A Hard Pill to Swallow - 2nd XI Vs Stanmore

The 2 nd XI hosted a strong Stanmore team (who were sitting pretty at the top of Division 2) on a

scorching Saturday at Waterfall Road. Hopes of a first league win of the season were high as we

fielded another strong outfit. Pre-match confidence continued to grow as the bowlers consistently

hit a single stump during the warm up…much to the frustration of keeper Bellwood. Unfortunately,

the toss was lost and the visitors promptly decided to bat first on what looked like an absolute

belter.

Rathod, the star from last week, opened the bowling with Ahmed. A couple of early wickets from the former left the score 25 for 2. Stanmore’s young overseas Number 4 (‘Riley’) strolled to the crease

with flowing golden locks and crimson helmet donned. The Aussie looked organised but he grew

impatient with some tight bowling and Carr ultimately out foxed him (bowled for 50). A couple of

small partnerships were interspersed with regular wickets.

The time to strike was now…with over half the Stanmore batsman back in the shed and the score

below 120. The skipper opted to go hard with frontline bowlers (a decision backed by the rest of the

team) but the opposition lower order proved resilient. Their Number 7 (‘Shandy’) went on to score

an assured half century before being run out by Lynch’s gun arm. The ‘5 th bowler’ proved to be

expensive with Patel and Durgacharan combining figures of 2-59 off 8 overs. Bowling the oppo out

for a below par score always felt tangible during the first half of the game but somehow evaded us.

Stanmore set a final target of 239. Carr the pick of our bowlers with figures of 3-35.

A continental tea with spread of sliced meats and cheeses ensued. Although it may have been the

intense subcontinental-esque heat that deterred our players from eating substantial portions…I was

rather hoping it was an appetite for big runs instead.

The Southgate reply got off to a terrible start with O’Leary cleaned up second ball of the innings and Sharma dismissed in similar fashion shortly afterwards. Durgacharan (26) and Patel (34) both started fluently but both lost their wickets inexcusably (although the opening bat was hampered by a

hypoglycaemic episode).

Skipper Dangerfield (demoting himself due to a transient ocular disorder of unknown aetiology)

appeared to have sharper eyes as he danced down the wicket to punish their spin bowling.

Stanmore tried some distraction tactics with some internal on field argie bargie. A successful run

chase remained achievable as the captain (36) and Bellwood (23) formed a partnership but alas

Southgate were skittled for an unbecoming 147. Jaan the pick of their bowlers with figures of 4-21.

Simply not good enough. Pretty 20s and 30s won’t win many matches chasing close to 250. Notably,

5 of our top 6 were bowled and this was not due to express pace or uneven bounce /sideways

movement. A more central theme to these losses appears to be a lack of ruthlessness when on top.

However, morale and comradery remain on point. There is still so much potential within the side and sufficient time to climb the table. A trip to bottom of the league Kenton next Saturday is an almost must win game.

R. Patel