24th June 2017
Warlingham CC – 2nd XI Vs Thames Ditton CC – 2nd XI
The 2s last week were likened to a juggernaut – an irresistible force or vehicle laying waste to everything in its path. This week while the juggernaut wobbled as it had bars jammed into its spokes by Warlingham, ultimately the bars were chewed up and spat out as the juggernaut continued inexorably on its path.
On paper this looked like a fairly comfortable 5 wicket win to back up a 6 wicket win last week. However, the reality was very different. Warlingham’s ground is somewhat “niche”. Those who complain about the slope at Lords should make a trip to Warlingham.
I mention this, because I’m using it as a justification for some of TD’s bowling in the opening exchanges. Having the lost the toss and being asked to field, TD’s opening bowlers struggled to pitch the ball up and bowl to their field on a pitch which resembled the north face of the Eiger!
Too often the opening batsman were able to rock back and either guide or pull behind square on the leg side to give them easy runs and play themselves in. Just as pressure was being applied, a loose ball would be bowled to be put away. For much of the early part of the innings Warlingham were going along serenely at 5-6 runs an over, and TD were struggling to back up their bowling and fielding performance from last week. Akash cleaned up their opener Amin for 4, but after that it was tough going.The other opener, Sherwani made 46 and there were significant contributions from numbers 3, Rathnayake, and 4, C. Patel who made 26 and 55 respectively. Sinj took a stunning one-handed catch at gully to get rid of Rathnayake. But at 153-4, TD looked like they were going to be chasing a total well in excess of 200. Often when Natt needs control he turns to club veteran, Richie Spiler, whose economy rate resembles something similar to this country’s GDP growth under May’s government. Able to use the cloud cover and humidity to generate swing as well as finding some useful bounce, Spiler was able to check the scoring rate. A better second spell from Spiler saw him finish with figures of 3-38-13. However, the stand out performance came from Tam who was to finish with figures of 5-47-16.4. Tam bowled with great control, from wicket to wicket, forcing the batsman to play and doing enough with the ball off the pitch to make life uncomfortable. Tam in the end accounted for 4 of the top five batsman as well as the no. 11, Fuller, who seemed bemused after being bowled ‘neck and crop’. This saw Warlingham collapse to 184 all out, 4 overs short of their allotted 50 which were to be added to TD’s innings.
While TD were not overawed by having to chase 184 runs, there was a sense that it was no walkover and that the batsmen would need to apply themselves as well as fit crampons to bat on this unusual surface. Their opening bowlers of Patel and Patel did cause problems using the new cherry to generate inswing under murky skies. Tez (3) and Sinj (0) were soon back in the hutch and at 18-2, TD had a fight on their hands. Rutter was joined at the crease by Neal, but both were finding it hard to locate the middle of the bat, sometimes even the edge was proving illusive! However, Rutter is just the man for this type of occassion, technically correct with an unflappable temperant, he relishes getting “tough runs” at the top of the order. But as the overs ticked by and the runs were coming at a trickle: 23-2 off 14; 44-2 off 21; 67-2 off 26, the tension amongst the rest of the team on the boundary was palpable. Nervous looks were thrown from the batsmen to their team mates and back again. Akash came on at drinks with some worldly advice: “….guys, get a move on….”. Thanks for that!
Arguably, the turning point in the game arrived with the onset of rain showers. The bowlers started to struggle with their grip. The swing disappeared to be replaced by deliveries which skidded off the surface and pleasingly onto the bat. Rutter holed out off a low full toss for 40 to end a partnership of 69 with Neal. Robbo hit a couple of nice boundaries before being caught behind for 13, but the tide had turned and runs were flowing. Neal reached his half century and then raced into the nineties with a flurry of boundaries. Despite most of the Warlingham team leaving the field to adminster first aid to one of their players who had injured his hand in an attempted catch, the fight was seeping out of Warlingham like a UKIP candidate on election night. Harding joined Neal to hit 19 n.o. and although Neal was out lbw to a shooter for 91 and accusations of yard avoidance were levelled at him, the job was done. TD won by 5 wickets with 5 overs to spare.
The juggernaut rumbles on….next stop Mitcham….the irresistible force against the immovable object…who will come out on top?
1st July 2017
Mitcham CC – 1st XI Vs Thames Ditton CC – 1st XI
Winning the toss at Mitcham, we decided to have a bat. Raj and Dixon opened up to a deceptively slow bowling attack coupled with an unpredictable pitch which was not easy. Dixon was the first to leave the crease for 5, playing mind games with the oppo during his departure, after walking for some time towards the scoreboard and teammates he realised that the clubhouse was the opposite direction; this caused an abrupt 180 degree turn and a 1/2 hour wait to cross the road. In came Ollie Williams who didn’t manage to trouble the scorers, facing 9 balls. Hamizilla was in to join his wife at the crease; Butt and Raj put on a few before Raj was caught behind for 15(39). Annable was in at 5, soon after his entry, Hamza chipped one up to point after the ball appeared to stick in the pitch for a decade. In came Newbold who on his 4th ball, saw an opportunity to settle the nerves and put away a short wide delivery. The ball was crunched to the keeper and TD found themselves 5 down for under 40.
Ben Park was next in to see what the pitch had to offer him. Unfortunately 3 runs was all Park could offer and in came Blumire who was having a ball on the boundary rope watching Surrey losing. Out there Blumire and Annabel dug in and built a respectable partnership before Jonners fell by being caught behind for a decent knock of 26(19). Sam (the reverend) Muller put down his bible, bread and wine and picked up his bat scoring a single run before hitting it to 2nd slip and waiting to be given out; not an entirely holy and honest gesture from the inexperienced reverend. At this point TD were now 8 down as the skipper Jarvis joined Blumire; but fell LBW for an 8 ball duck, having a hissy fit as he slowly departed the crease. In at 11 was the chinaman, Young. Him and Blumire 20(29) put an a handy last 20 odd runs that led to a defendable total of 88.
For the second innings the old softer ball was taken and used first by Jarvis and Butt. The first wicket was taken in the 3rd over by the captain as he caused the edge to Dixon at slip who used his chest for control in taking the catch. The next 2 were taken by Hamza who yet again was performing with the ball in hand. Suddenly Mitcham found themselves 8-3 and it was game on for both sides. Another wicket was then taken by Jarvis and TD were looking like they would roll the oppo for under 30 until Mitcham put on a partnership that seemed to kill the game for the away side as they were nearly 65 for 4 only needing 30 odd with 6 wickets in hand.
This was until Dixon dismissed their skipper with a great slip catch from Jarvis and the TD hopes were set alight once more. Hamza soon took another and with intense fielding and excellent bowling TD found themselves with more than a chance of winning this game. Then Dixon managed to gain a top edge off of their no. 3 batsman who was steering his team to victory, the ball made its way to long on where Newbold was positioned; as the ball climbed into what felt like the stratosphere, nails were bitten and chicken marinade was tasted from tea – as the ball came to descend TD were unsure of the outcome due to the interesting technique of Newbold’s ground fielding earlier in the match of diving over the ball (probably due to watching too much of Jonny Annabel). The catch was held and TD needed 3 more wickets with 20 odd runs to defend. Hamza and Dixon each took one a piece to leave TD needing 1 wicket and Micham needing 6 runs. Dixon bowled the 23rd over and conceded just 1 run in the first 5 balls. On the final delivery of the over Dixon turned to a quicker ball and inspired by the up coming start of Wimbledon, included a tennis shot grunt; middle stump was gone and TD won. Then started a rampage of a celebration by Dixon as he ran around the square like a man possessed with teammates struggling to catch up; Dixon slowed up and realised the effects of what he had just done. The team caught up and congratulated each other on the fight and determination showed in the second half of the game for a well deserved win for Thames Ditton.
Thames Ditton CC – 2nd XI Vs Mitcham CC – 2nd XI
The 2nd XI hosted Mitcham in a top of the table clash between two sides who were coming off the back of a good string of results. The weather was overcast yet humid and the pre match inspection showed the pitch as solid with an even covering of grass leading to speculation that it will do a bit early on. TD were put in to bat and the speculation was shown to be true as the opening pair for Mitcham bowled good lines and got the ball to swing. Adam Terrington and James Rutter opened up for Thames Ditton and they got off to a good solid start, with Terrington hitting a few boundaries and batting positively as TD moved serenely to 25-0.
Unfortunately the good start was undone in the space of two balls as Tez was yorked for 19, then a mis-judged run led to Rutter being run out for 5. Then followed a flurry of wickets to fall with Fahim Shah holing out to long on for 12 and Pradeep Singh trapped leg-before for 6. Nav Singh was caught trying to hit the ball over mid-on and Akash Kapoor was unlucky to be run out to a direct hit for 4. Mitcham were bowling well with one of their openers bowling a total of 15 overs consistently hitting good areas to make things difficult for batsmen, and TD were 6 down with only 60 on the board.
The stalwart of TD Mike Robinson was still there however, and he kept a cool head despite wickets falling at the other end, playing some nice strokes and defending solidly. Tamil Senthilkumar unfortunately had to retire hurt after straining his back and Chris Dixon came to the crease. Chris provided able support for Robbo and struck some powerful boundaries himself showing how much his batting has improved, and the pair really saved TD from embarrassment. Chris was unlucky to be out to a good catch at midwicket for 15, and Rich Spiler came in and batted well with Robbo to get TD to some sort of defendable total. Robbo was eventually out for a well-made 33, a very good knock in the context of the game, and Spiler finished on 17 not out with TD’s innings closing on 133 all out.
The players knew the total was below par and the odds were stacked against them, however news was filtering through of a Miracle in Mitcham as the 1st XI were running through Mitcham’s 1st XI having only scored 88 themselves, which led the 2s to believe that they could force a victory themselves.
Skipper Amrik Natt decided to open the bowling with Spiler and Pradeep, which proved to be a very effective duo, with Pradeep bowling with real nip and pace complementing Spiler’s probing accuracy and swing. Spiler was rewarded with two quick wickets as Mitcham’s batsmen lost patience and swung wildly, and Pradeep trapped Mitcham’s opener leg before to leave Mitcham 17-3 and 133 suddenly seemed a long way away.
However despite losing three wickets so early, Mitcham were not deterred from playing in their ultra-aggressive style, which led to chances of wickets but also meant the runs mounted up at a canter. Just as the game seemed to be slipping away from TD Chris Dixon came on to bowl and got the breakthrough, beating Mitcham’s number 5 batsman all ends up and then picked up another wicket trapping the number 6 in front to leave Mitcham 5 down for 100. Credit must be given however to the Mitcham number 4 batsman, who played an innings of incredibly fluency and clean hitting which took the game away from TD in the end, and he finished with an impressive 63 not out. A great bit of fielding and run-out from Amrik brought another wicket but it was too little too late as Mitcham won by four wickets. It was unfortunate that the earlier injury to Tamil prevented him from being able to bowl, as he has proved to be such a dangerous bowler and could have made an impact. Having said that the bowling and fielding display was on the whole commendable and to have a team who has won every game so far 6 down for 133 is a good effort. Ultimately TD let themselves down with the bat, with too many wickets being thrown away needlessly when there is so much time in the game to play yourself in and build an innings. All in all it was a disappointing but fair result, and the 2s will look to learn from mistakes and bounce back in their bid for promotion. Finally thank you to Wes who did a great job umpiring.
Thames Ditton CC – 3rd XI Vs Chessington CC – Saturday 3rd XI
CHESSINGTON BUCKLE UNDER PRESSURE FROM THE TD REVIVAL
TD 181-8 (50 Overs) CHESSINGTON 148 A.O (45 Overs) – TD WIN BY 33 RUNS
On a warm moist day, Patel as usual lost the toss and TD were inserted on what looked a decent wicket.
5 overs down and 28-0, things looking good, Patel and Dave Morgan popping the ball to all parts of the boundary, may be the batting wasn’t as fragile as we believed. Two overs later 34-3 with Patel, Morgan and Corvi back in the hutch – same old same old. But just hang on there – ever young all-rounder Andy Cassie (Cliff Richard eat yer heart out) and John (Scaredy Cat) Malins dug in to right the ship. Malins eventually went after a stand of 39 for 23. Cassie resolute on 6 – ( I must have a bit of Yorkshire in me and I wasn’t talking pudding). One Shot strolled to the crease and off we went again. An enterprising stand of 74 in which extras played a significant part followed, before One Shot trying to up the pace was out for a creditable 26 – there were even a couple of shots not legside. Cassie continued and even upped the pace a bit before jug avoidance syndrome kicked in and was eventually caught for 45. Jones then strode to the crease buoyed by his recent batting successes. Sadly this day it was not to be, maybe it was his Charlie Carolli size 28 shoes or his exploding car that put him off but he was bowled for 1 – “never got off the ground”. Anyway we saw through our 50 overs for a creditable 181-8, on a wicket which was always going to wear towards the end and this proved to be a difficult target to reach.
So tea having refreshed the team, skipper Jai decided that the team needed a serious motivational talk. One of his greatest fireside chats, of Churchillian proportions set us off in the right direction after tea – “we will fight them at Chessington World of Adventures” – was his great motivational gambit – and boy did it work. With a Tom Tom opening attack, Chessington seemed to lose direction initially (ha ha) – but recovered in the middle period to look home and hosed at 140-4 with 9 overs to bat. Then with the return of Tom Oliver and Dave Morgan – wickets tumbled – even Jonesy saw a bit of action and came in with one of the early ones. So from 140-4, high flying Chessington (previously top) collapsed to 148 All Out and a epic 33 run victory for TD. The collapse was due to two top quality bowling performances – Morgs taking 4-23 and Tom Oliver 3-16 ably supported by TCS 1-33 and Jonesy 1-10. 6 wickets for 8 runs tells the story but the collapse was started by a superb catch from Nic Corvi, a pivotal moment.
Victory to us and a significantly better all round performance with everybody contributing to the win.
Comedy moment 1 – Andy Jones’ fielding early in their innings – a clowns pocket and a squirty flower were all that were required to finish it off.
Comedy moment 2 – Andy Cassie crawling around on all 4’s to field a stinger of a ball that just about reached him – bless him but he did have a long innings.
Great performance which takes us to 7th in the league with a real possibility of moving further up with a game against Sheen Park next Saturday – bring it on as they now say – Sic