The 2nd XI bounced back from a chastening defeat at the hands of Hornsey to record an equally comprehensive win away at Brondesbury. The 12 point victory ensured we leapfrogged the hosts in the table, moving out of the relegation places in the process.
During the warm-up we learned that the Brondesbury square has recently been relaid and the bedding in process has produced some tricky wickets. Nonetheless as our lineup was stacked with batting when Jez won the toss he elected to bat first. J Murray and M Joseph opened the batting and began watchfully on a pitch that was both tacky and producing variable bounce. Max took 17 balls to get off the mark but got into his stride falling in the 20th over for 34 with the score on 66. R Patel came in and scored 25 at better than a run a ball while Muzz also accelerated. A Saeed came in at four and after taking time to feel his way into his first innings of the season played some typically beautiful strokes on his way to 51. Muzz finished on 88, a great knock especially considering the difficult surface and the state that his previous evening exploits had left him in.
Some late innings swiping from B Odouwe (18) and P Rathod (14) saw us to a total of 260-7 in 53 overs, a score we thought was very competitive even considering that we were probably a bowler light.
Tea was a choice between a chicken Thai green curry and a pasta bake, both of which were good.
Pranay opened the bowling and in his second over got a ball to explode forcing the Brondesbury opener to glove behind to give us a crucial early wicket. F Ahmed was a little loose with the new ball and was replaced by Muzz (11-1-1-30) and his accurate, wobbling deliveries frustrated and bamboozled their batsmen in equal measure. With great control now coming from both ends Pranay turned the screw and picked up 3 wickets for just 22 runs in his 10 overs. At drinks Brondesbury were 63-5 and so the only thing left to settle was whether they could hold out for a losing draw.
A Babwar came into the attack and his very first ball was an absolute gem- bowling left arm round the wicket he drifted the ball onto leg stump and while the batter looked to turn it into the leg side the ball gripped and clipped the off bail. Firooz came back into the attack and was like a different bowler. Running in hard and bowling stump to stump he was a real handful taking 2-12 in 6 overs to finish with figures of 9-1-2-29.
A brilliant direct hit run out from Raj was a huge bonus and when Alan (9.4-2-2-27) capped a brilliant spell by skidding one through and into the pads of their number ten we had a very well deserved 12 points.
Spirits were unsurprisingly very high after such a good all round performance and were only improved by the red light district style showers in the away dressing room. It'll be interesting to see where we are in 2 weeks when we've played every side once- hopefully we'll be in a position to start looking up not down.