Sheen Park CC – Won by 4 wickets

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.

Roehampton Bats – Won by 23 runs

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.

Pacific – Won by 44 runs

Pacific overcome!

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.

Merton – Won by 4 wickets

Winning streak continues!

Sunday Cricket is about spirit as well as the fact we seem to be liking to win matches, read on.

Merton at John Innes

A popular return to play this team and pleased we had a match still on given the weather. Dom won the toss and this time elected that we field. Their captain Neil opened with the bat along with James but Mamun and Newton did not let them run from a strike easily and in two overs only Neil had a single to his credit. Then Newton took his wicket at the start of the third. 3-1. Gangwani came in to partner James and occasionally reached the boundary but only got mainly singles. After 10 overs it was only 28 then he was LBW for only 9 in the 11th and Dean’s second over. Arjun was next to keep James going but slowly reaching 13 before being stumped in Matthew’s fifth over in his lean full allocation.

 Quick response from Scott keeping at this half. 64-3 in the 18th. Tom Legg was next in and out in the 21st for only 2 with Scott catching off Leo now that Niroshan had the gloves. 68-4 now it was the start of Leo’s 3rd over and he drew James LBW at last for 32 and 71-5. Meanwhile at the other end young teen Jonathan was in the side and had already got his first single at this level. No balls added to extras then at the close of Leo’s over, he ran too risky and Campbell Barnes was given the blame for not getting him to stay and he was run out for 2. Mean Leo? Only yielded 17 in 5 overs. Now it was 76-6 after 23. Dean rejoined the bowling and in the 27th induced Campbell to send one high which Newton took well. There had been one or two catches fumbled earlier though none simple. 92-7 and although he scored 12 Campbell was peeved he gave the chance. Campbell has passion and can be quite emotive for a late teen. It was the era of tailenders now and John Smither steadily hit the ball with Hungarian Peter Fodor his partner.

Peter got his first ever boundary and is developing well as a player but he now succumbed with Mamun taking him down the middle. A wicket maiden to end his spell. Soon after Matthew got Smither with a ball right on middle for 9 and a score only at 102- 9. Matthew later finished his 8 overs with a maiden and was 1-24. John Hurst was left with keeper Rocky Crawford and the warning for earlier tea was given. John suddenly came to life though with a powerful six that had my mother and I ducking at the score table and watching for rebound off the wall behind.

He made 19 with several more including two fours before Newton bowled him in the 38th to close the innings at 123 all out, Rocky had notched up a 2 along the way. Newton closed on 3-7 with wickets nicely distributed among the first five bowling. Dom also had two overs starting with that six but no time left to claim any wickets.

We often say this is the best provision of tea, and today’s fare had plenty of sustenance, healthiness and indulgence. Maybe that was a tactic to make it harder for us to reach the target.

Dom opened against John Hurst with a two of the first ball. Peter Fodor was at the other end and took Dean off guard with Gangwani catching the nick to the gully for only 2. The field was quite tight and always in right place for most part and during Smither bowling opposite Peter in the 13th then Niroshan was caught behind, unsure if the ball contacted but had steadily built up 14. 37-2. 50 came up in the 17th then Neil also bowled starting with a maiden. In the 19th Smither struck and Dom was stumped with reflex from Rocky but had amassed 28 including a boundary and many that would not travel in the slower outfield. Neil closed the 20th with Newton taking the first of six boundaries. 56-3 so 12 runs behind at this point. Drinks was extended as a heavy shower came down, some play had earlier been in fine drizzle.

Leo was caught off Neil after two singles and several dot balls with a fine catch from Peter and so Jonners came in for his first match in a good while. Newton was opening up and maybe our slow accumulation or the depth we showed decided that Neil would give young Jonathan the bowling. He settled his nerves after a few extras and at the end of his second he gave Newton the chance of a boundary except that Peter was in place for his second fine catch. A wicket to remember and taking the trophy of highest match scorer at 33. 93-5 off 27. Jonners reached 7 before John Hurst in his second spell had him LBW and guest Stuart who last played against Beddington was now joined by regular Stuart.

103-6 with score now at 109 after 30. Jonathan’s final over was expensive but not giving away extras, it was just that Stuart was trying to overtake Newton though not enough target left. And so in the 2nd ball of the 32nd guest Stuart hit the boundary to win the game off Hurst, a useful 9 not out with our Stuart already on 16. A win by four wickets in a game of much challenge. Smither had two maidens to close his full spell of 2-12 and Peter Fodor got his first batting boundary, two fine catches and useful 1-27 in his eight overs.

 A good time for the rookie and even if he yielded a few, we always had the depth available but the target set was basically too low for today. Merton will play us again and we enjoy their opposition each occasion. With a great catch, very economical bowling and highest run score, Dom gave Man of the Match to Newton though increasingly this season we see a whole team playing which makes it harder to make selections for MOM.
Next week we are at Greenford and take on Pacific, another hearty challenge.

Theydon Bois – Won by 46 runs

Late game change sees us visit Essex

Match report Sunday 5th June away to Theydon Bois – won by 46 runs

Graces travelled to deepest Essex to face new opposition, Theydon Bois, due to Wendover’s inability to raise a team for the 20th anniversary match. A glorious afternoon saw Dom win the toss and opt to bat (with some input from the home side) on a green strip at the charming Theydon Bois set up featuring a beautiful oak tree within the boundary.

Dom and Manish batted cautiously against accurate bowling taking the score to 30 for the first wicket when Manish was LBW for 17 in the 11th over. The batting then collapsed to 44 for 6 after 18 overs with the home side on a roll and we were in trouble with the hosts scenting blood. Newton in at 5 decided to take the attack to the bowlers with able support from Scott taking the score to 93 with some pulls and lofted drives before he was well caught on the boundary by Mr Bullivant – (more of him to follow) in the 25th over – scoring an entertaining and invaluable 37.

Chris (20) then continued the aggression with Scott adding 31 for the next wicket before Scott’s skier was caught – he contributed an important 25. The tail continued to wag with a final total of 135 all out in the 34th over of 35.

The hosts had bowled well and 135 looked under par on a true strip as we enjoyed a fine tea. Apparently their batting order was mixed up and this was demonstrated when the opener was bowled by Newton with the very first ball of their innings! – a royal duck? Graces couldn’t quite believe what followed as Newton bowled the number 3 also in the opening over continuing with a clatter of wickets for almost no runs – including Leo taking a blinder at square leg.. Manish held up one end while Newton continued the damage.

 Jonners ,who was scoring, had to double check the score as 7 wickets were down for only 13 runs after 10 overs. The lavishly bearded Mr Bullivant then entered the fray and signaled his intent after getting his eye in by hitting a series of big sixes to entertain the spectators. Stuart spectacularly caught one of these right on the boundary but couldn’t stay within the playing area.

Young George Green stayed with him but after a rapid 69 including 5 sixes Stuart took a great catch on the boundary and Mr Bullivant was on his way. Graces were starting to get concerned as he certainly could have won the game. The hosts were shortly all out for 89 in the 24th over. The next highest score was only 4!


Newton was the main destroyer finishing with 6 wickets for only 5 runs off 4.5 overs with Chris getting 2 for only 3 runs. It was definitely our day as our hosts couldn’t keep out the accurate bowling – Theydon Bois were very hospitable and hopefully we’ll be invited back to their great venue.

Kingstonian CC – Lost by 1 wicket

Kingstonians edge a thriller!

Thanks to Colin for this match report


Old Kingstonians – a second fixture to fill the list gap

Returning here today to a fine ground with a great pitch and a warm welcome from the team we played first in this domestic season. We had a clear margin of victory last time out.

Dom elected to have our team of ten regulars bat first and Stuart and Niroshan opened vigorously against the opening bowling pair of Jack Picken and Joe Quelch, with few singles and in almost 10 overs the score was close on 50. Then Stuart went to attack a higher ball and it caught the top edge and smacked him nastily on his left cheekbone, causing him to retire and be glad of the assistance of many with ice packs etc. We kept on eye on him later to ensure no serious damage but he has a thorough bruising and pictures and tales are now circulating. Mahender came in and took a pair of singles then when faced with Jim’s first over he was bowled for the first wicket lost. 53-1. Newton came in and the runs escalated in partnership but during a Kaz over a ball skied off his forearm to be caught by their captain Alan Bradley. He did not walk immediately as the umpires debated their thought it came off glove but the bruising later would show he was right to dally but of course complied with decision at time, a useful 17 and 93-2 in 19th. Noddy now strode in and Niroshan kept going to drinks. Immediately after though Noddy was caught and bowled by Kaz so unusually a duck here. 99-3. Dom now strode in with clear intent and kept chipping away and the next casualty was Niroshan at 60, undone by the fresh bowling of Milan who was high scoring batsman for OKCC in previous match. He was given applause by all. 119-4. Sam now bedded in with a few singles but optimistically charged down the wicket on a slim chance and could not return in time to save his wicket and there was a run out early in Terry’s unusual style bowling spell which at times saw him barracked from the balcony from his own. Manish was next in and again chipping a few singles but was also run out by a whisker. 127-6. There was not much lower order and the rate now declining so Stuart returned, with a helmet this time, adding seven in a lengthy spell to give him 24 overall and run out during an over from their big Dean. 152-7 in 35th over. About now Dom had a double scare as a catch was fumbled and in the void after was almost run out but judged safely home. Scott came in determined to raise the run rate and hit steadily with two boundaries complementing a fine boundary from Dom and although caught and bowled by Dean had added a swift 18. 182-8 in 39th. Matthew was now at crease with an early single then was also run out to make the score 185. A no. 11 was ready but Matthew had only departed on the last ball of 40th over so a target was set up of 186 to win for our hosts, more than their last outing when their middle order were awkward to shift. Dom carried his bat and had amassed second highest innings score of 28.

On return to field, Stuart was not up to play as we all know if he is out there he won’t stay still, so he nursed a fresh ice pack but did not drip onto the scorebook which he filled. Dom had 10 only including myself and only really five first choice bowlers so careful strategy was set and until the 9th over was responsible for a very low run rate. But 23-2 thanks to fine spells from Noddy and Manish (two early maidens) with Milan and Roger Montgomery going very cheaply and fine fielding to run them out from Mahender and Niroshan. Their replacements were Alan and Sohaib who were going nowhere fast and despite most balls being accurate, Sohaib in particular consistently found the boundary with six sixes in his 85 and Alan also having two as well. In the 15th with score already raised to 91, Newton proved his bruise did not deter and bowled Alan for 46 and swiftly also took Kaz for a duck. 91-4. Dave Lazenby was now in and complemented Sohaib with two early boundaries and the score raced to 159 before Newton caught off the placing of Manish for 22. This was only 27th over so we looked on the ropes but Joe was swiftly out for a duck, bowled by Noddy in his later spell. And then the wicket needed in 29th as Newton bowled Sohaib. Then in the 30th Mahender ensued another run out off Noddy’s bowling to take Jack for 1. 166-8.
They now needed another 20 but we determined to make them fight and Matthew and Mahender bowled tightly including maidens to work Dean and Jim with the score reaching 179 at the end of 38th. 12 balls and one wicket needed to bring out Terry and two to snatch the victory from the jaws of loss but in this 39th over with the prospect of Dom bowling a last over, Dean got his eye in and two boundaries passing target in last ball of 39th over with his useful 15.

A deserved win after the powerhouse innings of Sohaib but our never say die fortitude meant that this match was alive till the end. Our field is often strong and Dom and bowlers made the best of it today with great strategy. Our hosts fully appreciated this match and who knows what will happen when the next opportunity occurs. Man of the match today was so good at containing the outfield, he was not called to share keeping, nifty as ever to ensure run out and our star this week with bat and easily was Niroshan.

Next up is our special Anniversary year away match at Wendover and your scribe looks forwarding to reading how that is next week.

Old Finchleians – Won by 57 runs

Duckworth Lewis comes into play!

Match against Old Finchleians in North London

Today our challenging opponents were a generally young community so plenty of linked surnames and sense of togetherness. Would that age be a rage of physical energy or a display of inexperience? It was neither but a sporting crowd who love the game and a venue where we have had varied fortunes before.

Dominic was again at the helm and we opened with him being partnered by Manish. Quite early on their sporting nature was evident as a collision put Dom to ground and they refrained from chasing the run out to much applause. Steady defensive play kept the opening bowlers Jay and Dion at bay for little loss and Manish had the first boundary not long before seeing Dion send ball to wicket and 29-1. Stuart came in and tested the ropes very quickly also gaining from a poor overthrow that went all the way. Dom was next to be bowled as Stuart levelled scores but had also featured one boundary in his time. Mahender came in and was held back time after time until it was change of bowlers. Here was a partnership of 54 to feast on when Mahender sent two clean over to the scoring/spectators in Vishal Savani first over. In the next of his, the 18th it changed with a three wicket haul but not hat trick. Firstly Mahender went to launch but was neatly caught behind then Newton was repaid for last week by suffering Golden Duck and Leo got to second strike with no score. 99-5. In strides Robin and complemented Stuart well who kept a blistering pace on strike reaching 50 in 43 balls over 72 minutes. His pace increased and 75 reached when N Depala induced him to leg before. 162 on score with 200 now in sight. By now Robin was suffering from the rapid pace and retired hurt so a new pair faced – Scott and Anosh – and the run rate collapsed as bowling style changed. Neil Depala was the dangerous bowler taking Anosh and Mamun in the 35th and Matthew lbw in the 37th. Each on a wicket maiden. N Depala had the first maiden of that innings but not till 32nd. Scott was chipping away but needed a final partner so Mamun became runner for Robin who returned to crease. Scott was eventually run out on a direct hit and the innings closed in the 39th over for 181 and Robin on 16. A great target.
After ample tea. Play resumed with the sky overcast and a cooler wind. Newton shone with a first over maiden with Anosh doing the same. Mamun then bowled ceding 4 and then Anosh was there as Parth Popatia was run out then in his next over he bowled Brij Pujara for a wicket maiden. Mamun was in place when Niroshan who was substitute fielder for Robin threw a wonderful direct hit from square leg to take out opening bowler Josh Brennan who was still only on 7 but they were in difficulty at 21-4. Niroshan had also done a hefty umpire stint earlier with many spending time in position. Manish also bowled Captain Mayur Depala Jr. during a spell each end with Mamun and he only amassed 6. Soon after the rain came down heavily and play was suspended. On resumption after 45 minutes the ground was much slippier, wetter and slower and it took
a few more light precipitations before play truly settled. A revised target of 160 in 35 overs had been agreed and that was a big ask but all here wanted to play cricket so play went on. After 20 overs Phil assumed role of substitute fielder. Roushi Depala had a slow start but suddenly made a great partnership with Nikunj (bowler N Depala) and piled on 50 runs before they found out that we can catch cleanly with Mahender, Manish and Mamun showing how that’s done. The boys finally scraped past 100 and a mere target for the last pair of 59 but although their spirit was high, Mahender was bowling cleanly and economically sending bowlers Jay, Vishal and Dion back for little score leaving the end of innings at 102 in 28.5 overs and Mitul left alone on 4.

So our winning ways continue with a margin of 57 (rain adjusted). Our hosts were gracious at all times and we look forward to future play with them. Although Dom was proud of our field and bowling. Today’s Man of the Match went to Stuart for his work rate and tally. (Robin send Stuart the Physio demand!). Once again so much to commend in all of the team and we await news from Canada on who is up next week.

Alleyns Adhoc – Won by 76 runs

Mahender’s batting blitz!

Today the challenge was Alleyn –

The winning streak continued today with a win by a clear margin today over Alleyn Ad-hoc. This team has existed about the same time as we have and is always a match where we are warmly received. Mendis captained today and we batted first on a fine pitch quite quick on some parts of outfield. Stuart and Leo both dropped out too swiftly but Niroshan who later kept wicket in second half of fielding and Mendis steadied the course. McGill was a high speed bowler and clean bowled Niroshan paving the way for a steady partnership of 71 once Mahender came in. Aggressive from the start he piled on 96 runs in 82 balls until out in last over and tantalising close to century. This included a six that was nearly caught but the effort made sure it landed over the rope. Mendis thought he had gone cheaply yet had third highest score of 23 but by then the course of the innings was altered and a high score was on sight. Newton partnered Mahender by scoring 26 after a slow start and keeping strike where the runs would be found. Scott who went on to keep in first half had a forceful attitude and racked up 14 carrying bat in a few balls and Manish had also chipped away swiftly but was run out on a hard second run chase without sure footing. Finally having dropped well down the order Dean was in place for the last ball bowled and no chance to score but a challenging target of 207 was now in place.
Despite the lack of hot tea due to an electrical fault we were amply refreshed and it was time to field with vigour and how. Newton set the tone inducing opener to lob an easy catch and the golden duck and Niroshan had his hands waiting for this gift. Newton took two more wickets and Dean got one too as bails were sent flying and it was a mere 17-4 and the dejection was evident. Dennison, McGill and McLean tried to stabilise with long spells but not too many runs and Young Sam looked like heading for a best if passed 10 but went on 7 and it was now a paltry response of 82-9. Despite a lot of earlier fine fielding which made them nervous of running a gear change happened and the remaining 15 overs passed by for the highest opposition partnership of 42 thanks to tailenders Harris and Smith.

So a massive win by 82 runs and a fine display of teamwork especially behind wicket. All other bowlers – Robin, Mamun, Manish, Mendis took a wicket or more and if Mahender had more than three overs he might have claimed one too but yielded little anyway.
Man of the match was clearly Mahender today but every player always showed the grit to keep him on toes and looking to defend that honour next week.

Judd St Tigers – Won by 71 runs

Graces finish on top

Winchmore Hill has been a tricky venue for Graces for quite a few seasons having finished second best for at least 5 years. The hosts surprisingly invited Graces to bat on a glorious afternoon taking the field with only 9 players due to late injuries. A rotating 10th fielder was provided by Dom in the spirit of the game.
Mahender and Dom opened our innings putting on 45 for the first wicket when Mahender was caught off a slower ball for a rapid 36 off 38 deliveries. Leo came in at 3 but was soon bowled for 6 bringing Mendis at 4 – after some nice drives he was caught behind for 13 – the score was now 95 for 3 in the 18th over with Dean and Dom at the crease.
Dom was soon caught behind for a well paced 32 leaving Dean to hold the innings together as no one was able to stay with him for any length of time. He carried on his fine early season form finishing on 59 not out off the same number of balls. Two run outs featured at the end of the innings with one of them ending with Manish and Dean at the same end! Louder calls are needed.
Our innings finished on 214 for 9 off 40 overs – the hosts bowling was consistent with Wright having the best figures of 3 for 31 off his 8 overs.
After a nice tea Newton and Mamun opened the bowling with accuracy keeping the scoring rate down. Mamun bowled both the openers (24 for 2) – Wickets fell regularly with only the 6th wicket partnership of 62 causing Graces concern with Wright showing his all round ability top scoring for the Tigers with an entertaining 41 – after punishing Dean in one over Dean had the last laugh making him play on. The hosts finished with 143 in the 31st over – if they had had 11 players it may have been a tighter match – Mahender followed his knock with 4 wickets for 28 runs so had a great match.
So Graces winning run continues – next week sees a visit to the ever hospitable Alleyns Adhoc in Herne Hill