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.