Great bowling Sage.
Teddington 265 all out (44.5 overs)
Mike Cox 5-50
Southgate 167 all out (43.5 overs)
Shoaib Zulfiqar 36
Me and Mark fresh from some Fornite antics at Anarchy Acres were feeling confident.
For the first time all season we were not greeted with a full on warm by the opposition which was a positive. You aren’t going to read many more from here on.
Jeremy lost the toss and Teddington elected to bat. We opened up with Abishek and Waqas who controlled the run rate early on without causing too much of a threat. At the 10 over stage they were 49-0. An unfamiliar role of first change for M Cox. Both the openers were now settled and looking to up the scoring. I then was introduced and they still continued to score at a good rate. We took wickets throughout the innings but all of their batsmen were settled and 4 of them made 30+. E Harvey bowled well in patches ending with 9 overs 2-59. With it looking like we might be chasing 330 M Cox was reintroduced and picked up some late wickets to slightly stall progress ending with figures of 5-50 despite not bowling to his full potential. A few late sixes meant they ended with 265 with 10 men. We did also bowl 21 wides which needs to improve. Overall we did not bowl well or field well and they took full advantage of that and the chase looked daunting.
Tea was quite simply pasta.
Shoaib and Mark opened up and at the 10 over stage we were 50-0 and seemingly cruising. Both playing really well. Sadly we lost them both in the space of 2 balls. We continued to lose wickets in regular intervals. Top scorer was Shoaib with 36. In the end the majority of us played some pretty ordinary shots to get out.
Without and win and sitting bottom of the table things can only improve. We are coming across some good sides although we are struggling to admit it.
Nice to have a few beers and watch Liverpool implode.
Marcello De Crescenzo
Stanmore 244-8 (45 overs)
Ravi Desai 5-27
Southgate 191 all out (44.4 overs)
Phil Dunnett 50, Tom Edrich 46, Michael Stevens 37
Southgate performed well against the team most likely to gain promotion to the Premier Division this season in a game of fluctuations.
Stanmore were inserted and made a quick start scoring at 5 runs per over initially, slowing for while as wickets fell in the middle part of the innings, and then increasing their run rate towards the end.
Ravi Desai was outstanding with match figures of 5-27 in his nine overs, aided by 4 fine stumpings from captain Phil Dunnett. Southgate may have been a little unlucky with a couple of decisions which went against them in the first hour, with a close lbw shout for Michael Stevens, and a brilliant direct hit run out attempt by Shaun Dass which may also have gone their way.
Shaun then bowled his medium pacers tidily and David Woffinden, as ever, was economical and at 191-6 there seemed every chance of bowling Stanmore out relatively cheaply. It was not to be, however, as the Stanmore captain, Tushaar Karia and overseas, Sean Anstey, smote the ball to all parts.
A target of 245 was about par for the conditions and the respective strengths of the two sides but Southgate, although at no stage looking like possible victors, made a very respectable run chase.
Tom Edrich, on a ground where he scored 150 last year, batted really well for his 46 but Jamie Jouning and Michael Stevens struggled initially against the top-class spin of Reingold and Bhatt before Jamie was bowled by an arm ball by the off spinner. Mikey (37) found his form however, increased his scoring rate and with Phil Dunnett (50) gave hope of victory, but it was not to be and the tail folded to be all out just 7 runs short of a deserved bonus point.
Southgate 178-5 (45 overs)
Luke Hutton 41*
Callum Edwards 37
Wycombe House 182-6 (38.2 overs)
On a Royal Wedding day of high fashion, Southgate, resplendent in their new black training tops, comfortably won the pre-match sartorial competition, but unfortunately lost the actual match by 4 wickets.
However, it was a performance which gave some hope for the season with a number of players making contributions to the overall effort.
Southgate were inserted in the 45 overs game and made steady progress against three high quality Wycombe House spinners. Tom Edrich (20), Mike Stevens (24), Phil Dunnett (22) and Callum Edwards (36) all batted well but with the spinners enjoying the slowness of the pitch they were unable to raise the scoring rate much above 2.5, then 3 per over.
With just 10 overs remaining Rob Johnson (19 not out) was joined by Luke Hutton (41 not out) and they accelerated well to eventually reach an acceptable total of 178.
This gave the home team a chance, if they bowled and fielded well.
In fact, they bowled quite well and fielded quite well, but on this occasion quite well was not quite enough.
However, there were some sparkling highlights in the field, with Tom Edrich taking a magnificent catch on the boundary off Ravi Desai, Michael Stevens taking an extraordinary catch off his own bowling and another good one at mid wicket, and Phil Dunnett claiming a brilliant half volley leg side stumping, unfortunately not given by the umpire. It was agreed by the Club elders on the boundary, including highly successful former Club captain, Chris Payne, on a visit from his home in Spain, that whether it was out or not, it should have been given out for the aesthetic beauty of the take.
In similar fashion to the first innings the slower bowlers Dave Woffinden (1-26) and Ravi Desai (2-34) were the pick of the bowlers and at 134-6 Southgate were in with a real chance of victory. However, the lack of a third spinner proved vital as opening bat Perera (67 not out) was joined by Malik (27 not out), the latter having a penchant for ‘driving’ to third man for four, and they steered their team home.
Twelve wides by Southgate against just five by the visitors was a telling statistic.
An almost performance !
Hampstead 201 for 8 (45 overs)
Shoaib Zulfiqar 3-39
Southgate 80 all out (18.1 overs)
J Dangerfield lost the toss and as we would have done Hampstead chose to bat on a flat looking pitch with the sun shining.
Lacking a front line seamer, the off spin partnership of M Cox (9-0-1-28) and R Uppal (5-0-2-35) shared the new ball. The former bowled with excellent control, but the Hampstead openers took advantage of the loose deliveries that came their way along with a short and very fast downhill boundary.
M De Crescenzo (8-2-1-25) came on first change, took our first wicket and bowling in tandem with Cox and later E Harvey (5-0-0-24) pegged Hampstead back. As we broke for drinks at 15 overs the run rate was a little over 4 but we’d only taken 1 wicket. Hampstead ticked over in a similar manner for the next 15 overs and would’ve been in a very strong position had S Zulfiqar (9-0-3-39) not taken 2 wickets in 2 balls just before the second drinks at 30 overs.
Captain J Dangerfield shuffled his bowlers and fielders really effectively throughout the innings and Hampstead never kicked on as they might’ve done with the wickets they had in hand. W Khan (9-1-1-37) bowled handily in the middle and at the death and R Uppal snared two victims in his second spell. As Hampstead tried to accelerate in the latter stages of the innings wickets began to fall more frequently and restricting them to 201-8 in the batting friendly conditions was reward for a good all round bowling and fielding display.
Tea was decent, chicken wings the highlight.
W Khan and S Zulfiqar opened the batting and the former was trapped lbw by the first ball of the second over. That bought M Joseph to the crease and he and Shoaib enjoyed the conditions for a time, moving the score to 40-1 after 7 overs at which point the required total seemed very achievable. Unfortunately the bowler who had dismissed Waqas, B Williams, then took 3 wickets in an over – S Zulfiqar and R Miscampbell falling lbw and J Dangerfield clean bowled. Then having watched this unfurl from the non striker’s end M Joseph was given lbw to gift H Peterson his only wicket. When M Hughes was clean bowled in Williams’ next over it meant we’d slumped from 41-1 to 44-6 in the space of 3 overs. The left arm inswing of B Williams proved too much for us and we were all out for 80 inside 20 overs with him finishing on 9-1-7-36. He bowled very well and certainly some of the wickets fell to good deliveries, but we could have played him better.
The game was over in time for kick-off in the FA cup final, but thankfully we’d avoided the royal wedding coverage.
So on the surface we were gubbed by 120 runs, but I don’t think that tells the whole story. Our bowling against their batting was a very even contest and you could possibly even say we were the happier side at the break. Had one of our top 3 made a 50 – which they’re all more than capable of doing – the chase would’ve been very different and we could’ve won the game. I thoroughly believe our 2nd team belong at this level and are more than capable of getting the 4 or 5 wins we’ll need to stay up. But to do so we’re going to have to graft and scrap and ride out periods of play in which we’re on the back foot, which we haven’t really had to do for the past 2 seasons or so.
Southgate 27-3 (14 overs) v Harrow St Marys – match abandoned
With rain forecast and imminent from the start it was not easy batting on a greenish wicket at Harrow St Mary’s on Saturday. The home bowlers, mainly pitching the ball up on a good length and induced considerable movement.
Tom Edrich, as ever, concentrated hard and with one or two near misses was able to battle through to the inevitable closure with 15 not out but Alvin and Jamie Jouning succumbed in different ways to the medium paced attack. Alvin, having batted on the main ground at Lord’s on Thursday, found this pitch somewhat slower and was out playing (extremely !) early at a short ball and mis hit for an easy catch.
Jamie nicked off to third slip and Mikey Stevens , who looked bang in form, was beaten by a quicker ball from the left arm spinner in his first over.
Then it rained !
Southgate 132 ao (44.1)
Shoaib Zulfiqar 39
North Middlesex 109-2 (23) – won on faster run rate
(especially of weather) dreary; bleak.
“a cold, dreich early May day”
Our team arrived in reasonably high spirits to a resplendent Walker Ground. The oppo were well into a lengthy warm up and brought the aura an athletic group of 20 and 30 somethings in matching training gear brings to a club cricket ground. Skipper Jez lost the toss (2 out of 2) and we were inserted to bat in the grey.
Shoaib and Waqas got us off to somewhat of a flyer against some fairly innocuous looking seam playing some lovely shots in the process. Soon spin was brought on and Waqas was first to fall, bowled by a half tracker. Jez settled in just where he left off last week and Shoaib continued onto a well-made, top scoring 39 before he was stumped. Again, showing parallels with the week before Jez picked his fielder well and took his total number of drops to five in just two innings.
Luck nor ability was on the side of those at the other end as Lynch (0) and new ex-LSE addition Pranay (1) did little to trouble the scorers. Taking time away from a Premier League relegation fight Mark Hughes strode to the crease and played with style and freedom as he and Jez enjoyed what would be our strongest period of the match before they both ultimately succumbed to spin for 29 and 30 respectively. The remaining five batsmen added just 17 runs as they were largely undone by skiddy spin. It rained throughout our innings and most of the time it was far beyond what you would typically regard as playable.
Teas were excellent as our new trio in kitchen continued to impress with their heartily filled sandwiches and excellent pasta bakes.
There was a lengthy delay after tea as sense was seen and it was agreed that we wouldn’t be starting in torrential rain. The delay had the typical tensions where the side on top is desperate to get out there and vice versa. Ultimately, we did start in soggy conditions as we hoped to either snag some early poles and see if we could defend our meagre total or draw out the process of bowling the 20 overs required to make it a game whilst doing our finest rain dance. Pranay took the new ball and with the assistance of a lot of sawdust he had fetched from Pets at Home in the delay bowled excellently at high pace with little luck or reward for his full nine overs straight through.
Cox took the new rock/bar of soap up the hill and bowled tightly. Harvey got us on the board with his first league wicket for the club clean bowling the weaker of the two openers. The other opener batted well accumulating steadily as he saw Pranay off. The game was rapidly slipping away and all that could save us would be rain. It seemed we had our miracle as rain came in 18th over and the umpires gave us the option to leave the field. The camp was split on whether what we were doing was “piss-weak and embarrassing” or simply “not giving them something for free” and ultimately we agreed to continue in farcical conditions.
Sam bowled a few nice overs and #Marchy’s flight deceived the opener leading to a Bellwood stumping as the game petered out as they got past the 20 overs. A couple of large sixes from Captain Creatine batting for North Midd put them with-in touching distance of our score before a final slip and slide in field lead to Bob Cole pulling the stumps and putting us out of our misery. Some harsh lessons were learned about playing in the rain. The importance of the toss was reinforced, and it became apparent we should have taken the rain when offered. Had we gone off we surely wouldn’t have come back on would have a point for our labors.
Spirits remained high in the bar after and some commiseration lager was consumed. The future of the season was heavily debated with projected outcomes ranging from “bottom half, but solidly competitive” to “we won’t win a game”. This correspondent (played 5, lost 5, aggregate of 38 runs this year) believes the positive shoots of growth are there and with improving availability and form the wins will come particularly as we move into the time games.
Southgate 146 ao (44.2)
Jeremy Dangerfield 58
Acton 147 for 7 (38.2)
Ricky Uppal 3-15
Southgate returned to the top tier of Middlesex league 2nd team cricket after a decade-long absence had finally been put to bed with back-to-back promotions. If the jump in quality didn’t make life hard enough, player availability took a heavy hit thanks to the Bank Holiday weekend and assorted other reasons on which I won’t comment.
Still, the atmosphere in the captain’s car on the way to Acton was upbeat (in no small part due to the glorious weather) and the conversation was diverse, ranging from news of our Canadian guest player to Ghanaian cuisine at the Walker ground.
Bonhomie gave way to confusion on arrival, though. With Acton’s new pavilion unfinished the playing field, changing facilities, showers, catering, and car park were all in different locations. Throw in a travelling circus with very loud speakers and a dodgy playlist, not forgetting a junior Champions League football tournament watched by McNulty from the Wire; it all added up to a rather surreal setting.
Amid this weirdness, a cricket match broke out. Our newly appointed captain Jeremy Dangerfield lost the toss but was relieved to be gifted his choice of batting first as Acton elected to take the field.
On a pitch which still had some moisture from a midweek downpour, exactly ten runs were added for each of the first two wickets. Waqas went first followed by no. 3 Shiv, and both were disappointed with themselves having played loose shots, but things improved as Ali Lynch and the skipper added 37. When Lynch was trapped in front, youngster Kevin Shah batted sensibly to share another 21 with a comfortable looking Dangerfield.
78 for 3 looked like a solid platform but Kevin became our second LBW victim and that triggered a mini-collapse with the experienced lower order of Faruqi, Bellwood, and Avi Panday notching just a solitary run between them. Ricky Uppal’s hideous net form saw him come in at no. 9 but he showed form is temporary by cutting and flicking his way to a valuable 24. Dangerfield passed 50 in his first innings after replacing Faruqi as captain before both he and Uppal were bowled leaving our final pair to get us as close to 150 as possible. Ed Harvey ran his 10 runs at a good pace but he was undone by Adrian Carr’s inability, and subsequent unwillingness, to match that running; Harvey was run out to close the innings.
146 looked a few shy of a truly competitive score, but was certainly no gimme, and we resolved to make life as difficult as possible for the home side with our many-pronged spin attack.
Things started pretty well as off-spinner Uppal snared a dangerous looking opener, caught behind in just the second over of the innings. Bowling a disciplined line and length with nice shape through the air, the same bowler took the next two wickets to fall, batsmen 2 and 4, to good catches from Panday and Lynch.
At 41 for 3 the chase was evenly balanced but the home side were well ahead of the required run-rate, meaning wickets were the only way for Southgate to win. Enter Kevin Shah, the third leg-spinner into the attack after Harvey and Faruqi and the first to take a wicket. He removed a resolute-looking Acton captain, who was a little disgruntled by the decision (though with little cause from where I was standing).
A brilliant direct-hit run-out from star man/game hog Ricky Uppal made it 83 for 5 and at drinks it really was a fifty-fifty game; a swift 20-run partnership followed but there was to be another twist. Avi Panday, bowling his first ball for the club, cleaned up no. 7 and then proceeded to trap no. 6 LBW in the same over.
Fortunately for the Actonians an unfussy eighth wicket partnership saw them home. While they may have had a few overs spare at the end of the game, we had certainly achieved our stated target of making the chase as difficult as possible, and the satisfied Southgate captain had one more reason to be happy as he was rewarded for his side’s efforts with a consolation bonus point.
Winchmore Hill 160ao (41.4)
Woffinden 2-5 from 9 overs.
Southgate 161-3 (38.4)
Jamie Jouning 80*
Captain Phil Dunnett blended youth with experience as Southgate 1st XI won their opening Middlesex League fixture of 2018 by 7 wickets against Winchmore Hill.
There was a sense of nervous excitement as Southgate gathered at the Walker to play a familiar foe from N21. The ‘Hill – skippered by De la Ray Terblanche – were asked to bat first in glorious sunshine.
Phil handed 1st XI league debuts to Eshaun Dass, a batsman from Toronto Canada, Darragh Edwards, a bowler from Edmonton who joins us with his brother Callum as well as our experienced off-spinner Ravi Desai promoted from the 2nds.
Supporters who arrived late would missed a dramatic start as Tom Edrich executed a direct hit run out from extra cover, the unfortunate batsman run out without facing a ball in the first over of the day. Darragh’s pinpoint Yorker then quickly removed the dangerous Jim Gatting to give us a perfect start.
The king of (slow) swing David Woffinden was meanwhile settling into a miserly spell from the Waterfall Road end and he too struck, Dunnett snaffling a smart catch.
WHCC’s overseas player from Perth looked in aggressive mood with a couple of punchy off-drives and a six over square leg but promptly chipped out to mid-on. Two more quick wickets followed as Ravi made an immediate impression with his crafty off-breaks and Woffers produced a slow motion ‘jaffa’ to dismiss their number six.
Woffinden’s nine over allocation finished with the quite remarkable figures of two for five, a classic spell from the maestro.
Amid the carnage skipper Terblanche displayed firm resolve and a calm head, his application combined with some calculated aggression from wicket keeper Sacha Selveratnum gave the visitors a ray of hope.
A more than useful partnership was finally broken by James Dangerfield trapping Selveratnum in front and Eshaun Dass later clung onto a towering caught and bowled at the 2nd attempt to see the back of Terblanche for a well-played 56.
Luke Hutton struck twice to dismiss the visitors for 160 in 41.4 of the 45 overs. This represented something of a revival from the ‘Hill but remained an under-par total on a reasonable pitch.
Tea was very nice.
Edrich and Dass opened the batting for Southgate, the debutant took charge early on and looked compact and well organised. Tom unfortunately nicked off and was replaced by Jamie Jouning who set about seeing off the new ball threat.
A good contest between bat and ball ensued but Southgate’s pair negotiated the threat playing some nice strokes. Eshaun fell for a well-made 27 caught in the ring but Alvin at four supported Jamie – who had by now got into his stride – and the total reached 100 as Jamie reached 50.
Alvin fell to a cracking catch from the same extra-cover fielder, however Captain Phil snuffed out any hope for Winchmore Hill with a very attractive 29 not out in partnership with Jamie who moved through the gears to finish the match in style on 80 not out.
In hindsight Southgate negotiated a potentially tricky chase really well against some experienced seam bowling. On a slow surface Jamie demonstrated the immense value of knuckling down, getting in and then batting through to see the side home.
Credit too to the skipper Dunnett who was battling the pain of a wisdom tooth extraction and subsequent swollen head.
An impressive turn out from the SCC supporters was very much appreciated, they witnessed a thoroughly enjoyable day’s cricket, played in a competitive but good spirit.
All eleven players shared a drink in the sunshine with teammates and opposition after the game and reflected on a strong team performance and nice start to the campaign. It was also great to welcome our new scorer Harry, he did a great job and is an excellent addition for 2018.
A long road lies ahead, but the first steps were both encouraging and fun.