A fab tea!
New adventure in Hamsey Green
Ratty paused to look around, a wisp of straw hanging from his teeth. Sorry I got carried away with the country setting down in Surrey.
Steve of team Verdayne Park had asked his team to invite us to play this season and apart from Brighton area is the furthest south we have ventured in a good while. The ground itself is hidden behind residential houses and very tranquil with tall trees flanking that could create light problems if play continued late. But it didn’t go late.
Verdayne Captain Karan Patel won the toss and elected to field, but was a couple players late so Stuart went to field a few overs. We also had a couple late as the local bus is only every 30 minutes and it was a good distance from a station and traffic was just heavy throughout South London. Dom captained as usual and was faced with a couple of no balls to start in first over as Steve bowled. Strike then passed to Niroshan for Mubin bowling. He got a boundary swiftly.
As the match went on it was sometimes difficult to assess boundary shots as it was not original line marking and there were few flags to mark. Steve had a couple more no balls but Mubin countered with a maiden. In the 5th, now on strike Dom sent a ball over towards cover and the fielder made good ground to capture and despite other overs had the satisfaction of a wicket maiden here. Stuart Semple was with us again and played defensively as the runs edged along with only 33 after 10 overs. Niroshan was still plugging away but the outfield was surprisingly slow so boundaries did not result easily.
Rob and Karan were now bowling and their wicketkeeper let a lot of byes past. Karan struck in the 16th to remove Stuart after two maidens before with a clean bowl and in the 20th reprised to remove Niroshan after 70 minutes and 39 scored and we took drinks at the changeover before Mendis came to join Dean who was working their field hard. We had amassed 72 after 20 overs, a marginal acceleration.
Now the pace upped slightly with Mendis far preferring boundaries rather than actually running too often and here spectators come up trumps, more on Anthony later, James was getting tasked with the intricacies of the scoreboard and Tom had to go over to the wicket as a water boy. Dean had reached 25 and looked set but in Avi first over (29) he was given LBW although this pitch had a lot of bounce and would probably been above the bails. We have no Hawkeyes and must abide by decision. Newton was next but after 10 minutes he was caught behind.
Stuart also had short tenure piling a shot over the bowler but another man was close to catch and score now 136 for 6 and 7 overs remaining. At this point we are told 170 is a good score on this pitch so a target beckons.
Manish strode in determined to hit up and apart from first ball every other was a scorer racing to 21 before being caught off a new spell from Karan. Racing was the game and at one point chasing two Manish was only just behind Mendis on first. Luckily they were not the strongest field and could not force any run out. Asad comes in and the final two don pads but are not needed as he strikes boundary to start and singles while Mendis has a final push with a superb 6 on last ball reaching 52 and this prolific last quarter took us to 193.
Tea was delightful with several home made cakes in the selection and we sprawled outside to enjoy.
Newton opened against Jaspreet and gave nothing away in two maidens with Asad giving little against Avi. Avi apparently needed to get away early but ended up late as colleagues went first. Newton took both Jaspreet and Biggs, each bowled for 4. Asad complements with bowling Avi for 9 and nothing on the third ball to Vimal. 24 – 4 after 12. Darshan was there a long time but only got 9 and was well held at leg gully by Jonners off Matthew. Just before Matthew had caught Indi securely at mid on off Mendis. In that 20, 12 conceded in one over but only 2 in 3 overs after.
The fight was going at 63-6 with little depth expected in tail Enders. Manish took Rob in his second ball who had a massive one after 20 minutes. Wali hit a big six off Matthew but went LBW on 7 off Manish. Apart from a few big hits where spectators were more inclined to declare six or four than given four or even two, Niroshan was consistent with the gloves and this was the teams contrast. Karan was a big hitter but had a lucky escape as Dean threw a long shot direct on bowlers wicket and only just made his ground. Asad caught Karan going to ground at Midwicket but legal off Matthew for 16. Talking of ground Matthew had gone to wicket to be ready for a return catch but it is hard to do the deed lying on the deck. No harm though and Steve as last man was caught behind off Matthew to finish the innings on 95. 98 and four wickets in deficit.
One or two of their players went home after batting and I dare say it was Indi lost trust in me – at the interval when everyone piled inside there had been BMW keys and a wallet left on table. Security conscious I pocketed them and it was some time before I returned the keys on request and never thought to offer wallet same time. He did get it though and left them again during his batting spell.
Looking to accounts, bowling was so tight today and credit each – Newton 6-2 in 5, Asad 21-2 in 6, Dean 4 in 5, Matthew 3-30 in 6, Mendis 14-1 in 4 and Manish 12-2 in 3 despite a 6 and 4.
I said I would return to Anthony. Behind me there was some grumbling over Manish bowling action, Anthony politely but firmly debunked them as we know Manish has been tested and deemed legal if unorthodox. Before clearing up and heading to nearby pub with Steve and Chris, Dom had the unenviable task of deciding man of match. So much to highlight. Niroshan just took it based on his solid work with gloves and his strong innings setting the pace. Nothing to do with chocolates shared for his recent birthday.
Many of us finished our evening dining in Battersea breaking up the return journey after a delightful day. New opposition is always a risk but the challenge was taken on. All about that team huddle at start as seen in photo from Hussain and Ben Hardisty also posted action shots.
Next week is Old Wimbedonians in Raynes Park, another chance to win as a team but as ever working hard for it.