Crouch Hill CC, Sunday 27 June 2021.
St Anne’s Allstars 165-5 (27.1 overs, Matt Lo 47, Sanjay Dindyal 37*, Matt Biss 32) beat Mighty Wanderers 162 (27.1 overs, Sachin Singh 5-7, Amit Deverathippa 4-37) by 5 wickets to regain the James Abrahams Trophy.
Report by Pete Cresswell – Photos by Shanmugam Sama and Pete Cresswell
Sunday dawned grey and showery as the Allstars gathered at Crouch End to take on long standing rivals the Mighty Wanderers, who had won the James Abrahams trophy in a thrilling 50-over match at Mill Hill School back in 2019.
With both teams still waiting on a few arrivals still negotiating north London traffic, the captains agreed on a 35-over match that would hopefully finish ahead of the evening’s forecast thunderstorms. Allstars’ skipper Cresswell called incorrectly, and the Wanderers elected to bat first on a greenish pitch.
Shortly afterwards, seven Allstars took the field, assisted by two volunteer Wanderers as sub fielders – we reached a full complement by the end of the 5th over.
Jagath Dasari opened up the attack with Sheahan Arnott, and runs initially flowed as Wanderers’ opener Jukes took toll of the reduced field & short boundaries. Meanwhile, makeshift keeper Cresswell struggled to catch up with some prodigious swing on offer, meaning 27 came off the first 3 overs before Arnott managed to seam one back and bowl the dangerous Lars Smith for 1.
Montgomery joined Jukes, and the pair continued briskly, adding 89 in under 14 overs through spells by Sanjay Dindyal and Shanmugam Sama amidst some drizzle before Montgomery was bowled by Sachin Singh the last ball before drinks. It was a vital wicket which was to turn the game in our favour.
Jukes continued attacking Amit Deverathippa’s seam, but Sachin bowled Andy Charlton for 1 to open up the other end. Amit’s decision to switch to bowling off spin paid dividends getting Leahy and Heafield LBW off consecutive balls to reduce the Wanderers to 144-4.
Martin survived the hat-trick attempt – but the collapse was now well and truly on. Amit got his third wicket in 5 balls to remove Jukes bowled for 58 – then the pair mopped up the tail, Sachin bowling two consecutive wicket-maidens (taking 3-0 off his last 15 balls), and ultimately winning the race with Amit to a “Michelle Pfeiffer” by bowling J. Charlton for 1 to wrap up the innings.
Eight dismissals bowled (including all five of Sachin’s wickets) and two lbws showed the benefits of bowling straight in helpful atmospheric conditions, but 161 still looked very chaseable given the short boundaries.
Both teams then adjourned to the neighbouring North Middlesex CC clubhouse for tea. TEA! The first catered tea for the Allstars since the Portugal tour in October 2019.
After tea skipper Cresswell, a tad sore from keeping (and a 17 mile hike Saturday) opted to list himself at number 11. A decision that had nothing at all to do with protecting his average of 91 at this ground, a stat which absolutely never gets mentioned.
That meant a promotion for Jagath who opened the batting (alongside Matt Biss) as well as the bowling – matching a feat achieved in Test cricket by Danny Morrison. Unfortunately Jagath was brilliantly caught in the gully in the 2nd over – the Wanderers showing excellent skills in the field through the innings.
Hywel Roberts joined Matt Biss to steady the ship, the pair putting on 47 in 10 overs to build a platform before Hywel fell LBW. Matt Lo then joined his namesake, the pair getting the score up to 80 before Matt Biss got a leading edge to go for 32. Sam Perera then played a little cameo, a bat-breaking 6 and a 4 in his 12 either side of drinks before he was caught at long-on. 102-4 meant we needed 60 off 15 overs.
Sanjay then joined Matt Lo at the wicket, and the pair proceeded serenely & quickly, adding 57 before Matt fell trying to bring up the winning runs and his 50 (which would have sat nicely alongside his 52 against the Wanderers on debut in 2019).
Sheahan then carved a ball through gulley to bring up the win, both innings having lasted 27.1 overs.
We then adjourned to the NMCC bar for a brief celebration ahead of the rain which had mercifully held off through the day.
This win is dedicated to Amit’s father, who went through post-accident surgery in India prior to play. The club wishes him all the best for his recovery.
With the summer in full flow, the Allstars games continue thick and fast – we’re back in North London this Sunday, as we face Little Gradholm for the first time at Mill Hill Village CC.