20/20 on top
20/20 against Roehampton Bats at Barnes Common
It was supposed to be an idyllic summer evening in this lovely setting with Rocks Lane in distant view but there were threatening clouds and cooler wind at first although there were bright spells in the evening after all.
Mendis led this team tonight and put Stuart Semple and Chris as openers. Unusually on this pitch the bowling was from one end with an exchange of striker after each over. Stuart soon passed the strike and both entered scores. Stuart then faced for the second and was deftly caught behind. Mahender chipped the ball but expected a call of wide and so was hesitant to start running and on this occasion they sent the ball to the right wicket for a run out. Stuart A was in next planning to get his eye in but all too soon it was his leg and we were now 10-3. Manish was now in with Chris who was opening up. As a faster bowler forced the wicket keeper back, Manish picked up many singles from close balls knowing the reaction time was slow. In the 7th Chris was drawn to send a long ball deep but it was well caught and he departed with 21 scored usefully. Mendis now came in and from the off was prolific, showing no mercy if the ball was in range. Manish too picked many a 2 and some 4 and the innings turned in our favour with this partnership of 119 before Manish was caught at 47. Mendis had not long before reached his 50 in 35 minutes and 27 balls. He retired at the end of this 19th over with a fine tally of 66 paving the way for Matthew to join Scott. Matthew had a short tenure as he was perhaps unwise to try and make a score and a swift return saw him also run out, both of these being off Mark Evans. As they had crossed, Arshad came in but never faced strike in the time but from a wobbly start there was now 164 as our accomplishment with lots of fine strokes to entertain our supporters and for team satisfaction.
After a brief break, it was back to field, the format with close in for first six overs had at times masked that Bats only had 8 players yet whether they expected colleagues to soon arrive or not, they had not requested additional field support and although a challenge for them , the placing of shots defined scores rather than fielding gaps.
Mamun bowled first with Dan taking a single then Leo Watson was bowled in a Golden Duck so one down in two balls. Mahender was next and mirroring his own innings he saw Dan go down for 2 and being run out. Mark Evans and Bob Tinsley, both players in dark shorts, bowler and keeper earlier, tried to raise the score but Mahender soon bowled Bob and Stuart took a fine catch off Manish when Mark had reached 20 and now 31-4 in 5th. Phil Walters now steadied with Jack Brown and when Nigel had his second over it was mightily expensive with extras and boundaries, but on what may have been a 7th ball he bowled Jack Brown for 16. A second partnership of 40 or so saw Ed Davison amass plenty and went for 25 in the 16th run out thanks to a fine direct hit of stumps by Manish from Mendis as he chased the runs. It now meant a target of 50 in less than 5 overs, not impossible but increasingly unlikely. Bowler James Duncan had one boundary but was bowled by Mendis for 6 and to play out the game, earlier batsmen tried again with no great success. Mendis bowled Leo Watson and then despite a fine shot from Mark Evans, Dan went with another catch by Stuart off Mamun leaving Mark to bring their score up to 141 at the close with Phil Walters still there on 33. Late in the game, Matthew and Arshad got three overs each with little loss. No maidens at all today in either innings.
The weather held off but as the light started to fade it felt a lot cooler. A win by 23 runs comfortably and this short format was good for the late start. A second win by us against Roehampton again in the order of 20 runs. Although Manish made a fine contribution and perhaps if known how close to 50 would have maybe got it through singles play, our Vice Captain Mendis was the one for accolade with determined strokes and useful bowling.
An idiosyncrasy of the format was a debate late in the 17th about how many players in the outfield as restrictions apply more than just initial overs. This resulted in a No Ball and Free Hit awarded but did not directly affect match outcome.
Next match is on Sunday, only a couple of miles away from there in East Sheen against Unknown opposition as a late fill in fixture after the festival was postponed to September.