South Bank Cricket Club vs Village CC
11th June 2016
40 over game
Weather - muggy, threatening rain and eventually delivering.
SBCC won the toss and chose to bowl
It was a verdant patch of green hidden in the most quotidien of London suburbia but intel from Mark was that the pitch usually wasn’t nice and so I chose to bowl and take advantage of the muggy conditions and whatever juice was in the pitch. Matt P started for us in partnership with Michael McIntyre (not *the* MM fortunately) and both bowled well. They got the batsmen to play and miss, edge past the stumps and edge along the ground. But ‘Bosh’ and Abrar also batted sensibly and when the bad ball came- the odd full toss - they were quick to pounce and smash it away. Matt may have deserved more but ended his initial spell wicket less and in striving for the breakthrough Michael dented his figures (he was 27 off 7 but ended more so). Peretz “Mil Steyn”* replaced Matt and bowled a useful spell but without nipping one out and George’s pace wasn’t enough to force a breakthrough either. At 20 overs “Village” were ominously placed at 97-0, Bosh already at 50.
After the break I called on Will and Dan (“Pirate”+) and nervous exchanges were had between the two otherwise well set batsmen as Will fired up the pace. This injection unsettled the otherwise serene Abrar who on drove powerfully but straight to the man with the safest hands in the team - George (taking a catch a game on average - Abrar b Arnold 46). This brought Tim de Wit to the crease and rather than let him eat up over after over of plays and misses Dan unsportingly (and foolishly) bowled him a straight one (b 0). Bosh was still living up to his nickname but finding things tough again with Will steaming in - he was lucky to survive when he played and missed (again) and it edged the off stump. Fran told a disbelieving Will that the bail had lifted and dropped back perfectly. He added not much more given lbw to a confident Arnold appeal (for a very well put together 68) and we were making inroads. Cressey and de Mellow looked very composed (and readers of Village CC’s website would know that whippet thin left handed de Mellow was in something of a purple patch). They flicked Will’s often leg side bowling well and were just looking like they were going to push the foot down when unexpected things happened. Cressey flicked one down leg side ct Fran moving sharply to his left (b Will 14). De Mellow perished in even unlikelier circumstances - he absolutely smashed Peretz first ball to leg for six and when M Steyn followed up with an absolute piece of filth down leg Toby smashed it straight at the only man within 60 yards - Matt Porter at backward square who held a juggling catch diving to his right (at the 7th attempt). Perhaps the best catch to the worst ball combination ever and De Mellow is no doubt still shaking his head (19). There followed a long rain break that was ended when it lightened enough to get back onto the park so it could get heavy again and ensure we were thoroughly drenched. Despite our “attack” being reduced to off spin (M Steyn pace) we did better in the conditions. Peretz picked up a genuine wicket (bowling Ollie 7) and Matt got a deserved wicket - Nas Siddique clone Naz heaving across the line (b 1). George got some stick in the last (let down by the captain in the deep at one point) and Village just crept past 200 - 204 for 7 with Troja not out 19 and EK not out 11.
Matt Porter, 8 overs, 1 maiden, 22-1
Michael Mcintyre, 8 overs 45-0
Peretz Milstein, 8 overs, 8 overs, 44-2
George Rennison, 5 overs, 44-0
Will Arnold, 8 overs, 28-3 (a bloody good spell)
Dan Cohen “Pirate”- 3 overs, 19-1
We returned to sunshine, a drying wicket and a dry outfield and a very good pace attack with run ups unhampered by the downpour we‘d played through (worse luck). Cressey was OK, but skipper “Thomo” Thompson bowled very well. I played on early (the ball trickling into the stumps just enough to dislodge the bail cf above -1) and fellow opener Jon D was eventually undone by a dipping yorker (Thomo 9). Mark and Will rallied for a time but first change was about as useful as the openers. Naz bowled off 3 paces but as pacily as Thomo and EK varied off breaks with the slingy faster ball. Slingy faster ball that straightened from leg undid Mark (kept low too b 17) and an under edged pull saw off Will (b Naz 8 “great length“ apparently). Fran was digging in but then straight drove off Naz to Naz (ct and b 4). Debutant Simon James showed application to Woodhouse (“Louse“) a Yorkshire leg spinner but then darted down the wicket to be stumped and bring him to 99 victims for the Village. Dan inside edged a quick one from Naz (b 7) and at 56-7 things were looking rocky. Last man who might Michael Mc hit his first six off charming Aussie Troja and showed good intent against the man most likely to get to a hundred (I thought as I contemplated our three specialist number 11s present today and only Ranj missing to make it the full house). To be fair to the Louse his 100th wicket was not one of this fabulous trio but Michael Mc- edging to the keeper in what seemed like super slow mo (16). George gave him his 101st - dancing down the wicket in uncharacteristic and unwise mode - b 2. Last rites time and Peretz faced up to Naz having been left with this duty when Troja failed to bowl a straight one to Matt P. Naz did not repeat this and P failed to quite get the bat down in time (about 3 seconds too slow- b 0). Southbank all out for (ahem) 73 and Matt left high and dry (again) on 1. One day - like McGrath - his day will no doubt come.
Village CC bowling
Cressey, 5 overs, 1 maiden, 15-0
Thompson, 6 overs, 3 maidens, 9-2
EK, 4 overs, 12-1
Naz, 5.4 overs, 2 maidens, 12-4
Woodhouse, 5 overs, 14-3
Troja, 3 overs, 2 maidens, 4-0
If last week was the hardest defeat to take this week was the heaviest, and though we probably didn’t get the breaks we’d have needed more than breaks to beat that team. The figures for Matt and Will showed the way and we may yet give them pause when they are back at ours in July but we’ll also need to bat far better to give them a game.
Still they were happy and I took a picture for them as they celebrated their longest winning streak and holding the centurion in the air length wise. But the spirit of the day is perhaps best captured by a quote from that great Australian batsman Warwick Todd:
“People may complain about how hard we play on the field, but you should know that after a long day of conflict on it me and Nasser both left the field and had a beer. Not together obviously.”