2nd XI v Winchmore Hill – Match Report

Cricket is full of history and sentimentality, particularly if you’ve had a break from the game.  The smell of cut grass will forever have me salivating like Pavlov’s dog, the pre-match study of Nick Compton’s strike rate with a pang of jealousy and, for an ex-captain, the joy and smugness that comes with not herding cats round the North Circular.

 

Cycling north on a beautiful morning last Saturday, I was overcome with nostalgia of seasons past; journeys through the orthodoxy of Stamford Hill, the Anatolian Plateau extension of Green Lanes and all round horror of Wood Green.  Soon however, you reach the rarefied air of Palmer’s Green and Winchmore Hill (what better modern indicator of a municipality’s prosperity than a queue for the £5 car wash) and what a picture Winchmore Hill CC looked, unaccustomed as the outfield is to association football during the other three seasons.

 

It felt like a proper game; a warm up, some throwdowns, connecting with old friends and new and lo, 2 dedicated umpires and a dedicated scorer.

 

WHCC called correctly and chose to bowl.  Your correspondent was thrown to the lions, with support from Lynch, who set about taming the early seam movement with some mighty blows over extra cover, picking his moments with clarity and alacrity.  At the other end, so 2016, so 2006, with Lynch asking me at one point if I knew it was a limited overs match.  A fair point, clearly not used to the nurdling.

 

Southgate veritably raced to 55 from 11 overs, before Lynch (29), tied down for an over, missed a straight lofted drive and was bowled.   Joseph (25) to the crease and he immediately smeared a good length ball through cover.  Easy game.   89/1 from 21 overs became 107/4 from 27 though, as the WHCC spinners bowled well in tandem.  Remarkably one of them, by stature possibly a long lost brother of Cpt Woffinden, bowled off spin and leg spin in the same over, something I last tried in 1991 before getting a rollocking from the coach for not taking it seriously.  Anyway, this lad took 9-0-29-1, so fair play for sticking two fingers to the Man.

 

There followed one of the most crucial stage of the game, an 87 run partnership between Ellis (45) and Telang (55); the former exhibiting a wonderful flair for hitting over the top and relieving pressure at crucial moments and the latter illustrating why he is probably the most talented player to grace the 2nd XI’s scoresheet since Anooka Samarakkody.

 

They took the score to 194/4 from 39 overs, which became 228/8 from 45 with a final flurry of wickets and runs, including a magnificent final ball stand and deliver 4 over extra cover from Elders (4*).  Above par was the general feeling.

 

Tea was a solid affair.  Sandwiches had the whiff of the homemade about them, with flecks of red onion through the cheese and some fiery koftas (I can only imagine the guy in charge of the chili powder has a severe nervous twitch) for example, but three trays between two teams was never going to go easily.  There were unsubstantiated rumours of a chocolate cake to supplement the Kiplings, but I saw none of it.  In short, not an Eastcote, but enjoyable nonetheless.

 

Quiyum (6.5-0-35-2) and Elders (8-3-25-2) opened up and WHCC openers looked like they had good confidence in the wicket with some solid leg side hitting. However, it didn’t last long as Ellis took two catches behind the stumps off Elders and Quiyum trapped an opener in front.  WHCC found themselves 23-3 inside 6 overs and well behind the game.   As the ball softened and spin was introduced, wickets continued to fall at regular intervals and really WHCC batsmen were not able to create meaningful partnerships, nor rotate the strike effectively against the tight bowling of Telang (5-1-15-1) and Desai (9-2-25-2). 73-5 became 124 all out as they crumbled in the face of the Barnsley Metronome Woffinden (6-2-18-3) bowling exactly as you have all seen him do for the last 15 years.

 

It’s easy to see how this side are top of the league and surely won’t be long before they regain their position in the top division.  It really is the most talented 2nd XI squad I have seen…don’t let Sage know next time I am available.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the match, a good thumping and good group of lads.  I was even given a send-off for my scoring rate…ah, nostalgia.

 

Paddy Robinson

 

1st XI v Ealing – Match Report

Scorecard

Southgate were comprehensively beaten by Premier League favourites Ealing almost entirely due to a poor batting display which saw no less than 8 home batsmen total just 26 runs between them out of a total of 123 all out.

 

Even at this early stage of the season it is difficult to see any team competing seriously with Ealing, a team with all the talents.

 

Captain Faisal won the toss and correctly elected to bat although as the covers had been left off the wicket overnight there may have been an element of doubt in his mind.

 

Against high class seam bowling Southgate never recovered from a bad start with Edrich and Dunnett both falling early and although Stevens (21) and Sahota (15) steadied the ship to a certain extent as stated earlier, with the exception of Mullahzadah nobody else contributed anything at all.

 

Rashid , however, told a different story as he swashbuckled his way to a sizzling run a ball 54 not out. As he slogged and pulled the faster bowlers Ollie Wilkin in particular bowled shorter and shorter as he became, it seemed, angrier and angrier. It was great to watch from a distance and it would have been even more enjoyable had there been a stump microphone in place!!

 

In cricket miracles do occasionally happen and there was a little hope as in the first over Faisal induced a snick from former Southgate player Elech which was brilliantly caught by the juggling Edrich at slip.

 

Mukesh Bhatt then encouraged further hope of a miracle by taking two more quick wickets in his second and only the fourth over of the innings.

 

First he had Ollie Wilkin stumped by a mile as the batsman rather arrogantly attempted to hit the first six of the day. Almost immediately Mukesh managed to get one to turn and lift and Middlesex professional, Robbie White, was very well caught by wicketkeeper Dunnett.

 

Ealing were 7-3 at the end of the fourth over ! Miracles do happen.

To put this scoreline in perspective please note that in the first three Saturdays of the 2016 season two different Ealing batsmen had scored well over 200 each in consecutive 50 over league matches and in the third game White himself had scored 124.

 

So 7-3 looked good !

 

However, it was not to be as Mylo Wilkin (older brother of one of the double centurians) and captain Hugh Jones batted very sensibly and carefully against the twin spin of Bhatt (2-22 in 10 overs) and Ashley Sivarajah (0-24 in 9).

Two or three umpiring decisions, on another day (against Stanmore recently, for instance) may well have been awarded in our favour but all credit to the two Ealing players who ran brilliantly between the wickets and although Jones was out shortly before the close the visitors eventually strode to a comfortable six wicket victory.

 

No disgrace in losing this one against an outstanding team.

 

Peter Jouning

Bugle – Week 3

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.

Faisal Mir
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.

Rob Johnson
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!!

Jez Dangerfield
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.

Sam Larner

The Bugle – Week 2

1st XI Win Thriller v Stanmore

Scorecard

Stanmore became the latest victims of the batting second disease as they collapsed dramatically to effectively hand Southgate a game which they had been winning at a canter.

Against an extremely wayward opening bowling attack where just 5 out of the first 60 balls would have actually hit the wicket Southgate, surprisingly having been asked to bat first, found themselves 40-2 after the first hour’s play on what looked a good wicket. With the early demise of Alvin and Haydon Morton, Arnie Sahota and Tom Edrich needed to consolidate and that is exactly what they did. Both showed excellent powers of concentration and at drinks after 25 overs they had taken the score to 80 without further loss. Thereafter innings acceleration continued against a good Stanmore spin attack and Arnie (65) at just under a run a ball and sheet anchor Tom (83) added 114 to take the total to 166-3 after 43 overs.

There then followed a mini collapse as 4 wickets fell quickly but Rashid swashbuckled his way to 21 not out and a very respectable total of 221 -7 was attained by the end of the 50th over.

In the absence of Michael Stevens away supporting his team (and mine) at Newcastle this was a good effort particularly by two of the younger members of the team.

It is an extremely unkind fact that Newcastle scored more in one match than Michael has so far in 3 innings this season BUT Newcastle are now second division and Mikey is very much a Premier Division player and will soon be showing his undoubted class again again !

Southgate were quite confident of victory with the all-round strength of their bowling attack but a lot depended on obtaining the early wicket of Middlesex County player, Steve Eskinazi.

Unfortunately this did not happen and he took total control of the innings and steered his side to a winning position at 181—4 when only 41 were needed to win off 17 overs and  I’m afraid Southgate’s heads, on and off the field, were very, very down.

Ashley Sivarajah had not bowled until the 25th over and in all honesty, Stanmore were at this stage strolling to victory.

Then the picture changed quite suddenly.

Mukesh Bhatt bowled a ball to Eskinazi which defeated him and he was adjudged lbw for 94. Mukesh also held a real pressure catch at mid off (who said he couldn’t field !)

Ashley  bowled just 4 overs but then the  Mullahzadah brothers bowled in tandem with varying degrees of success with Rashid completing another fine day by taking 3-38 in his 10 overs and Farhad on debut, bowling quickly but erratically and giving away 12 wides as he tested Phil Dunnett’s goalkeeping abilities to the limits. Nonetheless he did obtain an important wicket when he clean bowled the Stanmore number 6, Chialoufous who had scored an attacking 39 off 33 balls.

However, despite losing these two successful batsmen, Stanmore were still in the driving seat at 207-6, needing just 15 to win off 10 overs.

Somehow they failed to reach their target and Southgate won by just 3 runs with Ashley and Bhatt obtaining the final wickets with the fourth and fifth successful lbw appeals of the innings.

Sometimes things just go your way.

Peter Jouning

2nd XI Enjoy Comfortable Win at Bessborough

Scorecard

I arrived at Bessborough CC, a new ground for me, and was immediately excited to see a comically short boundary on one side. Bessborough were buoyant having knocked off a big chase last week and chose to bat after skipper Sam called wrong.

Luckily 8 of the Southgate 11 were warming up and raring to go, less fortunate was that the missing 3 were the seam attack. But Abdul arrived in plenty time and Elders got about 10% as loose as he had the night before in the depths of Shoreditch and we were good to start.

We got off to a tight start and the wickets followed with Scott Ellis taking a fantastic catch with the webbing to dismiss the first of many left handers off Elders’ bowling. Soon with a couple each for Elders and Abdul Bessborough were reeling at 14 for 4 and they never really recovered.

We put the big squeeze on next and Woffers (after being slogged for reasonably tasty sixer) and Ravi continued to do the business and wickets fell. Woffers finished with 4 wicketsincluding one jaffa described by RJ (in what would be his only contribution to the day, TFC) as “Jimmy Anderson in super super slo-mo”. Ravi was not quite at his best but did chip in with a wicket to keep our momentum going.

Only one Bessborough batsmen dug in, number 3 for a stodgy 27, before he was bluffed out when the old short leg in/ deep backward square out followed by a Yorker trick was executed well by Elders and Faruqi. Soon after Woffers closed the innings after just 31 overs.

With 10 overs to bat before tea Declan and I set about the task and got off to a brisk start, running hard and using contrasting styles to good effect. In the 8th over with the score on 38 I slogged round a straight one attempting to hoist a 2nd six to the short boundary and Waqas was briefly brought to the crease before one slipped through the gate and brought us to and early-late tea with the score on 40.

Tea was lovely with a fine selection of fruits and sandwiches. Special effort had gone into a humus/ houmous  platter with peppers, carrots and cucumbers to dip. The women’s FA cup final was on the telly and after Eniola Aluko’s heavy touch squandered a chance to bring Chelsea level it was time to finish the job…

Which Declan and Adeel duly did finishing on 26 and 41 not out respectively as the 2’s cantered to an easy victory with Declan looking very solid and Adeel playing some expansive shots. Maximum points in the bag.

Ali Lynch

3rd XI Win at home to Twickenham

Scorecard

4th XI Win at Wembley

Southgate 124-9 dec 50 overs, Wembley 109 all out 37.2 overs, Southgate 10 points

After a tough week trying to get 11 players on the pitch for the 4th XI I at least I had the satisfaction of a man of the match performance. Sadly for me it was as a taxi driver rather than cricketer. I was on my way to Wembley to umpire when I got a call from Sarfaraz saying ‘I’m at the club, but no one else is here’. A quick call to Shaff determined that the drivers had left, so after a few expletives I diverted.

When we arrived Southgate were 20-2, having negotiated to bat because the Clarks were going to be late due to football commitments. At 32-4 it was looking bleak, but Arnav Jhanji and Tom Clark dug in for a 20 partnership and then the Clark father / son combination got us to 80 (as you can imagine there was lots of excited chat during this period – they have developed their own language to confuse and wind up the oppo – you couldn’t make this up). When Sarfaraz came out to join Graham it was 88-7 and Wembley were looking to keep the score under 100. But Graham got really valuable 17 and Sarfaraz batted beautifully with the lower order for 34 to get us to 124. The outfield was long and lots of fours were turned into twos, so this was really worth a more respectable 160.

The Southgate opening attack was Sarfaraz and Tom Clark. They were quick and threatening, but chances went begging and with a few wides thrown in, so Wembley got off to a fair start until the bowlers realised that hitting the sticks was the only way to get wickets. Tom got one and Sarfaraz three in a prolonged opening spell. Then it was the turn of the Babwah boys. Alan got a couple of wickets, one courtesy of a screamer of a catch by Tom at mid-wicket. Shaff worked his way into the middle order. But at 100-8 and loads of time it was looking like Wembley just had to occupy the crease and get them in extras. Sarfaraz came back and got the stubborn ancient wicketkeeper LBW (some might say a fairly generous decision by their umpire – certainly the ancient wicketkeeper made his feelings public). But they still had no 7 on about 20. He looked like a walking wicket when he first came in, and survived probably the simplest catch ever seen (I think Akshay would agree!), but confidence was growing. Fortunately for us this turned into overconfidence. He strolled down the wicket to Shaff, missed it and Partha did the rest.

Shaff had 3-13 off 8 and Sarfaraz 4-44 off 13 to go with his 34, but I’m still giving MOTM to me as he wouldn’t have been there without the taxi service!

Doug

Scorecard

The Bugle – Week 1

First XI Fall Short at Shepherds Bush
The vulnerability of many sides batting second was highlighted yesterday as Southgate failed to reach the home team’s meagre total of 180 and lost by 14 runs. The toss was all important and there is no doubt if captain Faisal had won the toss Southgate would have won the game instead.

It was a perfect early summer’s day and a perfect batting wicket and two strong bowling sides played out a close and exciting game of genuine club cricket.

Southgate’s three new recruits made good bowling contributions. Rashid Mullahzadah, signed from Twickenham, took 4-26, and showed excellent aggression in the field as well. Mukesh Bhatt, previously with Stanmore, bowled his left arm spin cannily and had figures of 2-21, and Aussie Haydon Morton from Perth also made a good early impression. As ever

wicketkeeper Phil Dunnett was on form with 4 victims. The downside to the Southgate efforts in the field were two relatively easy dropped catches by the same person (normally very reliable) who shall be nameless at this early stage of the season and a plethora of wides, no less than 22 altogether. This compared unfavourably with the home team’s total of 8.

150 would have been attainable but 180 always looked a target just too far, and unfortunately so it proved. Alvin Durgacharran had taken a year off from cricket and during that time he discovered yet another unusual way of getting out. Early on in his innings he received the only ball of the day which misbehaved and the ball looped off his bat handle high into the air in a very gentle parabola. As fielders unsuccessfully ran from all directions to try to catch the ball it landed very gently right on top of the stumps.

Unlucky Alvin !

Arnie Sahota was the only batsman to make any real mark in the Southgate reply with 47 and at one stage, at 93-3, with Arnie and Haydon (20) going well, a victory looked very much on but wickets fell too regularly and despite good later contributions from Faisal and Ashley Sivarajah, batting like the professional that he is, Southgate failed in their mission.

Disappointing result especially as newly promoted Shepherds Bush would have been one of the teams that Southgate would have hoped to have beaten.

Peter Jouning


2nd XI win thriller

Scorecard

The 2nd XI won a thrilling match against Osterley by six runs at home.

Batting first in a new look 45 over win / lose format SCC made a total of 205 built around 49 from Waqas Khan and 51 from Rob Johnson with entertaining yet vital cameos from Dave Woffinden (21) and Sam Faruqi (29).

On reflection 220 was probably par, the regular loss of wickets meant that this wasn’t possible.

In reply Osterley came out swinging and whilst they too lost wickets along the way, some powerful hitting put them in touching distance of the win with 4 wickets left.

It really was Osterley’s game, with 20-30 needed, plenty of overs and four wickets in the hutch. SCC weren’t prepared to roll over however, Captain Sam Faruqi insisted his players could turn things around. He was correct and through a combination of excellent bowling allayed to some pretty average batting under pressure, Southgate triumphed by only 6 runs.

A wonderful way to start the season, albeit a scrappy win in all honesty. Lots of good contributions, here are a few of them:

Waqas Khan – A really good game with bat and ball, his Ian Austin medium pace was a revelation as is the results of his military fitness regime with Matt Stratten.

RJ – Good partnerships in the middle overs with Woffs and Sam, two big sixes.

Woffers – Back in the 2nd XI engine room middle order he and Johnson almost achieved a classic ‘both batsmen at one end’ single from his first ball, he then played really well with typical urgency. In the field he bowled with customary skill and control, one batsman was actually heard to say “That’s just too slow to hit”.

Big Ben Elders – An inspired spell at the death including the final wicket. Surprisingly slow between the wickets when he batted, needs to wear more sun cream.

Abdul – Took an absolute blinder of his own bowling one handed to register our first wicket. Took responsibility at the death and finished with three wickets. At one stage charged their umpire mid appeal (it was given).

Sam F – A cavalier 29 in quick time, came on to bowl and took a wicket then took himself straight off, kept his belief in the lads pushing for the win when it looked a completely lost cause, and communicated that brilliantly to the team, (then bought the lads a jug).

Rob Johnson


 

3rd XI get the better of a good game at Holtwhites

Scorecard

Our season curtain raiser exemplified just what cricket is all about:

1) A scorching hot day

2) An opposition comprising of a good bunch of lads

3) A nice ground ( albeit that one of the boundaries was only 38 metres ) with a very good hard pitch

4) The constant ribbing one of our players

5) Winning the toss

6) A fluctuating match in which we finished on top

Steady opening spells from Abi & Roy in which they both took a wicket were followed by the captain snaffling 3 and Shoaib another to leave Enfield reeling at 140 odd for 6.  So at that point 180 all out looked very much on the cards. However the combination of a probable career first for Jeremy in dropping 2 sitters and sensible batting on a very good pitch saw Enfield losing only one further wicket, and even that in the final over, to end on 225-7. That it took them the full allotted 50 overs to do so is testament to the excellent control of our 3 slow bowlers, Harrison being the the other, plus some top class fielding.

Whilst the required run rate of 5.38 might have seemed high, tea was nonetheless taken in a confident mood because the following factors were very much in our favour:

1) A very good hard pitch

2) Fast outfield with one very short boundary

3) A very deep batting line up

However when 5 of our top 6 fell for virtually nothing things weren’t looking so good. Fortunately the best of our day was yet to come because there then followed 4 excellent partnerships, everyone of which looked as though it was taking us to victory: Lynch/Harrison, Lynch/DPK, DPK/Marett and Marett/Carr.

Had Roy hit a boundary off the last ball of the penultimate over I’m sure we’d have managed 8 off the last over to win but that wouldn’t have followed the script of this fluctuating game. When he instead lost his middle stump the captain decided that with the 4points already bagged, 12 off the final over with only one wicket remaining was not a risk worth taking.

So overall a great game of cricket and I think a winning draw against a team who twice beat us last year is not a bad start to the new season.

Adrian Carr


4th XI hold firm for a Point

Scorecard

With such a contrast in the resources available to Hampstead compared with our own, it beggars belief that the 4s didn’t lose by a substantial margin rather than opening their account with a point against a side which will would cruise Division 5 if it were a limited overs competition. However, the ability to lure a hapless injury-ridden side to an inevitable and crushing defeat managed to elude them. The home side didn’t begin injury-ridden. The team began shortly after the break of dawn at 12.30 with 10 men, with Sal Syed temporarily side-tracked at a Spurs supporters club awards ceremony. The exact numerical sequence of events escapes me as I cannot remember whether Rishi Kent’s attempted caught-and-bowled (sustaining a finger nail ripped from its anchorage and the spillage of half a pint of blood) occurred before Sal’s arrival (therefore nine on the field) or after. What was certain that we were down to nine when skipper Doug Gordon, having delivered a gentle off-break, instinctively intercepted a ground-to air missile passing his left shoulder, thus incurring a gash in his left hand that leaked at least a pint of blood and qualifying (by Sunday morning at the Royal Free Hospital) for five stitches. His intervening three-hour wait in Barnet General’s A&E on Saturday night was rendered fruitless owing to possible nerve damage ruling out immediate suturing. Rishi returned to field one-handed so we were in double figures again. In the meantime Hampstead rampaged and Mr A Gupta helped himself to a creditable century just on half-time.  As ever, there were positives to behold: Joe McCormick’s fielding saved a bunch of runs in his debut match for Southgate. Rishi was the pick of the bowlers with 2-61, Doug took 1-26 and Mike Carter scored possibly his first century (?) with 2 -100.

Our batting centred round two heroic efforts: Peter McLoughlin’s swashbuckling 29 at the start of the innings and Sal Sayed’s patient 38 throughout the major part of the innings. No-one else reached double figures but it was an obdurate stand by Kunjal Haria and Mike Carter which quietly and almost impossibly ate up the overs with just Rishi (capable of wearing only one glove) in reserve (Doug now resting in Barnet General’s A&E waiting room) to close on 102 for 7, just 161 runs adrift.

Maybe I’m a poor judge of character but Hampstead didn’t seem as frustratingly robbed of a win as I might have expected. Maybe it was because they were a pleasant civilised bunch of lads with a good sense of humour – though perhaps they needed one after depriving themselves of six points which were certainly theirs for the taking.

Ricky Gunn