consecutive 6’s over long on.
229-4 declared off 32 overs, left 60 overs to take 9 wickets (they only had 10 men), 17 of which were bowled before tea. Marchie and Sarf were steady but not successful and at the break the hosts were 42 without loss.
The constant light rain didn’t help us and negated our slower bowlers, allowing the batsmen to progress to 125 – 0 after 41 overs, with one or two of the fielding side starting to question the captain’s generous declaration.
Time for a bowling change and enter Mike ‘Golden (not particularly straight) Arm’, who got one to pop for an easy caught and bowled. Next over the other opener fell to Sage thanks to a good catch by Ollie cleverly positioned in no man’s land at semi-deep midwicket. However, Bessborough’s 3& 4 look ok and took the score to 159-2 with 10 overs to go, 7 an over to win, game on!
We were now bowling with a thoroughly soaked ball and with one or two half chances not taken, the dissenting voices were getting louder. Fear not, Mike had another trick up his not quite straight sleeve. He bowled a big full toss which was dispatched into the bushes, resulting in a lost ball. With the new dry ball wickets started to fall but with 6 overs left we still needed to take 5 more wickets. A combination of good bowling, good catching and subtle field placement accounted for 4 of them and with 12 balls left, Sage had the opportunity to pick up a thoroughly deserved 5 fer, bowling at the last man. Man is incorrect, he was a 12 year old boy who, being kind, wasn’t great. It took just one ball, a massive swing and a miss and Ricky, who had kept very well all day, whipped off the bails with the lad a yard out of his ground.
Victory was never in doubt – not!!
Wise old Sage, right again – just!!
Southgate v Bessborough 4s
Game three of the new season, between Bessborough and Southgate, started under slate coloured skies that promised, and later delivered, rain. Southgate won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch which appeared flat but hid some bite and movement.
Runs were hard to come by initially as the Bessborough opening bowlers kept a tight line with the new ball. Bessborough’s young opener, Thanusian, was the main threat as he bowled three maidens in his first four overs, conceding just one run in the remaining over. As the openers tired though, the shackles were finally let off and captain, Doug Gordon, upped the scoring rate significantly before leaving at the 19 over mark with a score of 30 to his name. Opener Partha Dave was joined by Sal Syed, who was intent on keeping the run rate rising. Dave was building a solid base for the innings and by the time Syed was out, caught off the bowling off N.Sharma, they had advanced the score to 114 from 31 overs. This brought in Tom Clarke who was faced with some excellent spin bowling but managed to hold his end down as Dave passed his 50 and raced towards his century. By the time Clarke departed, caught again off the bowling of Sharma, the score was up to 154.
This was a reasonable score for the conditions but it was about to get much better as debutant, Joe McCormick, walked to the crease. By this point Dave had given up building an innings and was now beating every ball to the ropes. He was joined in this endeavor by McCormick who was soon racing towards a fifty. By the time Dave was sent packing just seven shy of his century, caught off the pace of Thanusian, the pair had added 49 runs off just four overs. Kunjal Haria came in to allow McCormick to keep racing along and he added another 10 runs before Haria was out bowled just one ball short of the 46 over mark. Southgate promptly declared to set Bessborough a target of 214 for the win.
Southgate opened the bowling with Tom Clark providing rip-snorting pace down the hill whilst Rishi Kent kept an almost unplayable line and length up the hill. The Bessborough batsmen were intent on scoring quickly and after sneaking a couple of early runs the game was slowly creeping back towards the visiting side. Kent’s consistent bowling put a stop to that however as opener A.Hussein tried one too many aggressive shots and was bowled. Opening bowler, Thanusian, was next up and after a barnstorming 14 he was another of Kent’s victims as he drove hard to mid-wicket only to be caught superbly by Clark.
The situation was perilous for Bessborough but they continued to swing for the boundaries. Clark’s pace was to claim an overdue victim however as he got one to nip away and took the wicket of W.Gill, caught behind. The next batsman, G.Singh, was another who was made to depart with a 0 next to their name, clean bowled by Kent, whose bowling was now the sort of thing found when playing on ‘Amateur’ mode on Brian Lara cricket.
Throughout all the chaos the opener, S.Heaney, had kept the innings together as he blocked and slowly nudged his score north. He was to be Kent’s fourth victim however as he came unstuck thanks to another perfect delivery which nipped off the seam and flew off the edge for an excellent catch by Syed at slip. R.Ward came in and he was another batter intent on increasing the score quickly, he was trapped LBW by Kent to record his fifth wicket of the match.
This brought in B.Vyas who played an excellent innings trying to shepard the tail through some incredibly tough bowling on a very quickly moistening pitch. He had to say goodbye to a partner early on however as A.Raja was bowled by another perfect Kent delivery. This brought about a period of consolidation as Bessborough settled down and frustrated the bowling attack. However, there was another wicket waiting in the wings. A.Javaid attempted a slog over leg from a Kent delivery but succeeded only in hammering it to McCormick at mid-wicket for an excellent catch. By this point the visitors were 8 down and their task was to hold on for another 15 overs.
Kent was just too good though and he got another one to rise up and take the edge of N.Sharma. Syed was on hand once again to take a sharp catch in the slips, one wicket remaining.
The last wicket is often the hardest and it proved to be the case as B.Vyas and J.Trowbridge dug in against a bowling attack which was now dealing with a ball which was soaking up the plentiful water. Kent had bowled sensationally but he was taken off in favour of some steady right arm action from Doug Gordon. He tossed the ball up, Vyas stepped back and was beaten by the pace, it was 1 ball, 1 wicket for the captain.
The fourth team march on with a record of two wins and a draw, they will face Harrow St Marys next week for another home game looking to keep this rich vein of form going.