Sunday 19 August 2018 – North Middlesex CC, Hornsey.
St Anne’s Allstars 206/8 (Singh 34*, Bowman 34, Curry 32, Cresswell 30, Spee 5-23) beat Railway Taverners 177 (Spee 32, Bowman 3-35, Parr 2-6, Curry 2-25) by 29 runs.
By Pete Cresswell
North Middlesex CC boast a lovely collection of pitches in the shadow of Alexandra Palace, and the Allstars gathered there on a warm summer Sunday to face the Railway Taverners for the first time. Skipper Cresswell correctly called heads, glanced at the greenish pitch and the overhead cloud and then noted that the Allstars had a couple of players yet to arrive, and opted to bat!
Allstars openers Cresswell and Curry stride to the crease
Shortly thereafter Pete and Darren Curry strode to the crease, and got off to a brisk start, with both Darren and (amazingly) the Blenheim Blocker finding the boundary regularly and rattling up an opening stand of 68, the best of the season so far. It wasn’t until the 14th over that the Taverners’ 5th bowler Aymon Spee snuck one through Curry’s defences. This sparked a traditional Allstars collapse in the face of Spee’s accurate medium pace – Pete also had his stumps rattled, Sam MacDonald unluckily picked out long-off, and Sanjay Dindyal was the victim of an iffy LBW decision, and in no time 68/0 had become 88/4. Steve Parr (whom we’d borrowed at the last minute from the Taverners) was then caught at deep square leg, giving Kiwi Spee a five-fer, and we were 112/5.
Paul Bowman faces up to the Railway Taverners bowling
Paul “KP” Bowman and new cap Ashwin Rattan rebuilt the innings, seeing out Spee’s 8 over spell before pushing the score on against the change bowlers. KP looked in super touch as he advanced to 34 before having his stumps knocked back, and Ash worked the ball around well for 18 on his debut before he too was bowled. But this was a day when the Allstars batted deep, and the platform had been set for an acceleration in the last few overs – Sachin Singh wielded his MRF bat to impressive effect as he struck a rapid unbeaten 34, with very handy support from Joe Silmon. 206/8 felt like a handy score at the break.
Allstars do some fielding practice
After a superb tea in NMCC’s club rooms watching England capitulate against India, the Allstars took the field. In a solid opening spell KP removed the Taverners’ danger men Andy James, bowled off an inside edge, and Spee, plumb LBW, while Sachin kept things tight at the other end. Railway Taverners continued to press hard for runs in the second 10 overs as both the batsmen went after Sean “3-Estrellas” Jun. But Sanjay was working up impressive pace at the other end, as the batsmen struggled to lay a bat on him. It was a wicket well deserved when he produced the ball of the day to hit the top of Dion Nortje’s middle stump.
With the pitch slowing down the skipper went to spin in the form of Silmon and Curry, who kept the run rate required at 5 an over, as we slowly winkled out the middle order. Darren was rather unlucky to have several chances missed in the field, but he still grabbed two wickets as opener Matthias Winter was finally bowled and Dave trapped LBW. Debutant Ash then took his turn at the bowling crease (the Allstars’ players playing XI was rather stacked with bowling resources) to claim his first Allstars wicket as he bowled Tom Mansbridge.
The run rate required was growing past a run a ball, and wickets running out, as KP returned, with Steve’s help, to wrap up the tail for our first win of the season. Kudos to Sam for an excellent keeping display, while Garreth “G-Drive” Duncan, Sachin, Ash and Darren all put in some great work in the field.
All in all, a great day out against really friendly opposition, the post match chat & grub at the Railway Tavern was excellent. We look forward to another close contest next year!
The winning team!