A winning start in Wandsworth

Sunday 4 May 2014, Wandsworth Common. 
St Anne’s Allstars (159-8) beat Wisborough Wanderers (132) by 27 runs.
Format: 12 players a side (11 wickets to dismiss), 35 overs a side, max 6 per bowler, batsman retire at 30.
By Garreth Duncan
Allstars Season 14 began as the last one had ended, with a cracking victory.  As with last year’s game against Wisborough, it was another gripping encounter, played in a great spirit, and the Allstars thrillingly prevailed against some sporting opponents, with everyone contributing.
Given our club’s roots in south-west London, it was a little surprising we’d never played at Wandsworth Common before.  The ground is an undiscovered gem, the pitch playing true, if a little low.  In bright sunshine Maxie won the toss and decided to bat first.  We suffered a couple of early setbacks as openers Pete Cresswell and Gren Thompson, having had a few early sighters, both had their stumps disturbed as they went for attacking shots.
From an unpromising 11 for 2, Venay Jethwa and Paul Bowman repaired the early damage as they saw off the dangerous opening bowler Juniper and took the score past 50.  Venay was making it look so easy it was a surprise when he too was bowled as he aimed a big drive.  This brought to the wicket our talisman Steyn Grobler, who has never been on the losing side in an Allstars shirt, and both continued to up the tempo, KP dispatching Alex Smith for a sumptuous six before retiring at 30.  His departure brought about a mid-innings wobble, as Jamie Wallace struck twice in quick succession, trapping Steyn LBW and bowling Neale Adams.
With 12 overs left, Dave Halladay strode to the wicket in a situation tailor-made for his attacking strokeplay.  With James Abrahams providing solid support at the other end, Dave went for his shots as the score advanced towards the 150 mark.  On Dave’s retirement, James and I continued to run hard, pushing twos to keep the scoreboard ticking over.  The returning Juniper ended our stand in the final over and bowled Vivek Seth next ball, and Maxie was run out going for an impossible single off the final delivery.
Nevertheless, as we tucked into our splendid roast chicken sandwiches and drumsticks, we were all fairly pleased with 159 for 8.  It seemed like a monster total as we got off to an unbelievable start with the ball.  In the second over, Martyn Langridge set us on our way by dismissing opener Pratt, even if the umpire seemed a little unsure whether it was LBW or caught behind.  Next over, KP had Walesby caught behind off an inside edge and then bowled Webber off his pads.  We’d struck 3 times in 5 balls, and soon Tippins was on his way too as Martyn yorked him.
Incredibly, Wisborough were 8 for 4.  But Allstars history told us there are always hidden dangers down the order and reminded us there was plenty more work to do to win the game.  Wicket-keeper Donald began the Wisborough fightback as he went after Neale’s bowling. Gren, perhaps a little peeved at some of the opposition’s tea-time banter about his batting, bowled as quickly as I’ve ever seen any Allstar bowl and was desperately unlucky not to get a wicket in his first spell.  Donald and Shutt-Vine had taken the score past 50 when, with his final delivery, Martyn struck a vital third blow as he bowled Shutt-Vine.
We were still by no means home and dry.  Donald had retired having reached 30, but the Wisborough lower middle order had its fair share of hitters, Nicholls continuing the fight by striking Vivek Seth for a massive six over square leg.  Sir Viv produced the perfect response by hitting his stumps next ball, and then running out Jamie Wallace as he went for a suicidal single.  Viv struck for a second time as he bowled the dangerous Juniper, and the slogger Smith, having hit a couple of meaty blows, was dismissed by Venay, snaffling a smart return catch. 
Still the match remained in the balance, with Donald returning and Webber, coming back for another go as they had 11 to our 12, proving a more than useful ball striker second time around, as the target came down to below 30.  But, fittingly, it was Gren who had the final say as he blasted out Webber’s stumps.
Man of the Match: Martyn Langridge – a fabulous opening spell to set up victory.
Champagne Moment:  Vivek bowling Nicholls – the perfect riposte.
St Anne’s Allstars
P Cresswell b Juniper 2 
G Thompson b Nicholls 9
V Jethwa b Walesby  28
PM Bowman retired 30
+S Grobler lbw b J Wallace 16
NR Adams b J Wallace 8
DA Halladay retired 30
J Abrahams not out 18
GA Duncan b Juniper 4
V Seth b Juniper 0
*MJC Haddow-Allen run out 0
Extras (b3 lb4 w7) 14
Total (8 wickets, 35 overs) 159
Did not bat: M Langridge
Fall of wickets: 1-11 (1), 2-19 (2), 3-61 (3), 4-100 (5), 5-101 (6), 6-157 (9), 7-157 (10), 8-157 (11)
Bowling: Juniper 6-1-18-3, Tippins 6-1-16-0, Webber 3-0-7-0, Nicholls 3-0-12-1, Walesby 3-0-15-1, Smith 3-0-27-0, Shutt-Vine 2-0-17-0, J Wallace 3-0-12-2, Pratt 3-0-13-0, D Wallace 3-0-16-0.
Wisborough Wanderers
A Pratt lbw b Langridge  1
P Walesby c Grobler b Bowman 0
+C Donald not out 37
J Webber b Bowman 0
J Tippins b Langridge 1 
S Shutt-Vine b Langridge 12
*J Wallace run out 3
A Nicholls b Seth 16
M Juniper b Seth 14
A Smith c&b Jethwa 15
D Wallace run out 2
J Webber (2) b Thompson 17
Extras (b5 lb6 w3) 14
Total (11 wickets, 27.1 overs) 132
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (1), 2-1 (2), 3-1 (4), 4-8 (5), 5-50 (5), 6-51(5), remainder not recorded
Bowling: Bowman 4-2-2-2, Langridge 6-1-24-3, Adams 3-0-25-0, Thompson 4.1-1-7-1, Seth 4-1-24-2, Duncan 3-0-28-0, Jethwa 2-1-2-1, Abrahams 1-0-7-0.

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