Barnes Common, Sunday 26 July 2020.
Plastics CC 128 (Shanmu Sama 3-14) beat St Anne’s Allstars 111-9 (Sachin Singh 30) by 17 runs.
By Vivek Seth
Following our fabulous, close-fought victory against Corridor on the opening day of our season, on a somewhat overcast morning we welcomed a new opponent, Plastics CC, to our spiritual home at Barnes Common. Email exchanges between the two skippers before the match suggested that both teams were likely to be similar in both standard and in spirit. The game certainly did not disappoint, proving to be one of the most enjoyable games that the Allstars have played recently.
With a very green wicket and some rain about, Allstars skipper Vivek Seth elected to bowl first. He and Shanmu Sama opened the bowling and both bowled very tight early on. Sama’s spell was particularly effective, finding the edge of the bat a number of times and bowling the Plastics’ opener, Bradbury.
Following the first sanitisation break, the Allstars made their first bowling changes with Sam Perera and Jimmy Scott providing a combination of pace and guile. However, some dropped catches and mistakes in the field meant that the batting pair of R. Bishop and P. Bishop were able to up the run rate, putting the Allstars in a spot of bother. Jimmy was finally able to dislodge the pair for 20 and 30 respectively. Wickets then came at regular intervals with two from Tony Grant (whom the Plastics found especially hard to put away), one from Jono Beagle and a deserved two more from a returning Shanmu. Skipper Seth was then left to mop up the tail taking two wickets at the end aided by a tidy maiden from Samer Hafiz.
The Allstars came off the pitch chasing a total of 128. Having seen how the pitch was behaving and with there being cloud around, the Allstars knew this would be a tricky total, especially if the Plastics were able to field better than we had.
Pete Cresswell and Matt Biss opened the batting for the Allstars, both being able to occupy the crease but being unable to accelerate the run rate due to a menacing pitch and some very tidy fielding. Biss fell for 10 with Felix Haddow-Allen following shortly after for a duck. Sachin Singh joined Pete and helped steady the ship, bringing the Allstars to 54/2 after 17 overs. While a good platform, we knew we needed to up the run rate to stand any chance of winning.
From there though, the inevitable Allstars collapse occurred with Pete falling for 7, Sachin for a valiant 30, Samer for 1 and Dharani Krishna for a duck. With 5 wickets in hand but only 61 runs on the board after 22 overs, both Grant and Jono Beagle looked to accelerate the run rate, ultimately leading to the running out of Grant for 3. The last hope came with the partnership of Jono and Sam Perera, taking the Allstars to 88/7 after 29 overs and still just with a chance of victory. However, both fell soon after for 17 and 16 respectively and while Sama and Scott finished the match not out, Plastics held on win by just 17 runs.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable match between two sides similar in standard and attitude. Ultimately, some excellent fielding and running between the wickets gave the Plastics the extra 20-30 runs they needed. Our thanks to the Plastics for being such an enjoyable team to play with. As mentioned by another Allstar, we certainly don’t see this particular plastic being a single use one and look forward to playing plenty more matches with them in the future. Onwards and upwards to a reunion with our old friends the Weasels, at Marble Hill Park on 9 August.