Barnes Common, Sunday 5 September 2021.
St John’s Wood CC 144-2 (19.4 overs, McNee 55) beat St Anne’s Allstars CC 142-9 (35 overs, Matt Lo 40, Sirmad Shafique 40*, Chris 4-7 incl. a hat trick) by 8 wickets.
Allstars debutants: Askar Muhammed, Magnus Bascombe
Report by Pete Cresswell – Photos by Pete Cresswell and Matt Biss
On a lovely sunny early September Sunday, the Allstars convened at Barnes Common to take on a new opponent, St John’s Wood CC. The playing XI for the day had been slightly patched together (despite an initial squad of 16!) after five players managed to invalid themselves out playing cricket over the August Bank Holiday weekend, and another two were lucky enough to secure themselves day 4 tickets to The Oval. That did mean a first Allstars’ match in two years for Martyn “Lofty” Langridge, who also brought along some nice new colourful stumps for the occasion. We also welcomed two debutants in Askar Muhammed and Magnus Bascombe who stepped up to help out late in the piece.
St John’s turned out to be a collection of nice blokes, well sprinkled with Antipodeans. They were also impacted by injuries, their 11th man watching the game from the sidelines after arriving on crutches.
With 4 players delayed by west London traffic, skipper Cresswell heaved a sigh of relief on winning the toss, opted to bat first, and he strode out to bat with Matt Lo. St John’s attack of slowish, accurate seamers proved very handy, as is often the case at Barnes Common. A solid opening stand was broken by a brilliant diving save by cover off a lovely shot by Lo, the throw to the keeper leaving Cresswell out by five yards.
Amit Deverathippa joined Matt at the crease, and together they accelerated the rate with 3 boundaries before Amit fell LBW. Matt followed shortly after bowled trying to accelerate after drinks, leaving us 67-3. A nice 25-run stand between Sam Perera and Sirmad Shafique was broken by St John’s 6th bowler Chris, but we continued to progress well, despite a hip injury to Max Bascombe. Max’s dismissal – bowled playing back to Chris – prompted a collapse, with the Allstars conceding our first ever hat trick, Shanmugam Sama being bowled playing to leg, and young Magnus Bascombe echoing his father on the back foot.
Sirmad marshalled a few more runs with the tail to finish unbeaten on an excellent 40, but our total of 142-9 looked light. How light quickly became apparent. Shanmugam struggled a bit up the hill from the railway end initially (though his second downhill spell was excellent), and we conceded 31 in the opening four overs before Amit skittled the keeper “Road Warrior” for 16.
Amit also found the edge of St John’s Wood’s star number three McNee early, but the tough catch at slip went down. The second wicket partnership added 86 despite some good bowling from Martyn and Askar, before McNee was bowled by Shanmugam. It wasn’t enough to trouble St John’s Wood though, and their opener Preston and number four 4 Hogg eased them home off the bowling of Magnus and Jimmy Scott.
An enjoyable day’s cricket nonetheless, and we look forward to playing St John’s Wood again. Many thanks go to Matt Biss, who turned up to manage the scorebook despite a broken thumb. Next up, on Sunday, we face Railway Taverners at Bentley Heath CC in Potters Bar.