Match Report for Sunday 22nd June 2014 AWAY vs Railway Taverners CC

What can I say about this game!  A beautiful day with the Sun shining brightly when we started.  It turned a bit later in the afternoon but that only helped cool us down

After weeks of pestering from the batsmen to elect to bat if I ever won the toss, it happened again!  Unfortunately, I went with my heart instead of my head and N2CC elected to bat!

Dee Hingorani had again performed miracles by helping the game to be played and providing three players, Jaspal, Abbas and Squance who all looked like they could play.

It seemed as if we had a better batting lineup than the opponents and so Parker and Dyer went out to open with Jaspal and Bolt (Emile) hoping to have a long lie down in the Sun.  There was a game on the other pitch at North London CC which started before us and we witnessed the ball bouncing high around the chest but alas Railway Taverners had selected one that you were lucky to see the pitch rise above the shins!

Parker and Dyer were battling to survive against the two RTCC openers bowling on the stumps.  9 runs off the first two overs hid the truth about the pitch and Parker was heading back to the pavilion on the last ball of the over which pitched on a full length and nipped under his bat to hit the stumps.  Dyer survived the next over with no runs and Jaspal faced three balls scoring two fours... things were looking good until his fourth ball which.... pitched on a full length and nipped under his bat to hit the stumps... remember that line!  Bolt went out looking confident and having seen the other two wickets.  He came straight back to take some more Sun!  Golden!  Hingorani was sure he would be fine and seemed to be mastering the defence on the pitch but after surviving 19 balls and having hit one four, he came back steaming about the pitch and N2 were 4 for 33.  Liam Baker was to last only two balls, DUCK! No I don't mean move your head out of the way!  Bowled again with one around the toes...  It actually rolled off a full length. 5 for 37... Now you know why N2 always fields first!Abbas went to bat, Hit a four then he actually hit the ball in the air ... straight to square-leg.  6 for 42.  Shah (Anil) came to bat and was soon involved in some fierce defence work before hitting a beautiful four!  However, we were not done throwing the game and somehow Anil and Simon crossed wires and a battling innings from Simon came to and end having survived until the 18th over for 13 runs.  new boy Tony Squance came to bat and, along with Anil, they steadied the ship.  Anil actually hit a six when he hit to cover on the boundary with the fielder on the line holding on but stepping over the line in celebration!  Tony actually looked comfortable and was looking every bit the saviour when he decided to take a quick run, pulled his hamstring and limped into the crease, retiring hurt having scored 13!  Bhatt strode out confident he was not going to be bowled and both he and Shah progressed the score before Shah was given LBW.  Then came Robbie Robertson who had to survive five balls which he did admirably.  Bhatt then contrived to hit a single on the last ball of the over and then a four and single and another four.  He looked good!  Then, he caught a beauty arrowing to mid-on boundary but then the RTCC skipper somehow dived high in the air with two hands holding on to the screamer!  103 on the board and no chance of victory... Extras top scored with 29!

What could N2CC do???  Enjoy the tea which included some Calamari!

N2 went to field with not much hope.  Two mainstream bowlers, one untried.  Some back up bowling in the form of Dyer, Shah, Hingorani, Baker.  Having lost a fielder (Tony) Anil son Niral was more than happy to help and fielded admirably.  Bhatt opened the bowling with a single off his over but Abbas went for 8!  Another tight over followed with the batsmen having seen how N2 batsmen fared and the ball not staying as low.  Third over, a BREAKTHROUGH!  The opener was bowled by Bhatt with the one that came in :)  Could they?  Well it wasn't going their way.  Abbas hadn't found his stride yet and after nine overs RTCC were 36 for 2 as Bhatt managed to get another!  Then Abbas finally got his act together with a wicket in the over Bhatt was going to take him off!  Could they?  3 for 37 after 10 overs (N2 were 3 for 33 at the 10th over!)  Four wickets in the next five overs and the win was possible!  Keep the opening bowlers on was the shout!  7 for 49 after 15 overs (N2 were 6 for 44) But then the number 7 was being stubborn... Possible catches flew past fielders or over their heads and it was another 7 overs before another wicket fell.  8 for 90 after 22 overs!  It could be you know???  RTCC were whittling away at the target of 104.  23rd over, fielders on the ropes, Bhatt balls to the number 7, gets it to turn away from him as he is squared up and the ball flies to cover on the boundary...  Oh no, he wasn't on the boundary and the ball went for four...  Then Abbas finds some extra energy and skittles the stumps of the number 10! 9 for 100... Please let it be!  Bhatt tried in vain as the number 7 waited for one slightly off the middle stump and four runs were his for the win.

The spirit in the team and some fine bowling along with tight fielding had made this game into a real cliffhanger.  Only conceding 7 extras helped immensely even though the pitch wasn't helping. Robertson at very fine leg did a marvellous job not letting anything slip over the boundary and possibly saved 12 or 15 runs!  Only two bowlers used who both did a grand job!

Man of the match: Has to be ...  Too many people and perhaps difficult to chose so Main contributors to the match are:

Faisal Abbas for a five-for...
Anil Shah for a solid 22 with the bat
Tony Squance for a good partnership of 30 with Anil

D. Parker - Bowled 3
S. Dyer - Run Out 13
S. Jaspal - Bowled 8
E. Bolt - Bowled 0
D. Hingorani - Bowled 4
L. Baker - Bowled 0
F. Abbas - Caught 4
A. Shah - LBW 22
T. Squance - Ret Hurt 13
S. Bhatt - Caught 10
R. Robertson - Not Out 0
Extras 29
Total 103 for 5 from 34.5 overs

Unfortunately the scorebook doesn't add up and we actually scored 107... at least!  their bowling figures are not adding to that either and we may have scored 109.  That would have been even more interesting.  we need to make sure we concentrate on the scoring guys when I'm batting although I haven't troubled the scorer recently.  I thought I'd scored three 4s...
Bhatt -        13 overs - 3 maidens - 44 runs - 4 wicket(s)
Abbas -      12             1                   54          5
TOTAL       25             3                   98          9         

Extras: 7
Wides 2
Byes 3
Leg Byes 2