Sunday 20th May 2018: Crouch End Cricket Club vs N2 Cricket Club
 
For the second year running N2CC missed out in a nail-biting climax away to Crouch End on Sunday. In reply to N2's 177 all out, the hosts just got over the line with one wicket remaining.  On a good batting track, it was all about two big innings... N2's Paul Anderson hit 96 and Crouch End's Matt was there at the end, unbeaten on 92.
 
N2 had a terrible start, when opener Simon Dyer was out, lbw before a run was on the board. That brought Paul Anderson to the crease. Fresh from an unbeaten 40 in his previous innings, he continued his good form with an array of fine shots, many crossing the boundary. Fellow opener Dave Parker (7) and then Rosh Davids (13) could not get going, both caught as N2 found themselves on 78 for three. Andy Wilson (4) and Yuvraj Rawat (12) did not hang around long. Anchor Anderson moved onto his 50, having only played one loose shot. His timing and hitting the ball along the ground was a lesson to others.
N2 were looking to post as big a total as possible. Ravi Rawat hit a brisk 17, but with Anderson starting to tire and teammates unselfishly helping to guide him onto three figures, the scoring rate failed to accelerate in the closing overs. Sadly Anderson just failed to hit his ton... cutting the ball onto his ankle, then onto the stumps.
 
N2 closed their innings in the last over... all out for 177.
 
A competitive score, the visitors knew they would need wickets as Crouch End were well capable of reaching the target.
 
As with the first innings, the hosts lost a wicket with the score on 0. Dave Parker, despite an extra slice of Madeira Cake, got into position to take a good catch off the bowling of skipper Shai Bhatt. Minutes later Parker took an even better catch in the deep, Zafer Abbas, this time the bowler. At 18 for two, Crouch End failed to build any sort of partnerships, as N2 grabbed regular wickets keeping them very much in the game.
 
Abdul Firfire and Simon Dyer picked up one apiece and another one for Bhatt kept the game alive. N2 just could not dislodge Matt, despite a decent chance to Andy Wilson at short-ish extra cover, who just could not hold on. Late wickets for Bhatt (four for 23) and Anderson, put the match on a knife-edge and then a decent shout for lbw by the N2 all-rounder – turned down - had hearts racing. But it just was not quite enough on the day as the hosts' number 11 hit the winning runs.
 
Such a close match, N2 gave away too many extras, a few too many bad balls, and did not have a good enough flurry of runs in their own innings, however a great effort from everyone and with a bit more fine-tuning, application and luck victories will come.
 
Man of the match: Paul Anderson with 96 and 1 wicket for 13 from 5.4 overs.
 
Batting:
D. Parker                       - Caught 7
S. Dyer                          - LBW 0
P. Anderson                   - Bowled 96
R. Davids                      - Caught 13
A. Wilson                      - LBW 4
Y Rawat                        - Bowled 12
R. Rawat                       - Bowled 17
D. Hingorani                  - Caught 7
A. Firfire                        - Bowled 1
Z. Abbas                        - not out 1
S. Bhatt                         - Caught 1

Extras 18
Total 177 for 10 in 39.5 overs
 
Bowling:
Bhatt S                          -           8 overs – 1 maiden - 23 runs - 4 wickets
Abbas Z                         -           8          0          41        1
Firfire A                         -           3          0          25        1
Dyer S                           -           4          1          13        1
Davids R                       -           4          1          28        0
Rawat R                        -           2          0          14        1
Hingorani D                   -           1          0          6          0
Anderson P                    -           5.4        0          13        1

Extras 25
Total 181 for 9 in 35.4 overs