Southgate vs Cockfosters (Conroy Cup)
On a cold and windy Sunday lunchtime, the team gradually arrived ready for the next round of the Conroy Cup away at Cockfosters. We had put out a strong side for the occasion, blessed with a deep batting lineup and a good mix of bowling.
Having lost the toss, Cockfosters fortunately (though rather strangely) inserted us into bat, exactly as we had planned. Captain DPK set the target of around 250 in our 40 overs, confident we should get close. Tom and Max opened up, getting us through to mid-40s before Tom fell. Shaun followed quickly in a rather unfortunate (but comical when viewed from square leg) dismissal, being bowled by a bouncer. A short flurry of wickets was stemmed with Ali Lynch joining Max at the crease. Both batted well, particularly Max with some fluid shots as well as some hard hitting - accelerating through the 70s to hit a well paced 105 after taking the bowling apart with a boundary filled over. At this point Ali was out for a good 47, with Pranay hitting 50 as well at the end to get us to a very strong 285-6.
A nice and traditional cricket tea was put on by Cockfosters, which was consumed out of the cold in their clubhouse - where we noticed a number of pictures of Bob Cole and Jez up on the walls….in their more youthful days, with very large collars and one SCC member in particular showing off a more plentiful head of hair….
We were always in control of their reply. Pranay and Daz bowled really well; good line, length and pace meaning they were never near the rate. Firooz, always full of surprises for both the batsman and the slip cordon, bowled well taking a couple of usefully timed wickets. But it was Shaun Dass’ leg spin that stole the show…who at one point found himself on a hat-trick…his 4 overs going for a meagre 14 with 3 wickets in total. And proving he isnt just a fantastic batsman, Tom Edrich bowled with great economy, giving away only 8 runs in his 4 overs at the end. Cockfosters finished off all-out on 149 after 35 overs - a great 136 run win to end the pre-season and get us ready for the Middlesex League to start next weekend. A great effort from all the lads, on what ended up being a lovely sunny afternoon!
A miscommunication has meant that I’ve also written a match report!
Southgate 285-7 (40 overs)
M Joseph 105
P Rathod 50*
A Lynch 45
Cockfosters 149 all out (35.1 overs)
A strong Southgate Sunday side arrived at Cockfosters for the club's last preseason game in good spirits despite the single digit temperature. At the toss the Cockfosters' captain informed skipper D Pyzer-Knapp that the hosts only had 10 men, mainly from their 2s and 3s and jokingly asked if we would go easy on them. Having suffered a double defeat on the previous day, Southgate were not in a charitable mood.
After being inserted on a standard early season wicket T Edrich and M Joseph began watchfully as the Cockfosters openers bowled tidily if without huge threat. A short boundary on one side offered good value and the pair reached 40 before Edrich (14) nicked behind in the 9th over. Joseph was joined by S Dass who hit the ball well with good aggression from the off but was undone in very unusual circumstances. A young seamer had come on as second change and dragged down a half-tracker, unfortunately, S Dass had premeditated and advanced down the wicket. After the ball ballooned off the strip's tacky middle Shaun (7) could only watch as the ball looped over his head and into the bottom inches of his middle stump. There was something very Wile E Coyote failing to kill Roadrunner about it.
N Varney was undone mistiming a similar short delivery for 11 so when A Lynch came to the wicket Southgate were stuttering at 69-3 in the 13th over. Joseph and Lynch settled things with the former bringing up his 50 before drinks. The main threat to the pair's continued partnership was a veteran bowler who gave new meaning to the phrase 'taking the pace off the ball'.
At 134-3 Joseph (105) was satisfied that the rebuild was complete and took 20 off the 26th over (4 4 2 . 6 4) with a combination of ugly heaves and handsome drives. He hit his next ball for another 6 to take him onto 99 and then pushed a single to complete his 3rd ton for the Trees. Joseph was eventually bowled after a second failed reverse sweep in successive balls bringing P Rathod to the crease. Rathod (50*) and Lynch (45) took advantage of the pressure free situation and drove home Southgate's advantage with brutal aplomb. Enjoyable cameos from B Oduwole (15), O Bellwood (10) and D Pyzer-Knapp (13*) ensured Southgate finished on 285-7 from their 40 overs.
Tea was top notch - good variety and quantity - and even the weather turned in our favour. Lynchy initially took to the field wearing a beanie, but discarded it before the first delivery.
If Cockfosters were to stand any chance they needed to get off to a flier, but they were prevented from doing so by the bowling partnership of D Edwards (5-0-22-0) and P Rathod. They frequently passed outside edges without reward but in restricting the Cockfosters openers to around 2 runs per over for the first 8 overs they had effectively ended the contest.
F Ahmed came on first change and bowled 2 lively spells finishing with figures of 5.1-0-2-22. Varney (8-0-3-38) and Dass (4-0-3-14) picked up 3 wickets a piece and perfectly respectable spells from Edrich (4-0-8-0) and Lynch (4-0-18-1) wrapped things up.
In the end it was a very convincing win, played in a good spirit with good teas; everything you could want from a preseason game.