Allstars get off to a winning start

The Urn Field, Guildford, Sunday 27 May 2012.  St Anne’s Allstars (159-6) beat Sanford (155) by 4 wickets.
Match report by Neale Adams

As the country basked in temperatures of 25 degrees plus, a team of fit and raring to go Allstars took to the field against Sanford in Guildford. Having won the toss, Sanford were put into bat.

Haroon Khalid – or Colin as Sanford initially preferred to call him – and Nick Chadwick were the opening bowling attack for the Allstars and did a brilliant job of keeping the opposition run rate very low. The winter break did little to stifle Chadders, whose opening ball was a beautiful inswinging yorker that zeroed in on the stumps despatching the batsman back to the pavilion for one. The pair would have had more wickets had a few more balls stuck in the hands of the fielders.

The bowling changed to TG and Tristan, with TG striking first with a ball that was caught behind, and then onto Venay Jethwa and Vivek Seth. TG’s wicket was the last wicket for a period as, frustrating as it was for the Allstars bowlers and fielders who were doing a good job, the batsman dug in and slowly took their tally upward. It was only when Tristan came back on for a second spell did things liven up again, as he took two wickets (one bowled, the other caught behind) in as many balls. The fear of having to buy the beers obviously affected his third attempt. But it was the spark the team needed.

Haroon and Chadders re-entered the fray and as Chadders had opened his account with a wicket on his first ball, so he closed it with another on his last ball. A fine catch by Tristan took the scalp of the Sanford opener Alex Forbes who had knocked up a healthy 65 for the opposition.

Now it was the turn of Venay and TG who both returned to bowl. Venay dismissed Sanford’s second highest scorer, left-hander John Morley for 36 and TG completed a great day’s bowling by taking the last three wickets for one run – two balls caught behind and the other splitting the stumps leaving Sanford on 155 all out in 39 overs.

There were some great efforts by many Allstars in the field, but Martyn Langridge must be Mentioned in Despatches for his panther-like skills that stopped many a ball (some hit at full force) from leaving the infield and keeping the opposition runs down.

The Allstars bowling figures totalled: TG 4/30, Tristan 3/18, Chadders 2/17 and Venay 1/25.
After a fine tea, Tristan and Dave Halladay opened for the Allstars and set about their business with some fine stoke play and diligence, more than exceeding the four an over run-rate required. The pair took the Allstars score past the 50 mark with ease creating a firm foundation for those who followed.  The partnership had reached 78 at a run a ball before Dave was caught for a well-made 23.

Neale Adams went out to help Tristan – if only for an over and to hit a four – and then return to the pavilion after being bowled out. But like Tesco…every little helps. It must be noted at this stage that Tristan – who had knocked well past the 50 mark in the evening sun – stated ‘Sod this. I’m not running any more three’s’. Fair play.

Next up was Andy Reid who helped to steady the ship with 12, followed by Garreth Duncan who, despite murmurings on the boundary of ‘Boycott is quicker at getting runs’, quickly proved his critics wrong with some solid shots and good stroke play. At first count it was thought Garreth had knocked up a new personal best of 20, only to be robbed in the recount that confirmed the tally of 16. A good knock all the same, helped by some pre-season net practice down in Shedfield I am told.

Tristan meanwhile reached a brilliant 76 before being caught. TG followed in the Tesco way of cricket – a quick four and then back home.

It was left to Venay and Haroon – who was brandishing a spanky new GM bat – to take the Allstars over the finishing line, which they did in style. Venay was very keen to close the match and had two attempts, before a fine cover drive connected with the ball sending it over the boundary to leave the Allstars on 159 for six in 34 overs.

A great victory in fine weather that was a marked improvement over the 2011 match against the same opposition who then bowled the Allstars out for 142 (Dave Halladay – 51, Tristan – a golden duck), and only lost three wickets (two taken by Vivek and one by Haroon) before reaching 143.

It has to be said that this year, despite TG’s superb bowling figures, Tristan was most definitely Man of the Match for his all round performance with the bat and ball.

Keep up the good work.

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