Crown Taverners Cricket Club, Fleet, Sunday 4 August 2012. Gentlemen of West London (249) beat St Anne’s Allstars (136-9) by 113 runs.
Up in the capital, the GB Olympic team followed up their Super Saturday with medals aplenty at the Velodrome and Andy Murray got revenge on Roger Federer as he won the Wimbledon-lite tennis. But the Olympic magic didn’t quite get as far as Hampshire as our own winning streak was ended by a ruthless performance by a strong Gentlemen of West London side.
Throughout the many years we’ve faced the Gents, they’ve always been difficult to beat, and doing so has usually required one or two Allstars to play out of their skins. But even they probably couldn’t believe the start we gave them as, not helped by a slippery artificial wicket much like we encountered in Corfu, their opening batsmen Dubey and Bocha got off to a flyer. By the seventh over, the score had reached 66 for 0, a score more familiar after a Twenty20 powerplay. But the Allstars don’t give in that easily, and Nick Chadwick soon found his range. Firstly, he produced a jaffa to send Dubey’s off stump cartwheeling out of the ground, and in his next over Bocha was sent packing as his leg stump was uprooted. Left-hander Himanchu Desai’s off bail was trimmed by another beauty, and we were back in the game. Vivek Seth struck with his second ball, Greg Newcombe prodding to Gren Thompson at cover, and the Gents were 105 for 4.
The wickets had slowed the run rate, but after the drinks break Wright and Sanjay Patel put their foot on the gas, sharing a partnership of 62 before James “Tarka” Hindle broke the stand by bowling Wright. Mark Jones came to the crease, and he and Sanjay continued to hit hard before skipper Gren Thompson, who had suffered at the hands of the Gents’ opening assault, came back for a second spell and struck with his first ball, rearranging Sanjay’s stumps. Sir Viv returned for another over to bowl the younger Wright, before Sam MacDonald took two excellent catches on the cow boundary, juggling the second before diving to hold on, to dismiss Jones and Kumar. Last man Ken Toft was run out in the last over, and we faced a target of 250 – tough but makeable on a small ground, and certainly less than looked likely at the beginning.
Tarka and Sam started slowly, the Gents’ opening bowlers Dubey and Pentakota bowling accurately and giving few runs away. But Sam is rarely contained for long, and was soon into his stride, hitting two monster sixes, the first a breathtaking shot over cover, and the second an enormous pick-up over square leg which cleared both the pavilion and the car park behind. The pair had put on 80 and the Gents were just starting to get worried when Sam was run out as Tarka called him through for an unlikely single.
Two overs later, Bocha disturbed Tarka’s stumps, effectively ending the run chase, but we still continued to put up a fight. Coming in at the unheard of heights of number 3, I scampered a few singles before the first ball I really middled picked out the fielder on the mid-wicket boundary. Although Neale Adams went quickly, Simon Rose continued to show the benefits of his many coaching sessions as he and Tony Grant continued the resistance before Pentakota dismissed them both, bowling Simon and having Tony caught at cover. A clatter of wickets followed as the run rate became impossible, but Gren showed some classy shots as he and Martyn Langridge at least saw the overs out.
Man of the Match: Sam MacDonald. The white Chris Gayle produced his full repertoire of shots before his innings was cruelly cut short.
Champagne Moment:Chadders sending Dubey’s off stump flying – a great sight for any quick bowler.
Gentlemen of West London
N Dubey b Chadwick 23
P Bocha b Chadwick 34
G Wright b Hindle 51
H Desai b Chadwick 1
G Newcombe c Thompson b Seth 8
S Patel b Thompson 45
M Jones c MacDonald b Grant 36
L Wright b Seth 1
Y Kumar c MacDonald b Thompson 10
R Pentakola not out 5
K Toft run out 0
Extras (b8 lb2 w15) 25
Total (35 overs) 249
Fall of wickets: 66, 70, 81, 105, 167, 209, 216, 239, 247.
Bowling: Chadwick 7-1-29-3, Thompson 7-0-57-2, Grant 7-0-32-1, Langridge 7-0-56-0, Seth 4-0-30-2, Hindle 3-0-30-1.
St Anne’s Allstars
JM Hindle b Bocha 28
S MacDonald run out 43
GA Duncan c Pentakota b Bocha 6
S Rose b Pentakota 8
+N Adams b Bocha 0
A Grant sr c Desai b Pentakota 11
MJC Haddow-Allen b Jones 0
V Seth b Newcombe 1
N Chadwick b Jones 0
*G Thompson not out 10
M Langridge not out 6
Extras (b4 lb6 w8 nb4) 22
Total (9 wkts, 35 overs) 136
Fall of wickets: 80, 85, 90, 92, 115, 117, 117, 118, 123.
Bowling: Pentakota 7-2-26-2, Dubey 7-2-15-0, Patel 7-1-40-0, Bocha 7-2-16-3, Jones 5-1-17-2, Newcombe 1-0-2-1, Kumar 1-0-11-0.