Match report: Judd Street Tigers CC v N2 CC, Sunday 22nd May 2016 at Winchmore Hill CC

Many different weather forecasts were read for Sunday's trip to the Paulin Ground in Winchmore Hill, ranging from bright sunshine to heaving rain (or maybe starting with one and ending with the other). In the event, it was an overcast day with the sun peeping through the clouds, to begin with at least. The day before, twelve N2 players had been due to make the trip across North London, but by 1pm on Sunday there were only ten of us - including father-and-son duo Paresh and Rahul Patel from Elite CC and new player Shahram Mirzababaee who'd enjoyed playing so much at Ally Pally that he wanted to come again. We arrived to find a changing-room set aside for 'N2 CASUALS', bringing back memories for some of the Peter Hart era. Captain Bhatt decided that if he won the toss he would bat first. Judd Street's captain had the same plan; unfortunately, he won the toss. A timed game was agreed upon.

Things started very well; Bhatt and the younger Patel opened the bowling, and very soon the skipper had the first wicket with a fine caught-and-bowled. It went downhill from there. The second-wicket pair built up a solid partnership, frustrating our bowlers with quick singles and the ability to find the gaps in our depleted field (of the 43 overs we sent down, just two - both of them Shai's - were maidens). A number of dropped catches didn't help matters as the home side eased into treble figures. At least we weren't as sluggish at changing around between the overs as we had been when we played this fixture last year.

Patel senior made a breakthrough by bowling their number three but that just heralded another big partnership that ended when Firfire had their surviving opener out LBW on 96 (he'd been dropped while in single figures, by the way). By the time tea came around, Judd Street had put on 265 for the loss of just three wickets with six dropped catches - or extra lives.

N2 BOWLING

S. Bhatt    14-2-59-1
R. Patel    7-0-29-0
A. Wahab    3-0-34-0
S. Dyer    6-0-45-0
P. Patel    5-0-29-1
A. Firfire    5-0-34-1
N. Young    3-0-28-0

After a somewhat lacklustre tea, openers Cox and Dyer set out to see what they could do about chasing the hosts' imposing total in the next 1 hours (plus 20 overs) under clouds that looked a lot darker than when we'd fielded. Cox started well but was given out LBW in the second over, Dyer following soon after, caught behind for a duck. When Patel senior was caught in the fourth over, N2 were a sorry-looking 4 runs for 3 wickets. Patel junior and Wahab tried to steady the ship, their partnership reaching 35 before the latter was also caught; in total, five of our batsmen were out caught so those dropped catches of ours really came back to haunt us.

Young (duck) and Mirzababaee (six) tried to support an impressive-looking Patel. Newham played some good shots but when Patel was dismissed, leaving us on 62 for 6, thoughts turned to whether our remaining batsmen could achieve a couple of face-saving milestones - such as 65 (meaning that, whatever happened, we wouldn't lose by 200 runs) and three figures. After drinks, there was the idea that we might be able to survive the 20 overs to claim a draw. Or maybe the rain would save us? There was some drizzle, but not enough to warrant abandoning play (by contrast, there was heavy rain over in Barnet). As the overs ticked down, the score nudged upwards thanks to Newman with tail-end support from Bhatt, but so did the wickets - in the end, we did make it into triple figures (just), and the last wicket fell with eight overs left to play.

N2 BATTING

P. Cox        LBW        3
S. Dyer        Caught    0
R. Patel        Caught     25
P. Patel        Caught     1
A. Wahab        Caught     17
N. Young        Bowled    0
S. Mirzababaee    Bowled     6
J. Newham (W)    Bowled     29
S. Bhatt (C)    Caught     5
A. Firfire        Not Out    0

TOTAL:         105 all out

Result: N2 LOST BY 160 RUNS

Man of the Match: Rahul Patel who bowled impressively having been asked to open the bowling and then teaching the older players a bit about batting and building an innings.