East Sheen fight hard!
-Thanks to Colin once more for this match report
On the fringe of Richmond Park at East Sheen
We were further along the Heathrow Flight Path from Friday and some of the bigger planes seemed very low and passed over continually until clouds obscured early evening, but no doubt you are more interested in our cricketing.
A large ground with rope boundary saved from recent weather by wicket covers but quite a slow outfield. We were warmly welcomed and were told to field first. In our pre game talk we were mindful that Mendis had to step up to cover Dom and his need to prioritise family and we set about giving him comfort from our performance.
Newton opened the bowling against Phil Smith who got a single third ball and was cleanly bowled at his next contact with him at the start of the 3rd with no gain apart from the fact he had placed himself there when Dean sent a no ball and they ran on it. The other opener Coker fails to score at all before being neatly caught and bowled by Dean but had reached the 6th with Dean having a maiden meanwhile. 11-2. After 7 it was 13 then the Cronshaws, Barney and Harry took advantage and doubled the score to 26 in the 8th with boundaries including a no ball.
We had a youngish newcomer today in Assad Ali who originally planned just to watch before hopefully playing another week till we found he was needed and he got the boost needed with a wicket bowled in his first over taking out Barney for 20. He was partnered at this time by Mamun who though no wickets kept his usual economy with only 18 off 6 overs. On Assad’s 3rd over Mendis caught D Cunningham for 2 and then he took the other Cunningham, Richie, for a Golden Duck. 60-5 after 14 but Harry Cronshaw was still immovable and would go on to reach his 50 in 66 minutes and 56 balls.
One of the teenagers, Blonde under helmet, Cosmo Liefling-Moore was in next and gradually got comfortable in support going on to reach 13, taken cleanly by Mahender in the 30th. At this time despite one direct hit on wicket from Mamun but batsman just in, our fielding started to show less than our best with multiple missed chances although some good saving of boundaries so it felt like Cosmo had multiple lives. 113-7. Before that in the 27th Newton took a fine catch of Harry off Mendis who had failed to increase on his 50, well 51.
Captain Michael Ashbery was determined and had the audacity to hit Mahender for the only 6 of innings but Mendis bowled him not too much longer for 21 so it was 126-8. In the 35th. The rest of the innings was good stroke play from the other two teenagers, Blonde Gabriel Gavacole and big haired Liam Bottriell who amassed 17 and 3 facing 50 balls between them. Pete Brennan was not called on to Bat and the innings was 139-8. A moderate target.
Within the scoring of Sheen we had some good bowling figures with everyone containing them. They are worth listing – Newton (7) 1-22, Dean (4) 1-16, Assad (4) 3-22, Mamun (6) 0-18, Manish (5) 0-14, Matthew (4) 0-10, Mendis (5) 2-11, Mahender (5) 1-24. Keeping was shared 21-19 with Scott and Niroshan, (drinks not ready)
When we resumed after a simple but sufficient tea, Stuart opened against Michael Ashbery, with Scott ready to face Pete Brennan. A swift 4 and 2 showed promise but he does struggle against the direct ball and Michael had him leg before at 6-1 in the 3rd. 3 overs later on 8, D Cunningham had a fine catch of Scott off Pete. Cunningham would probably be their best fielder overall but for one thing later. Richie C was their wicket keeper. Just as Niroshan was gearing up, Ashbery induced a chip straight into his hands for 6 and Mendis balancing the game had LBW as Golden Duck, this 7th over was a double wicket maiden, on top of earlier wicket maiden and Ashbery was on 3-12 and we at 24-4. Stability was now essential and duly delivered by Mahender and Newton.
Mahender balanced the innings by also scoring a 6 off Ashbery and increasingly had fine strokes and boundaries with less dot ball intervals before the Golden Moment to shade Cunningham. Gabriel Gavacole was in his 3rd over and induced Mahender to send a powerful shot towards Deep Square Leg but Michael Ashbery not only moved to the side fast but took the ball one handed low stretched for the kind of catch that would feature in any highlights. A real solid 40 all the same and the score had advanced to 69-5 in the 15th. Dean now was support for Newton but the bowling from either Cronshaw seemed unbreakable as well as deadly accurate and both had to be very defensive.
Eventually Barney got the ball through in the 27th and Richie was ultra quick to stump Dean for 21 after 34 minutes. 110-6. Manish was now the support with deft singles and a boundary but still both he and Newton struggled to close off the match very early. Ashbery bowled again another two separate overs, also giving one to young Liam and both Newton and Manish each had to run hard to avoid run out as two direct hits were made in response. Barney was deadly and finished on 1-31 off 8 and in drizzle getting more defined, we tipped the scales in the 38th over to hit 141 as Newton hit the final 2 to give him a classy 45 not out and Manish was on 9.
Given the accuracy seen, both Assad and Matthew were already padded up but not called on so we have yet to see if Assad can also bat but he does deserve a mention for his determined bowling and general participation. Newton, Mahender and Dean reinforced reputations as all rounders.
So after a shaky start to our defence, the varied skills of so many came through and we march on with these victories that have to be worked for. Michael Ashbery finished on 3-28 off 7.2 overs and young Liam yielded one and a wide and two byes in that sole over. Tight bowling for each of them. East Sheen enjoyed the match and would welcome us again if opportunity arose. Mendis was pleased with the team and we got the win for Dom we sought.