Match Report: N2 v Black Rose Highgate, 3rd May 2015, Mill Hill Village

Early morning rain on the Sunday of the Bank Holiday weekend did lead some to
wonder if N2’s third game of the season would be called off. The forecast,
though, said that the rain would stop at around midday, and that it wouldn’t rain
in the afternoon – so our home game against Black Rose Highgate in the
almost-rural setting of Mill Hill Village CC was most definitely on. That said, a
couple of call-offs meant that only nine N2 players turned up for our first
‘home’ game of the season although thanks go to all nine especially Jamie “Jill”
Frost who travelled up from the South coast for his first game in many a year.

Having agreed on a timed game, Captain Bhatt won the toss and in the finest N2
tradition elected to field first, slightly handcuffed in the knowledge that
additional players may turn up later. To the accompaniment of some background
birdsong and ominous-looking grey clouds that were occasionally interrupted by
sunny breakthroughs, the game commenced at around 2pm and Bhatt got a wicket in
his first over with a catch from a sub-fielder kindly donated by the oppo. The
skipper followed this up a few overs later with a run-out when he ‘skilfully’
deflected a shot off his own bowling onto the stumps to leave the non-striker
stranded and Black Rose at 32 for 2. Alas, this brought in a solid partnership
between their first and fourth batsmen that lasted for 11 overs interspersed with
a couple of dropped catches and was only broken when Jacques Bolt finally caught
the opener off the bowling of Paul Dodd – who followed this up with another
wicket three balls later, this time enticing the batsman to hole out to Simon
Dyer.

Some heavy scoring followed as the batsmen went for their shots. Bhatt went for a
couple of changes in the bowling and not long after the drinks break the
breakthrough finally happened as Dyer got his man … no-one was entirely sure what
combination of bat and batsman the ball hit before it reached the stumps, though
their scorer kindly recorded the wicket as “reverse swept, dragged on”, not that
that stopped Simon from jumping over the stumps in celebration! He added to his
haul in his next over (this one caught behind by wicket-keeper Emile Bolt), and
the Black Rose innings finished not long afterwards as Bhatt, having brought
himself back on, claimed two more wickets – one a particularly good catch from
Dyer, the other clean-bowled – as Black Rose’s innings ended with them on 241 for
8.

Statisticians may wish to note that none of N2’s six bowlers managed to bowl any
maidens, and between them they conceded five sixes and thirty fours … plus, there
were several lost balls following some rummaging around in the undergrowth; isn’t
red supposed to be easy to spot against a mostly green background? On the plus
side, Emile Bolt can be proud of the fact that a grand total of no byes were
conceded.

N2CC BOWLING

Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
S. Bhatt 9.5 0 76 3
J. Frost 5 0 33 0
P. Dodd 8 0 52 2
A. Wilson 3 0 22 0
N. Young 3 0 27 0
S. Dyer 3 0 29 2

After a fine tea courtesy of Paul Dodd, N2 contemplated batting with an hour plus
twenty overs in which we had to knock off 242 runs to win – or, more likely,
ensure that Black Rose couldn’t get us all out. Dyer and Frost walked out to open
the batting, and a slow and steady response ensued. Until, that is, the oppo’s
(very) young opening bowler dismissed Frost, and then ensured Emile Bolt’s
eligibility for Primary Club membership with his next ball! Jacques Bolt survived
a rather optimistic LBW call a ball later, and went on to add 19 runs – including
N2’s only six of the day – before getting caught behind.

There followed a fifty partnership between Dyer and Weatherley which looked like
it would do exactly what the captain wanted in the circumstances – secure the
draw! The twenty-over limit came and went with the next two batsmen waiting
patiently and padded-up on the bench. Could this solid partnership get us over
the line? Alas, no, as Dyer was caught on 41, his innings having lasted for 88
balls.

Hopes of surviving for a draw were raised with the late but welcome arrival of
Bob and Ben Luder, which put our contingent up to a full eleven. Following the
dismissal of Weatherley (22 runs off 36 balls), N2’s newly-elongated tail looked
to continue where our batsmen left off with plenty of dot-balls (between them,
our numbers six to eleven batsmen notched up nine runs off a total of 49
deliveries … and eight of those were from boundaries in the form of byes) but
with the sweet aroma of victory in their nostrils, Black Rose’s fielders became
more exuberant as they surrounded our remaining batsmen. We did make it to three
figures and as the required number of overs ticked down it looked as though a
draw was on the cards – but then, with two balls of the game left, Bob Luder got
enticed out of his crease and
stumped by a keeper who’d been looking for a stumping all day, and that put an
end to our act of resistance.

N2CC BATTING

S. Dyer Caught 41
J. Frost Bowled 9
E. Bolt (W) Bowled 0
J. Bolt Caught 19
P. Weatherley Bowled 22
A. Wilson Bowled 0
N. Young Caught 1
P. Dodd Bowled 4
B. Luder Snr. Stumped 4
B. Luder Jnr. Caught 0
S. Bhatt (C) Not out 0

TOTAL 110 all out

N2 lost by 131 runs

Man of the match: This goes to SIMON DYER for his all-round performance – two
wickets (complete with enthusiastic celebrations!) and two fine catches which he
followed up by top-scoring for us with a gritty 41.