Played at Cottenham Park, West Wimbledon
Looking to recover winning ways following the previous week’s exertions in Ealing, Wimbledon United assembled at Cottenham Park on an overcast and breezy mid-June day to face newcomers for this season, Roehampton Bats. After a lengthy chat in the middle with the opposing captain, Gary won the toss (surprisingly) and elected to bowl.
The regular opening duo of Pete and Andrew took the new ball, and although keeping things relatively tight for the first few overs, Roehampton’s opening pair of Nelson and captain Evans showed that there were plenty of runs to be had with some sharp running, and a couple of hard hit shots to the boundary. Roehampton were just beginning to look settled when at the start of the 6th over, in an inspired piece of captaincy, Gary brought Pete into the slip cordon from his usual hangout of fine leg (on the advice of his bowler, of course). Two balls later, Nelson was departing the field, a thick outside edge finding Pete who did well to hold the catch to his left. The bowlers continued to keep things tight, and it was Andrew who struck again in the 10th over, a slightly leg-side ball being spooned back by Pepperel to the bowler for a simple catch. New man Nair then only lasted two balls before edging behind to Gary off Andrew’s bowling.
A change of pace in the replacements of Anand and Rowan resulted in a few boundaries, with both initially struggling to find their rhythm – but Rowan soon picked up the wicket of Tinsley in the 14th over, clean bowled. Farukh replace Anand, after 2 overs at the tennis court end, and made an impact immediately, Anand putting his name in contention for catch of the season with a quite remarkable one-handed catch at short mid-on. The Wimbledon players whooped in delight, while Drake left the field unbelievingly – 66 for 5. Rowan, bowling up the hill, then had top scorer Evans (44) clean bowled, leaving Roehampton at 70 for 6 after just 15.2 overs. However, a 7th wicket partnership of 43 between Williamson and Harris saw the score move past 100 – Williamson departing to Greg’s bowling for 17 in the 28th over. Harris continued to add to his total but was swiftly running out of partners, with Greg, Rowan and Farukh making their way through the tail, each picking up another wicket in the process. Kudos also to Gary for an alert stumping – watch out John, your place may be at risk…
Roehampton finished on 153 in the 37th over (Evans 44, Harris 39no; Cripps 3-15, Rowan 3-42).
A fine tea was provided by stand-in caterer Curtis – some lessons are perhaps required from Sue, though, on the correct order of jam, cream and strawberry on the scones…
The quality of the match ball from the first innings being rather worse for wear, the visitors brought on a new ball for Wimbledon’s innings. This seemed to work in favour of the batsmen – the opening pair of Anand and Hash both finding the boundary early on with the new ball racing off the bat, although the accurate swing from Maitland bowling down the hill posed more of a challenge. It was a change of bowling up the hill after 4 overs that did for Anand however, deciding to attack the first ball from the new bowler Nair, but only managing to spoon to square mid-wicket, departing for 22.
Johno then joined the fray, hitting Nair for two consecutive fours from his first two balls and continuing in aggressive form, hitting a few more boundaries before being bowled by Evans for a typically quick-fire 27. Chai, in at 4, then struggled to make much headway against the bowling of Maitland, making one run before edging to the keeper after a short stay at the crease.
Gary and Hash added a few more each, before they both fell in fairly quick succession to new bowler Harris (Hash (14) missing a ball that kept low, Gary (15) chopping on after drinks) – WUCC now looking slightly nervy at 87 for 5 from 21 overs. Mit, in his much-coveted number 6 role, proved the mainstay of the WUCC innings, playing good balls with patience, and finding the boundary with some hard hitting. Of particular delight to the on-looking crowd were three 4s hit off Harris’ 7th over, rather denting his figures from 3-9 to 3-21 in the process.
Farukh looked well set to support him to the win, but fell in the 27th over, gloving to the keeper to depart for 13. Rowan soon followed suit, leaving WUCC on 124 for 7 with 11 overs to go. It was now down to the tail end to help Mit get the job done. Greg, in at 9, characteristically walloped the first ball he saw for 6 to long on. However, in trying to repeat the trick second ball, he only succeeded in finding the fielder that Roehampton had just moved there. Cue some very exasperated noises from Curtis, the gaffer having finished the washing up and come to oversee the final overs.
Pete then steadied the ship with Mit, rotating the strike and keeping the scoreboard ticking, before being bowled by a loopy full toss. Pressure on the last man Andrew then, with 17 needed to win from 6 overs. The duck cup winner of the 2016 season had one job – provide as much of the strike to Mit (who seemed rather keen to get off strike). With Mit seeing the majority of the ball, and the field pushed back to prevent boundaries the score agonisingly inched towards the 154 run target. A wide in the 37th over tied the scores, much to the bowler’s chagrin. With Andrew on strike at the start of the 38th over, the field was brought in to prevent the match-winning single. However, a well-timed glance/thick inside edge down leg side evaded the fielder at short fine leg, and Mit (after some debate between the batsmen), eventually charged through to the striker’s end to complete the winning run.
United therefore claimed the honours after a tight end to a close contest between two very well matched bowling sides – we look forward to reacquainting ourselves with the Bats next season.
As for Man of the Match – it was a good team bowling display, with both Andrew and Rowan picking up 3 wickets, with Greg and Farukh bagging 2 each, but Mit’s anchoring of the WUCC innings and top score of 36 probably proved the most decisive performance. Careful now Mit, I think you might be falling in love with the sport again!
|Innings of Roehampton Bats C. C.||Innings of Wimbledon United C. C.|
|Batsmen||How Out||Total||Batsmen||How Out||Total|
|1||S Nelson||c. Brown, b. Cripps||5||1||A Nayak||c. (sq. leg), b. Nair||22|
|2||M Evans (c)||b. Wije’dena||44||2||H Ahmed||b. Harris||14|
|3||R Pepperel||c. & b. Cripps||0||3||J Williams||b. Evans||27|
|4||S Nair||c. Saxby, b. Cripps||0||4||C Iyengar||c. Williamson, b. Maitland||1|
|5||B Tinsley||b. Wije’dena||13||5||G Saxby (c)(w)||b. Harris||15|
|6||B Drake||c. Nayak, b. Hasan||0||6||M Patel||Not out||36|
|7||N Williamson (w)||c. Hasan, b. Dean||17||7||F Hasan||c. Williamson, b. Harris||13|
|8||B Harris||Not out||39||8||R Wije’dena||c. Williamson, b. Pepperel||4|
|9||D Webb||b. Dean||4||9||G Dean||c. (long-on), b. Pepperel||6|
|10||J Hunt||st. Saxby, b. Wije’dena||7||10||P Brown||b. Webb||2|
|11||R Maitland||c. Brown, b. Hasan||1||11||A Cripps||Not out||1|
|Extras W11 NB1 B10 LB1||23||Extras W7 NB1 B4 LB2||14|
|Total (for 10 wickets) (36.1 overs)||153||Total (for 9 wickets) (38.1 overs)||154|
|Fall of wkts: 1-19(1); 2-29(3); 3-29(4); 4-64(5); 5-66(6); 6-70(2); 7-113(7); 8-132(9); 9-145(10); 10-153(11)||Fall of wkts: 1-31(1); 2-59(3); 3-68(4); 4-73(2); 5-57(5); 6-106(7); 7-124(8); 8-130(9); 9-137(10)|
|Bowling Figures: Brown – 8/4/23/0; Cripps – 6/1/15/3;
Nayak – 2/0/15/0; Wije’dena – 8/1/42/3; Hasan – 4/0/18/2; Dean – 8/1/29/2
|Bowling Figures: Maitland – 8/3/22/1; Hunt – 2/0/18/0; Nair – 2/0/18/1; Evans – 8/0/28/1; Harris – 7/3/21/3; Pepperel – 6/0/27/2; Webb – 4/0/12/1|
Result ~ Win for Wimbledon United C. C. by 1 wicket
~~ Wimbledon United ‘Man of the Match’ – Mitesh Patel ~~