Home fixture against Pacific
One of our few visits to Greenford found us on the middle pitch and with all the stormy weather recently the pitch was a little slow but not damaged. From early sun, the day became overcast and then light rain just as the match concluded. Pacific won the toss and decided to bowl first. This week it was Scott to partner Dom as opener.
A lot of defensive play to start but when Scott had the strike he found the boundary and it was soon after Dom also got a boundary that Smith had Scott LBW in 8th over contributing 10 of the 21 to date. Now Niroshan was partner and became dominant. Dom was bowled by Howes in the 18th over for 17 and the score had risen to 56. Mendis made a very brief appearance, stumped on his second ball and so Mahender made the new duo. This was a partnership of 112 and reshaped the course of the innings and although they would both be bowled eventually, their 61 and 64 were impressive.
Niroshan anchored with consistent play and had ten boundaries while Mahender was a firecracker and in his ten boundaries three of them were sixes, in fact only 38 balls to reach this figure. Newton was next and had two boundaries in his dozen before being caught off Smith. From a slower start Stuart now opened up to include 3 raised arms before Smith got one straight through his defence but in a short spell another 27 amassed.
Leo wanted the action too and hit a six and four to finish 13 not out with Anosh having just joined and taking a single as the overs ran out. 228 -7 was the tally. Smith had 4-37 within that.
After tea, play resumed with Newton and Anosh the first pair of bowlers. first break being in 4th over as Anosh bowled Chowdry, the second opener who had cracked Newton for a 6 and 4 in one over in his 13. Duncan was next to fall to a catch by Dom at Mid On off Anosh though he had got 11 in 20 minutes. 45-2 after 10. Now Kieran Mullins who had many observations from the side was in tentatively looking for singles in his hour long mass of dot balls but provided the cover for opener Sharma who was now a powerhouse.
When Anosh took the catch off Mendis, they had a partnership of 90 but only 25 of those for Mullins. Sumant Kumar was next in and never looked comfortable but did land a six and in close running got a 3 as well in his 11 before falling to Anosh in his second spell. Mamun and Mahender also bowled but nothing seemed to shift Sharma who had 8 fours and six sixes in his innings of 115, finally being caught skilfully by Anosh off Mahender. 183-8 in 36 overs so a chase was still possible but none of the lower order made any impact with one run between six of them. This led to the final score of 184 all out in 38.2 overs.
Matthew had one over near the end and this was a maiden, Mamun also had two maidens, with Anosh a wicket maiden. Apart from one over when Sharma was going wild, Mamun kept a tight rein in each of those other seven overs to finish on 26-0. Anosh had 4-27 with Newton on 2 for 46. There were two run outs, with Davies trying to get a second foolishly and the last ball, Tony T ambled forward to find Ahmed Hussain not moving and Matthew did the deed.
This was a mixed day, containing Sharma on form was difficult and it is wonderful that concession of a century plus did not derail our bowling and fielding. Pacific were ahead of our run rate at times but our pair of Niroshan and Mahender stiffened up the target considerably. With catches and his bowling, Anosh was a key player. Mendis also took a catch off Anosh before Howe had settled. In the end, with assent of closest opposition, Niroshan was awarded Man of Match for the solid anchorman work. As often, he also shared the keeping with Scott. So the depth of the main squad remains evident as each week some come to the fore.
A 20/20 game is set up for Friday at Barnes Common and Mendis as Vice Captain takes the lead on this one. The match next Sunday is still to be confirmed after the festival was knocked back to September. With matches like this, we will be playing with Pride.