Southgate CC 3’s match reports, weeks 1 & 2
Sat 6th May
Southgate 3’s 154 all out (Ollie Bellwood 31, Harrison Folland 29)
Shepherds Bush 3’s 150 all out (Ankit Patel 4-28, Sage 2-35, Marchy 1-44)
Southgate won by 4 runs
Shepherds Bush 3’s were the visitors to the Walker Ground for the Third XI’s long awaited return to the Middlesex County League and if all the games are as good as this, we’re in for a great season.
We were inserted on a dry wicket and the Bush opening bowlers made the most of some uneven bounce making runs hard to come by. Lynchie nicked off early but Max (21) and Ollie (31) managed to keep things ticking along before Harrison (29) added some momentum with regular boundaries, including consecutive 6’s. Unfortunately, despite all getting starts, none of the top 5 were able to progress and make a big score and 118 for 4, soon became 154 all out, without using the last 6 of our 45 overs. To be fair the Bush attack was good and even the leg spinner 5th bowler was more than competent, cleaning Sage up with a perfect googly first ball!
We knew we were at least 30 short of a par total and with Sage the only seamer in the side, we decided he should open the bowling with Harrison.
Early on the one day leg side wide regulations proved difficult to cope with and the visitor’s total was pushed along with a regular supply of sundries and extra balls. However a great piece of work from Ollie behind the stumps bagged our first wicket with a leg side gloved catch off Harrison.
Sage plugged away at the other end and the introduction of George Duke to replace Harrison brought wicket number 2, with his third ball sliding on to trap the other opener bang in front. Sage then took his first wicket of the season, with another good catch from Ollie standing up and we sensed we might have a sniff of a chance. The Bush No.3 looked dangerous but Marchy, off spinner No.3 soon took care of him, bowling him through the gate with a beauty.
At 100-4 the game was in the balance but all the Bush batters looked competent and comfortable, slowly chipping away at the target. Marchy continued his excellent spell, (11 overs, 1-44) but it was the introduction of Ankit ‘Golden Arm’ Patel which turned things in our favour. A caught and bowled did for No.6 and when he clean bowled nos. 7 & 8, we were right in it. However, the scoreboard kept ticking and the visitors reached 142-8, before a smart run out brought number 11 to the wicket with 14 needed to win. Runs were scampered and nurdled leaving 5 to win off 3 overs. No problem for Ankit though, he induced a forward prod from the number 11, resulting in a straightforward caught and bowled and 10 unexpected points. Ankit finished with 4-28 off 10.3 overs, a match winning performance.
Sat 13th May
Southgate 3’s 228-7 off 45 overs (Shiv Sharma 47*, Harrison Folland 39, Max Joseph 33, Ali Lynch 31)
Stanmore 3’s 126 all out (Ricky Uppal 3-26, Marcello de Crescenzo 3-25, Ankit Patel 2-8)
Southgate won by 102 runs
The Met Police Sports Ground at Bushey was the venue for the 3’s second game of the season against Stanmore 3’s.
We arrived early and as we looked out from the large two storey clubhouse, across the attractive, well-kept outfield, towards the square and covered strip, all seemed tranquil, until Lynchie arrived! “So this is what they spend our f*****g taxes on is it?! You can take the lad out of Scotland but ……………
Unfortunately for us, we weren’t actually playing on the main ground, or the second ground, but Pitch 3, about 500 miles yards away. We eventually found the wicket, which looked underprepared and pretty ropey, but on the basis that ‘it won’t get any better’, we decided to bat.
Max (33) and Lynchie (31) opened up and despite the 8th ball of the game (from Stanmore stalwart, 62 year old Ross ‘Cheesy’ Chiese), rearing off a length to clang Lynchie on the lid, they put on 75 for the first wicket at just under 4 an over. The stand included something I don’t recall ever seeing before, consecutive all run fours! Max played an elegant back foot drive through cover towards the unnecessarily long boundary and the combination of the fielder’s lack of speed or him having no throw enabled an easy 4 to be run. Next ball, Max played exactly the same shot but this time accompanied by the text book, call straight from the MCC Coaching Manual of “Oh f***, not again!”
This excellent opening platform was vital in enabling the middle order to play with some freedom. Stanmore’s spinners bowled well but Harrison (39) and Shiv (47*), played their shots, rode their luck and advanced us towards 200. Sage tried to join the party by promoting himself to No.8 in the quest for quick runs and he and Shiv added a few (and missed a few) in the final overs. They didn’t seem interested in singles and at one point had a small difference of opinion when an easy overthrow wasn’t taken. I believe Shiv referred to his captain as a ‘stupid, blind, old constable’, apparently referencing the police ground we were playing at!
Anyway, Shiv made a well struck unbeaten 47 and we finished on 228-7 of our 45 overs.
Tea, (no doubt subsidised by the taxpayers, Lynchie) was worth the long walk back to the clubhouse and the boys were confident we had enough runs.
As with last week, we opened with spin and seam, Ricky Uppal taking the new ball with Sage and both were on the spot from the start. Ricky bowled his off spin beautifully, bagging 3 wickets for just 4 runs in his first 3 overs. At 10-3 Stanmore we struggling. Their skipper came in at 5 and played some good shots for his 61 but the introduction of Marchy (3-35) brought a second collapse and left him with just the tail for company.
The game was effectively over but there was still time for ‘Golden Arm’ Ankit’s cameo performance. A direct hit run out from mid off was followed by having the skipper caught in the covers off his second ball and the final wicket, to finish with 2-8.
A comfortable win in the end by over 100 runs and another great all round team performance, with contributions from all 11 players. 20 out of 20 for the 3’s.