Mill Hill Park, Mill Hill, Sunday 3 September 2017. St Anne’s Allstars 161-4 (35 overs) (S Singh 71, D Curry 40) beat Edgware CC 121 (23.1 overs) (M Langridge 6-20 including a hat-trick, S Singh 2-18, U Asghar 1-36) by 40 runs.
By Pete Cresswell
Under ominous skies the Allstars and 10-man Edgware convened pitch-side in Mill Hill (eschewing the changing room that appeared to have been broken into & used as a drug den, somewhat appropriate given that the Allstars’ stumps were referencing “Haroon’s Westside Massive”). After skipper Haroon Khalid won the toss, a committee of Allstars noted the forecast rain and opted to bat first.
Pete Cresswell and debutant Darren Curry opened up cautiously on a pitch with mostly tennis ball-like bounce, except on the odd spot that hurried through, making life hard for the stand-in Edgware keeper. Wides and byes put in an early shift, as Edgware’s Saverus opened with 3 consecutive maidens. Eventually the pair began accelerating before Cresswell gloved a lifting delivery down onto his bails with 38 on the board.
Sachin Singh joined Curry and the pair went on the attack, Singh’s pre-meditated assaults proving an antidote to the tricky pitch and glacially slow outfield. Both gave some chances along the way, but with Edgware shelling chances the score mounted. Darren eventually holed out for a well struck 40 before Umar Asghar (fresh from his 50 the previous week) dropped anchor in support of Singh. As the score passed 150 the pair fell in quick succession, bowled by deliveries that kept low, leaving Joe Silmon and Tony Grant to eke out a few more runs in the slog overs, getting through to 161.
Despite a few threatening spots around the drinks break the promised rain held off, so the Allstars took the field after tea to defend what felt like (and ultimately proved to be) a handy total. The Edgware skipper Ciaran Hosty looked a handy bat, launching into anything short from Haroon. However Sachin’s medium pace in-swingers and cutters proved perfect for the pitch, and he bowled a superb 7 over spell, dismissing opener Ganesh Say’z and keeper Shuraj Vekaria to finish with 2 for 18.
Umar Asghar replaced Haroon and immediately struck, bowling Verapeen to reduce Edgware to 28 for 3, before the 4th wicket partnership attacked Umar’s and Joe Silmon’s bowling and rode their luck to add 59 in quick time. Then Martyn “Lofty” Langridge entered the fray. He enticed the Edgware number 5 Naresh to hole out, before clean bowling the next 2 men on his way to a superb hat trick, the 5th in Allstars history. A couple of overs later Umar held a superb catch at cover to remove the dangerous Hosty for an excellent 49-ball 51.
With little batting left Malik began swinging lustily, ultimately skying a Langridge delivery that popped off a length straight up and safely into keeper Darren’s gloves. And off the first ball of his 6th over Langridge got a ball to shoot through at ankle height and clean bowl the last man Saverus, to give the Allstars their 3rd win in succession. Martyn finished with figures of 6 for 20, the best analysis in the Allstars’ long and distinguished history, and very well deserved.
With the game duly won the forecast rain finally arrived, 2 hours late, leaving the victors to take shelter in a nearby pub and toast another successful day.