Allstars defeat Rain Men in lively affair

St Annes’s Allstars (181ao) defeated Rain Men (160-5) by 21 runs. Neale Adams reports. 

The England victory at Edgbaston in the morning that sealed a superb Ashes win, obviously inspired the Allstars for their home match against the Rain Men at Barnes Common on August 8, 2015.

Having won the toss on a sun drenched field (and a team decision that it was far too hot to field first) the Allstars went into bat with Grobler and MacDonald leading the attack. And what a job they did. Grobler knocked up a healthy 23 before being being caught behind by Allen with a ball delivered by George Robson – aged 12. More of that later. MacDonald was joined by Grant and continued to knock the ball around the common with some fine stroke play. Certainly not bad for the unassuming MacDonald who was less than confident about his batting prowess before the match

Grant was able to stay at the crease for a good period, but was again caught behind by Allen from a ball delivered by Robson Senior.

Hampton then joined his landlord out on the square and together the ball was sent to the boundary nearly as many times as Maxie has disparaged Cook and the ECB. MacDonald finally succumbed to another delivery by Robson Snr, edged to the safe hands of Allen keeping behind the stumps. MacDonald’s 64 was a great effort. It was fortunate that the first four Allstars into bat put 100 on the score board (TG had helped with a tally of four), as the remaining lot had obviously been inspired by the Australian first innings of the fourth test.

Marshall marched into battle and was sent back after facing his second ball – ct Allen, b Robson Snr. Burgin followed quite literally – being sent back to the pavilion after the second ball from another delivery by the consistent Robson Snr.

Haroon ‘Eye of the Tiger’ Khalid followed – but didn’t wait for the second ball. First ball, caught Cooper, bowled by Frank Robson, aged 10.  Langridge followed hoping to stop the rot. He did – by spending a little longer at the crease and assisting Hampton on his way. Langridge was eventually dispatched for 4 by another ball by Frank Robson, that was knocked into the hands of Craft.

Devlin actually did stop the rot – by knocking up four before being caught by Robson Senior from a delivery by George Robson. Adams followed Devlin and sadly saw the dismissal of Hampton who was trying to knock another ball out of the park, but edged it to the fielder Cooper. However, the in-form Hampton had knocked up a brilliant 58 to keep the Allstars in the picture.

Khalid returned to the crease as the team were playing with 10 and improved on his first innings with a tally of seven, before Adams was left in no man’s land waving his bat around like a fly swat with the ball hitting it, popping up into the air and being caught by the ever vigilant Frank Robson. And yes, it was Robson Snr who delivered the ball.

A total, with extras, of 181 was in place. And from the Allstars, a tip of the hat to the Rain Men Robson family – George and Frank of which both play for the Surrey under somethings. Little did we know.

After a fine tea (well done the Allstars, as ever when it comes to food and drink), the Rain Men started the chase, as Hampton and Khalid led the bowling attack. And excellent work it was too. Although not high in wickets, the run rate was kept very low. The first break come with a delivery from Khalid to Rose who put the ball into the air and forced Grobler to turn, run and catch the ball.  Khalid’s second came after an edge from Pool, who threatened to upset proceedings, was caught behind by Marshall. Second time lucky…

Polangec replaced Rose and Allen replaced Pool – and together the pair set about forming a stand. However by the drinks break after 18 overs (in the 35 over match) the Rain Men were only on 60.

Grobler came on to replace Hampton, and Grant replaced Khalid in the bowling and again capitalised with good tight bowling. Even more impressive was the work rate of the Allstars fielders. To a man, balls were chased down and many runs saved. Burgin in particular had a good work out and stopped many a boundary ball.

Devlin took over from Grant, but like TG and Grobler no way through was found. That was until the mighty Langridge bowled his first session of the season. And what a session it was.

First to go was Allen – who knocked up a very commendable 60. Trying to put one over the bowlers head, Langridge leapt like a salmon – or self dubbed Sex Panther – to take the ball mid air. Second to go was Peckham for three – direct hit on the stumps. The same exit befell Cooper who went for naught. A fine Langridge haul of 3 – 23.

But still much had to be done, good Rain Men batting had put their tally up to the 140s and the Allstars had to keep it tight in the field.

Khalid had been supporting Langridge in the bowling department and tensions flared into less of a Rumble in the Jungle but more Verbals on the Common, when Polangec and Khalid exchanged words over Khalid’s wild staring after delivery and a few bouncers that had been put into the mix. All in all I thought the bowling was pretty good, maybe that was the problem. If anything the confrontation certainly livened up proceedings. Khalid’s figures read 2 – 24 by the end of play.

With overs dwindling, accurate bowling and tight fielding the Rain Men were unable to reach the required run rate and posted a final score of 160. Polangec a creditable 48.

Beers in The Sun at Barnes concluded the days proceedings, and with the Ashes secured and Palace beating Norwich 3-1 away, the Allstars second victory of the season rounded off a perfect summer’s day….. that is unless you were a Tottenham fan. Here’s to many more……

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