T20 tri-series 2018

Barnes Common, Saturday 28 July 2018: St Anne’s Allstars v Baker Street Irregulars v Idle CC

Words by Richard Stephenson – Photos by Pete Cresswell

Glorious sunshine greeted us at our spiritual home of Barnes Common for our first ever T20 tri-series day. We welcomed an overseas touring team, Italy’s Idle CC, for the first time, on a day when we had two home teams.

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The closest Richard will get to holding a trophy this year …

The day truly had it all: an Allstars collapse (with a number of late dropouts); a close loss (to Idle), a big loss (to Baker Street); a very lost (Sanjay Dindyal on his way to the ground); and an Allstars captain with his hands on a trophy (before I presented it to Baker Street). Live commentary from the ground was relayed to Allstars and fans round the world on WhatsApp. Lunch was excellent (nice baking Sam, and I liked the taste of James’s sausages). But more than anything, it was a day for making new friends and seeing old friends as we all toasted a great day’s cricket in the pub.

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A picture of concentration in the opening fixture

Match One – BSI vs Idle

While the Allstars awaited the rest of their team, Baker Street beat Idle comfortably with 5 overs to spare.

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The Allstars watch on as BSI take on Idle

Match Two – BSI vs Allstars

Haroon gave us a great start as he struck with the second ball of the innings, but after that the regular procession of Baker Street batsmen was mainly caused by the “retire at 30” rule. The Allstars bowlers stuck to their task, Vivek Seth being the top wicket taker with 3-26 in his 4 over spell, as Baker Street closed on 198 from their 20 overs, Pete Cresswell confusing fans and scorer alike by scoring at a super fast rate.

In reply, the Allstars were handicapped by the loss of star batsman Sam Macdonald due to a work crisis. Steyn Grobler, making a welcome return to the Allstars, and Pete still got us off to a good start. We kept going all the way down – James Abrahams and Sean Jun, both playing their first Allstars game of the season, also finding boundaries – but the run rate was simply impossible as we carded 88 all out.

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Checking Messrs Smith, Warner and Bancroft haven’t been tampering with the match ball!

Match three – Allstars vs Idle

The Allstars batted first on this occasion, with both Sanjay and Haroon (after a third umpire review) both making the 30 retirement score. Sam returned from his business meeting in time to score a quick 19, as the Allstars totalled 124-7 from their 20 overs.

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Haroon batting against Idle

In reply, Haroon – or, as the scorer called him, “Carly” – once again grabbed the first wicket. Idle belied their name as they set to work well at the target, but excellent mid-innings bowling from Sanjay (3-22) and Sean (1-31) pegged them back. When debutant Josh Davies took 2 wickets in an over, and James followed up with another in the next, Idle were left needing 10 to make with the last pair in (possible theme for a poem… though someone might have beaten us to it).

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With the tension mounting, I hid myself away at fine leg (my middle management skills to the fore), leaving it up to the new recruit, while Neale relayed the news to an anxious world on WhatsApp. But the fall of wickets meant that Idle’s best batsman Sunny could return (after retiring on 30 earlier), and he carefully managed the strike and brought Idle home with one wicket and one over to spare.

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Richard presents BSI’s captain with the trophy

A fabulous day for all involved, as we all celebrated in the pub. The T20 day may well become a regular in the Allstars calendar!