Crossbats take the Bank Holiday honours

Marble Hill Park, Saturday 29 August 2020. Crossbats 207/3 (35 overs; S. Skinner 92*, Arnott 2-31) beat St Anne’s Allstars 125 (27.4 overs; Singh 46) by 82 runs.

Allstars debut: Sheahan Arnott

Report and photos by Pete Cresswell

A cool misty bank holiday Saturday greeted the Allstars this weekend on our return to Marble Hill Park – a stark contrast to the blistering temperatures when we played the Weasels there a few weeks back. The Park itself was a lot greener this time around. This fixture saw the unveiling of the new Allstars caps, with everyone looking very dapper.

The day started inauspiciously with illness ruling out one Allstar, leaving us to play with 10, and Bank Holiday roadworks and traffic meant that 3 Allstars and the club kitbag arrived at the park right on the scheduled 1pm start time, causing a scramble to get out into the field after Crossbats won the toss.

Shanmugam Sama continued his excellent season with the ball with an economical opening spell in partnership with Sam Waddicor. The Crossbats openers however were positive on their home pitch, running aggressively and taking full advantage of the gaps in the big outfield. They added 69 before debutant Sheahan Arnott skittled McAlpine for 47 in the 12th over.

Skinner joined his skipper Wright at the crease, and the pair continued tidily accumulating through tidy spells from Arnott, Jagath Dasari, Vivek Seth and Hywel Roberts. While Sam W was very unlucky to not pick up an LBW call, and a run out from a deflection onto the non-striker’s stumps during a very tidy second spell, it wasn’t until the 29th over that Jagath broke the century stand, having Wright well caught behind by Dharani Ronanki.

Carter quickly followed, well caught and bowled by Sheahan, and he and Shanmugam combined in some excellent death bowling to keep the end of innings charge in check.

207 was a daunting ask on a fairly slow outfield, but skipper Pete Cresswell and Jono Beagle strode out purposefully to begin our reply. The other Skinner brother picked up from his brother’s batting, bowling accurately and generating significant outswing, and picking up Cresswell who gloved a lifter through to the keeper in the 5th over, before yorking Jono in the 7th to leave us 19 for 2.

Sachin Singh and Hywel Roberts steadily rebuilt, Sachin playing some lovely aggressive shots ( ) until Hywel fell to the economical Humphrey. Sachin and Dharani added another 22, running quickly between the wickets before Dharani top-edged a pull shot to leave us 75 for 4.

The returning Skinner then found some reverse swing, yorking Sachin for an excellent 46. From then on the Allstars’ lower order went for their shots, with Sheahan compiling a tidy 18, and Jagath, Shanmugam and Sam all looking to score quickly, but they’d been left too much to do & our innings was wrapped up when Vivek holed out for us to close on 125 as drizzle again threatened.

Overall the margin might have been a lot closer had some luck run the Allstars’ way, but we can look forward to challenging the Crossbats harder next year. Next weekend, the Allstars travel to Cambridge for our inaugural fixture against NCI.

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