Special K wins it for the Gents

Wycombe House CC, Sunday 29 May 2022.

Gentlemen of West London 224-5 (35 overs: Pavan Kota 111*) beat St Anne’s Allstars 136-9 (35 overs: Sheahan Arnott 40*) by 88 runs.

Allstars Debuts: Adil Doshi, Pavan Kanwal, Hamza Manzoor.

Report by Pete Cresswell – Photos by Amit Deverathippa and Pete Cresswell

On a pleasant May afternoon the Allstars (gratefully reinforced by the host club Wycombe House CC) convened at their beautiful ground in Isleworth to contest the 42-11 Trophy with our longest-standing opponents, the Gentlemen of West London. Greeted by a flat looking pitch, the Gents had no hesitation in choosing to bat first on winning the toss.

Allstars opening bowlers Sam Waddicor and Amiya Ranjan began tidily under cloudy skies, with Sam removing both Gents’ openers to have them in a little trouble at 25/2 in the 8th over. Our old friend Pavan Kota then began a recovery with Aamir Ahmed, the pair adding 49 before Shanmugam Sama trapped Ahmed in front on the stroke of drinks. Just after the break, Shanmugam then pouched his second catch of the day, a smart caught and bowled to remove Krishna for 0.

At this stage the Gents were 76/4 and in a spot of bother – but then the sun emerged from the clouds, removing any swing, and Kota combined with Sudireddy and then Sanjay Patel to plunder 148 in the second half of the innings. We know Kota is a very special player- him having scored a hundred for us as a guest player against Crossbats in 2018 – and he brought up a fine ton in the last over with a six, just clearing Shanmugam on the square leg boundary.

225 seemed an imposing target, and the clouds returned after tea, meaning the Allstars’ top order had to deal with swing from the very handy Gents’ opening bowlers. Our first guest from Wycombe House, Adil Doshi, was bowled through the gate, and then Martin Ostrowski soon chipped one back to the bowler. Hamza Mansoor, our second guest, accelerated with a four and a six before being run out in a mix up with skipper Cresswell. Both Cresswell and Sam Perera quickly perished trying to up the run rate, reducing us to 33/5 and leaving the tail with a job to do to restore some respectability.

The third of our guests, Pavan Kanwal posted a handy 22, working well with Amit Deverathippa to stop the rot, before Sheahan Arnott played a superb hand for 40 not out, his highest Allstars score. He was ably assisted by Jimmy Scott and Sam Waddicor, the trio adding 60 to ensure we batted out the 35 overs, finishing on 136/9.

Overall the game was taken away from us by Pavan Kota’s superb knock, but there is never any disgrace in losing to such a fabulous innings. It was still a very pleasant day in beautiful surroundings against friendly opposition against whom we have had so many enjoyable games over the years. Big thanks too to Wycombe House CC for the use of their ground and the loan of players – apparently over 30 lads volunteered for the extra game time when our call went out on Saturday! Next up for us, we return to our spiritual home of Barnes Common as we face the Weasels on Saturday 11 June.

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