Early Canada Day celebrations in Toronto and Edmonton

Eastcote 313-5 (50 overs)

Southgate 215 -5 (52 overs)

Eshaun Dass 83*, Daragh Edwards 50*

Scorecard

There are batting ‘ roads’, and when coupled with very short boundaries and extreme heat, they can become batting ‘motorways’.

Eastcote won the toss and took advantage of such ideal batting conditions.

Southgate neither bowled nor fielded particularly badly, but the runs kept flowing.

From a distance, however, it was an honour to watch a potential superstar in action with the advent of 15 year old, Atharva Prasad, who scored a magnificent 164. His innings was quite extraordinary for someone so young and it was a shame that Mark Ramprakash, who made a fleeting visit to the ground later on, was not able to see the innings, but no doubt he is already in the eyes of the County.

One particular shot, late in the innings, when he smote Luke Hutton for six off the front foot, over extra cover with elbow high, to a ball fractionally short of a length, will live in the memory.

Southgate never wilted in the heat but it clearly had its effect on the early batsmen, because, apart from Shoaib Zulfiqar, who scored a quickfire 31, the score  after 20 overs was 78-5, with captain Dunnett also off the pitch with a badly damaged wrist, effectively the sixth wicket.

Then another near cricketing miracle occurred, of a rather different kind, as Shaun Dass (83*) and Darragh Edwards (53*) batted through 33 overs, over two hours, to save the game for their team.

Eastcote tried everything, leg spin, a mini-bouncer barrage from their quickest bowler (the one who injured Phil) and their captain even tried some old-fashioned ‘lob’ bowling and nearly succeeded as Darragh became a little confused, but a quick word from Shaun and he settled down.

As Eastcote brought their fielders closer and closer to try to trap the pair, they each responded by hitting a series of sixes towards the end of the innings.

A really remarkable stand by two young players which secured a point for their team but more importantly stopped the home team from obtaining ten points which would have put them within distance of Southgate in the league.

The stand of 137 equalled the highest ever Southgate 1stXI League 6thwicket stand between Matt Creese and Stuart Tohill against Stanmore in 1999.

Peter Jouning

Dunnett Denied

Southgate 189 all out (52.2 overs)

Phil Dunnett 73, Shoaib Zulfiqar 31

Enfield 190 for 9 (46.5 overs)

 Dave Woffinden 3-51

Scorecard

Some defeats are more difficult to take than others and this match at The Walker Ground on Saturday was definitely very, very difficult to take.

The home team made a good start with Tom Edrich taking advantage of some poor bowling by the Enfield opening bowler bowling down the hill.

The bowler from the other end however, was an extremely steady medium pacer taking advantage of a slightly helpful pitch. Tom was caught behind and Mike Stephens was brilliantly caught at slip first ball, so from a healthy 27-0 the game changed dramatically.

Shoaib Zulfiqar (31), Alvin Durgacharran (18) and Jamie Jouning (23) steered the team to a reasonable situation but with Luke Hutton out quickly to a leading edge, at 100-6 the picture looked bleak. But captain Phil Dunnett chose this local derby to play a superb innings and with the Enfield seamer tiring, finishing his spell after 20 overs and six wickets, Phil (73) with the help of debutant Ed Harvey (12) was able to steer his team to a very respectable total.

The Enfield innings began with a somewhat bizarre opening over from Darragh Edwards as two difficult chances were put down, but veteran Tilley succumbed to the wiles of Woffinden in the second over.

Enfield’s two top batsmen, Plumb (averaging 57) and Hassan (averaging 86) now came together and this was clearly the vital battle of the match. However they both fell early, Hassan being brilliantly caught by Dunnett standing up to Woffers down the leg side and Plumb, unable to bat with his normal ease, became impatient and was well caught by Luke Hutton.

The score was now 32-3 off 14 overs which became 57-4 in the 20thover.

Ravi Desai joined the attack from the top end and although not quite at his best, he snared two batsmen as Dunnett made two stumpings, one of which was from a beautiful arm ball which followed a few orthodox off spinners.

Classical off-spin bowling.

Michael Stephens took over from Woffinden (3-51) and took his usual quick wicket, another brilliant stumping from Dunnett, and when the Enfield quick bowler, Arthur George, joined the Enfield number 8 the visitors were certainly in the mire at 100-8. Almost immediately George offered a simple catch which was not accepted by arguably the best catcher in the team and the pair took their team to the brink of victory. Phil picked up another catch to dismiss George, completing a remarkable personal game with six victims and 73 runs but it was not to be as the Enfield number 8 belied his career league batting average of 14 to secure victory for his latest club.

Phil Dunnett was undoubtedly man of the match and deserved better.

Peter Jouning

The highs and lows of 7 days in the 2s

 

 

Southgate 234 for 7 (50 overs)

Max Joseph 70, Jeremy Dangerfield 52, Pranay Rathod 48*

Twickenham 198 all out (45.4 overs)

Pranay Rathod 3-47, Luke Hutton 3-51

Scorecard

Last week at Twickenham we secured our first win of the season with an excellent team performance but sadly at home to Highgate this week, we played poorly and lost by 89 runs.

At Twickenham on a used wicket, we were put in and despite losing Alvin and Waqas early, a positive stand of 90 between Max (70) and Jez (52) put us in a strong position at 140-2. A middle order collapse followed but Pranay (46 not out) and Coxy (13) added a priceless unbroken 69 in 11 overs and we declared at the half way mark with 234 on the board.

Pranay then fired up his bowling boots and with Luke (and an excellent catch at slip by Alv) reduced Twickenham to 35-4. What a joy to have two quality opening bowlers running in!! Coxy’s full bunger caught and bowled put us in the box seat at 62-5 but as we know from recent years, Twickenham’s tail can wag! And wag it did!

At 144-5 the game was in the balance. Pranay returned to take two wickets and again with Luke, stemmed the flow of runs to put us back in control. A wicket from Coxy (Ollie’s 3rd catch behind) and two from Sage saw us home with 4.2 overs to spare.

 

Highgate 212 for 8 (50 overs) 

Waqas Khan 3-38, Mike Cox 3-58

Southgate 123 all out (47.3 overs)

Declan O’Leary 33, Max Joseph 32

Scorecard

At home to Highgate on Saturday I found myself in the rare position (2nd time all season) of winning the toss. The wicket looked green and grassy so I went with gut instinct and decided to field. In hindsight, I probably should have stuck with the winning formula from Twickenham and batted but hindsight blah blah blah…..

We welcomed back Tristan, Declan O’ Leary and a special guest appearance from Dan Ashley (many thanks for playing Danno) and started well with Tristan running in down the hill and Waqas (3-38 off 12) bowling a great line from the Waterfall Rd end. Highgate we’re struggling at 39-2 off 13 but a combination of good running between the wickets and some poor fielding let them off the hook.

Fortunately the catching improved and we pegged them back towards the end of the innings. Their batting didn’t look particularly deep (if only I’d know that at the toss!). They boldly declared after 50 overs at 212-8.

Our chase was steady at the start (Declan 33, Max 30) and at 74-1 off 20 we were very much in it. The introduction of 48 year old seamer Steve Blyghton changed the game and with a tidy off spinner down the hill, we soon collapsed to 97-4 (apologies to the team for my very poor shot) and then 116-8.

Ollie, Coxy and Sage put up a brave fight to save the game in the last 12 overs but with 3.3 overs the resistance was broken. They batted and bowled better than us but there are still plenty of games to go and with better availability I have every confidence we can pick up the necessary points to stay in this division.

Jez

A day to forget

Osterley 116 all out (30 overs)

Pranay Rathod 4-61, Darragh Edwards 3-29

Southgate 56 all out (26 overs)

Scorecard

A thoroughly depressing day in every respect with both sides struggling to bat on an increasingly sub standard pitch.

The lack of the Osterley CC address in the SCC fixture card, coupled with a major hold up on the M25, and a slightly mal-functioning Satnav meant that I arrived at the game about 40 minutes after the start.

Looking for the scoreboard when I arrived proved difficult but as I approached the pavilion and the neon-lit Osterley Cricket Club Bar and Restaurant adjoining, I could just about pick out a 3 foot x 1 foot piece of tin with the score clearly marked.

The home side were batting and the score was 29,410!

On closer inspection it turned out that the score was actually 29-4 after 10 overs as Southgate’s opening quick bowlers, Darragh Edwards and debutant Pranay Rathod, had made early inroads into the home team’s batting.

Batsman number 6, Ahmedzai batted well and number 8,Ali slogged successfully for a while. Mike Stephens took over from Pranay and in his role of stand-breaker, createda stumping chance for Phil Dunnett which he accepted brilliantly. Ravi Desai also entered the fray and took a wicket in his first over in true Graham Swann tradition ,followed by another soon after.

Pranay returned in an attempt to finish the innings off but unfortunately he was unable to do so and Ahmedzai and the Osterley tail were able to extend their innings. This couple of overs somewhat spoiled Pranay’s statistics but a return of 4–61 was an impressive first outing for the Club. Darragh,‘the finisher’, replaced him and took the final two wickets with some very straight bowling, finishing with 3-29.

It looked good for Southgate. Ten points in the bag, surely.

However, it was not to be, against two excellent bowlers, one a very accurate faster bowler and one a left arm flat spinner on a pitch which bounced less and less predictably, if at all.

Alvin was out early, the first of four lbw decisions on the (mainly) low bouncing pitch and Jamie Jouning, facing his first ball, pulled away as he suddenly had no sight in his right eye. He repeated this once before going off for some‘treatment’. When he was fit to return, after a spot of Optrex and what appeared to be a type of hay fever, the score was 25-5!

In the meantime, Mike Stephens had been bowled, Phil Dunnett played on when a ball lifted unexpectedly, Luke Hutton was lbw to a shooter and Sean Dass was bowled in similar fashion. All had been out to defensive shots on a very difficult wicket. Jamie returned, using a more aggressive approach but he was quickly out caught at extra cover (Clearly, didn’t have his eye in!).

Mark Hughes batted well for a while, confirming that he has good batting skills, Darragh again defended well and Ravi had a successful slog or two before the tenth wicket fell at 56.

Only Tom Edrich (19) reached double figures.

A day to forget for many reasons.

Big rivals Enfield at The Walker Ground next week.

Good to catch up with some old friends !

Peter Jouning

Edrich carries bat for 100* and the win

Southgate 167 all out (54 overs) 

Tom Edrich 100*

Hornsey 124 all out (41.1 0vers)

Ravi Desai 4-32, Darragh Edwards 3-35

Scorecard

The unpredictability of the great game of cricket was proven yet again on Saturday when Southgate entertained Hornsey who included their star player, former Middlesex CCC County player, Paul Weekes. His all-round skills, batting, bowling and general experience are worth almost three players and his appearance only increases the strength of Hornsey, who are a good side anyway.

However, in an absorbing game Southgate, very much the underdogs on this occasion, won an exciting  game by 43 runs.

It was never easy, although as so often, Shoaib Zulfiqar (27) set off at his usual pace and with Tom Edrich added 51 for the first wicket at a good rate.

Unfortunately, once the first wicket fell there followed a procession of batsmen succumbing to the spinning wiles of the aforementioned Weekes (4-53 in 19 overs) and teenage George Everitt (4-42 in 16 overs) bowling on a wicket tailor-made for their skills.

David Woffinden (13) entertained for a while in his usual way but at 109-8 the picture looked grim for Southgate and at this stage victory looked a long way off.

However, Tom Edrich, in his most obdurate and determined mood, was still there, playing the turning ball with great skill and determination. He was joined by Darragh Edwards (12), proving he has the defensive qualities hitherto unseen, as he defended well against the spinners and supported Tom as the latter ploughed on, gaining confidence ball by ball.

Tom varied his game cleverly, driving and cutting well as usual, but included some clever placements and one enormous six off Weekes.

Once Darragh was out Tom cleverly dominated the strike to protect Ravi Desai, especially from the quick but erratic opening bowler who returned to the fray, and with great confidence turned down numerous long singles in order to ensure he retained control.

Tom finished with 100 not out, a remarkable innings in every way, and aptly confirmed by the fact that each and every one of the opposition shook hands with him in congratulations as they left the field.

A total of 167 was not a vast total but it was obvious that the track was difficult and if Southgate bowled and fielded well and, importantly, made a good start there was a chance of victory.

A good start?

The opposition 0-2 after 4 overs, Weekes lbw to the mighty Woffers for 0 and his opening partner lbw to Darragh definitely constituted a good start.

Ravi subsequently bowled in harness with Woffers (2-43 in 15 overs), the latter also held a fine overhead catch off Ricky Uppal who later offered variation, and at 47-6 Hornsey were in deep trouble.

Enter G.S.Gulsham (61 not out) batting at number 7, and after a difficult start when he teased wicketkeeper Dunnett with numerous play and misses  outside the off stump, he changed the emphasis of the game once again but it proved too difficult a target.

However Ravi (4-32) returned in conjunction with Darragh (3-35) and gained the final wicket with the sixth lbw of the innings and Southgate were home and dry.

What a great game of cricket and a splendid all-round performance.

Peter Jouning

3rd XI – early season review

At the first selection meeting in early May the euphoria of back to back promotions suddenly seemed like a distant dream on learning that over the winter half of the 1st XI and several of the 2nd XI players had departed (or in one case would do so after the selection meeting!). The result was that one month before my 55th birthday I was selected to open the bowling for the 2nd XI and in turn handed over the captaincy to Doug Gordon who proceeded to lead what could only be described as a 4th XI against North London. We were predictably hammered by 160 runs.
 
With my wife who “Does not like cricket” threatening to spend the entire summer (aka the cricket season) in Spain (she actually has a one-way ticket for next Tuesday) I was sorely tempted to join her. However the lure of a Saturday afternoon high ultimately trumped four months of sunshine and sangria so I decided to stay for the challenge.
 
Two weeks later in glorious sunshine we headed to Old Owens’ in distant Hertfordshire to face the mighty Finchley. I felt we might have some chance because the previous week in a rain abandoned affair against Hornsey a new player Rory Davis had made a very impressive 70. However as Finchley raced to 90-1 hope began to fade and was then taken away completely when the said Mr Davis, after misjudging a catch, had to leave for A&E with a fractured cheek. In all we dropped a dozen or more catches, some sources say 14, which allowed Finchley to post a fairly impressive 180. Only 6-39 by the captain prevented them surpassing 200.
 
However what followed was one of the most impressive run chases I’ve seen from any Southgate XI. Against two more than capable seamers Babs got us off to a great start by batting like God for 30 and then Ali Lynch and Shiv put on well over 100 together to take us within touching distance of the line. We ended chasing down 180 in just 33 overs for the loss of only 4 wickets.
 
The following week Mike Carter and Ankit combined brilliantly with the new ball to restrict South Hampstead to only about 60 off the first 20 overs. This made it easy for the captain to take over and snuffle 6-21 to restrict the opposition to 112 all out. In reply steady contributions from Partha Dave, Richard Ingilby, Bill Dean and Christian McLoughlin led to a very comfortable victory.
 
Having two weeks previously played a Middlesex league game in Hertfordshire we now headed to Walthamstow, which was once in Essex, to face North Middlesex. Fearing that the local authority pitch would deteriorate in the second innings the captain, on winning the toss, elected to bat. At 15-3 I was fearing the worst and wondering if I’d made the wrong call. However step up Bill Dean and after missing just one week with his fractured cheek the much lauded Mr Davis. Helped to some degree by the bowler who had taken all three wickets coming off after just 7 overs, the pair took us to about 100 before Rory Davis (probably getting a little bit excited) was bowled for a very well formed 37. Deano continued in his steady way finally falling for 70 and with some late hitting from Ricky Gunn and the captain we reached a very creditable 183 for 6 in our 45 overs.
 
In reply Ankit put in a tight opening spell (9 overs for 14 runs) but when the opposition captain joined the experienced opener North Middlesex were suddenly in with a shout at 60-2. However once our captain had taken 3-0 the game was all but over as a contest. After spells from Harshil Vipani, Doug Gordon and Deano, the captain returned to snare the last two wickets and to record another 5-fer. So another 10 points for the team and three good victories in a row.
 
I think I made the right decision not to spend the summer in Spain.
Adrian Carr

1st XI Triumphant

Southgate 197-9 (45 overs) 

Mike Stevens 69*

Barnes 105 all out (35.1 0vers)

Ricky Uppal 3 -23

Scorecard

A very welcome win at The Walker Ground as Southgate comfortably beat a Barnes side who had  been promoted the previous season.

Southgate batted first and Tom Edrich (16) and debutant Shoaib Zulfiqar (19) made a good start before both fell to good catches with the score at 38. Jamie Jouning (15) was joined by Michael Stephens before he, too, succumbed to a high catch. Mikey battled on at his own pace, batting with his usual confidence and with the help of Phil Dunnett (12), David Woffinden (19)  and second of the day’s debutants, Ricky Uppal (18 ) he was able to steer his side to a respectable total of 197. He finished the innings on 69 not out and it was pleasing to see him complete such an important innings for his team, which sets him and the team up for the rest of the season.

The Barnes innings started well for the home team as one opener was clean bowled by Darragh Edwards and the second became impatient with the nagging accuracy of Woffers, and chipped the ball high and some distance wide of Tom Edrich at mid on. Somehow Tom managed to run, dive and make an extraordinary one handed catch.

More brilliance was to follow as Sean Dass, for the second week running, ran out a batsman with a direct hit. Barnes never recovered from these early failures and Ravi Desai, as last week, (2-24) and Ricky Uppal (3-23) bowled well in tandem to hasten the Barnes demise. Darragh Edwards(2-14) returned to take his second clean bowled wicket of the day and finally captain Dunnett stumped the final Barnes batsman.

Two wins and two losses, a full season continuation of which will see us comfortably mid table, but having lost 6 first team quality bowlers during the close season it is especially pleasing to see their replacements doing so well.

Hornsey next week, with Weekes or without him we do not know!

Peter Jouning

Lynch on the posh side

Southgate 160 for 9 (45 overs)

 Alvin Durgacharan 41

Ealing 161 for 2 (31.2 overs) 

Scorecard

Ealing away is historically a mixed bag.

Probably one of the best venues in the Middlesex County League, but usually one of the best opponents too. Over the years we’ve had some bright moments and we’ve had our pants pulled down too.

Saturday was the latter, but we didn’t lose without a fight.

We batted first in muggy conditions on a green surface.

Alvin Durgacharan partnered with Alistair Lynch opened the batting for Southgate and entertained us royally with a rollicking start inside the first ten.

Two shots stick in the memory:

1 – A glorious Lynch off-drive for four – To which Max Joseph was heard to exclaim, “Wow, on the posh side Lynchy!”

2- A magnificent leg side pick-up for six from Alvin that sailed for six.

It is worth noting that Alvin had spent the Thursday evening in the company of a certain IVA Richards, the original Master Blaster. It was a shot the big man would certainly have approved of.

The seamers went at fives, the spinners came on and did the business.

Lynch was bowled by one that kept very low to the experienced off-spinner, Durgacharan LBW to one that slid on with the arm from an impressive slow left arm spinner.

Rob and Waqas tried to rebuild only for Waqas to fall LBW on the sweep to the first ball after drinks.

Jeremy at five batted with excellent intent and good footwork, Rob batted with less intent and got bogged down.

Ealing’s experiences all-rounder Derek Lane as third change bowled in a style something in between a Sage and Woffers. He kept things very tight and removed Jeremy bowled dabbing having looked in excellent form.

Ealing hustled through their overs very quickly and Rob and Kunal departed, both bowled trying to accelerate as time ticked on.

Max Joseph played with aggressive intent and looked in fine fettle too, striking the ball cleanly and running well, or so we all thought. Unfortunately, the combined view of the SCC balcony didn’t tally with the standing ump and he was adjudged run-out.

A total of 160 was something to bowl at on a wicket that we thought might be tricky.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, and credit to Ealing.   Their opening partnership batted positively and well, both notching fifties.

Jeremy rotated the bowlers and we had moments where scoring was restricted, and pressure applied. Alvin picked up two wickets in two balls and Waqas, Marchy and Coxy had their moments. Ollie Bellwood kept wicket tidily and continued to encourage and cajole from behind the stumps.

No shame in losing to a side who batted and bowled very well and performed in an organised and disciplined fashion.

The 2nd XI can and will win matches at this level and should not be disheartened by this difficult start to the season. We have players who can mix it with anyone in the league and one win will make things look so much better.

Rob Johnson

Anarchy Acres

Teddington 265 all out (44.5 overs)

Mike Cox 5-50

Southgate 167 all out (43.5 overs)

Shoaib Zulfiqar 36

Scorecard

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