On a warm and sunny but humid afternoon Wimbledon United travelled out to pastures new in Ealing, where the Swyncombe Avenue Playing Field is to be found tucked away behind the rows of semi-ds. Northfield won the toss and decided to have a bat on a pitch which soon demonstrated some rather variable bounce, although this was to prove not much of a hindrance to the Northfield batsmen as it turned out. Iverson and Mandeep Singh opened up against the bowling of Andy and Greg and proceeded in a fairly orderly fashion until the seventh over when Rowan pulled off a smart catch off Andy to dismiss Iverson for 14. Greg then followed up with a wicket maiden, trapping Singh lbw for just 5.
Jeevan Singh had arrived first wicket down and was joined by David Redhead as Greg finished his spell and was replaced by Gary. Andy carried on right through his eight overs however and with the third ball of his final over engineered the dismissal of Singh. Singh had accumulated 33 runs in the space of little more than six overs, blasting a six off Gary’s first over and continuing in much the same vein until his dismissal. This was occasioned by another mighty blast towards the distant long-on boundary, where lurked who else but the Cottenham Cat, seemingly cat-napping in the warm afternoon sunshine. An apparent failure to register even a twitch of recognition that something might be coming his way certainly alarmed the on-looking fielders and anguished cries of “Curtis!” rang out. As the ball began its descent there was still not much by way of evidence that the Cat was awake but at the last minute of course blood stirred in the feline veins and with an assured cupping of the paws the ball came to a neat standstill clutched tight, much to the team’s delight and relief. Statements such as “I had it sussed all the time – what were you on about?” failed to attract much credibility, but by this time Singh was back in the pavilion so who cared.
It had been noticed before this point that the west and particularly the north boundaries were decidedly short and this was ably demonstrated with one six that sailed clean over the high netting guarding the adjoining houses, bounced in the garden and was believed to have made its way unceremoniously into the house through an open door. The departure of the second Singh meant there were now two Redheads at the crease and general mayhem ensued with a partnership of 116 full of attacking shots that took the score from 65 for 3 in the 15th over to 181 for 4 in the 33rd over, at which point Derrick Redhead was dismissed for 70, caught by Jonathan Williams, who pulled off another improbable catch right on the mid-wicket boundary. David Redhead continued the onslaught alongside new man Collins and 59 was added in five overs before Greg bowled him just three runs short of a hundred. Fifteen more runs were added before Northfield completed their 40 overs, finishing on an impressive 255 for 6.
Hash Ahmed and Anand opened the innings for Wimbledon and got off to a reasonable start against Dhuna and Kent, a lot of dot balls being leavened by a few boundaries including a six from Hash. Anand was out in the eighth over caught at mid-on by Singh J for 17. In at three, Jonathan Williams played his usual circumspect innings, smacking three fours in a nine ball innings for 13 before holing out at mid-on. Having crossed, Hash played the next ball from Dhuna but was immediately caught behind by keeper Singh M for 18, leaving United on 61 for 3 in the 13th over. Hash and Gary then added 28 in double quick order before Gary was bowled by Kent, another flash in the pan innings – 12 off 5 balls. Farrukh was then joined by Curtis and 20 were added in six overs before Farrukh was caught by David Redhead off Farwell, having made 22. Curtis had at first found things quite problematic, scoring just one run off his first 19 deliveries, but thereafter loosened up considerably and started to biff a few fours as well as irritate the heck out of the bowlers. Chaitanya in the meantime had lasted just three balls before succumbing lbw to Taylor and he was replaced by John Hitchman, thus boosting the number of years experience available to the batting partnership to well over one hundred.
Doing their best to keep the score progressing but almost inevitably falling behind the substantial run rate required the pair nevertheless added 72 runs over the space of 13 overs before Hitchman was bowled by J Singh for 22. As the Northfield bowling eased off a bit Rowan and Curtis continued batting with endeavour, taking the score past 200 as Curtis notched an unbeaten half century. At the end of the 40 overs Wimbledon had achieved respectability with a score of 223 for 7, 32 runs short of the home side’s total. Wimbledon were never really in the hunt for a victory but honour was salved and Wimbledon look to the return match at Cottenham Park to see if fortunes can be reversed. Man of the match award this week goes to Curtis for his 50 not out and that catch.
|Innings of Northfield C. C.||Innings of Wimbledon United C. C.|
|Batsmen||How Out||Total||Batsmen||How Out||Total|
|1||R Iverson||c. Wije’dena, b. Cripps||14||1||A Nayak||c. J Singh, b. Kent||17|
|2||M Singh (w)||lbw. b. Dean||5||2||H Ahmed||c. M Singh, b. Dhuna||18|
|3||J Singh||c. Phillip, b. Cripps||33||3||J Williams||c. (mid-on), b. Dhuna||13|
|4||David Redhead||b. Dean||97||4||F Hasan||c. Redhead, b. Farwell||22|
|5||Derrick Redhead||c. Williams, b. Hasan||70||5||G Saxby (c)||b. Kent||12|
|6||T Collins||b. Wije’dena||14||6||C Phillip||Not out||50|
|7||M Taylor||Not out||3||7||C Iyengar||lbw. b. Taylor||1|
|8||T Farwell||Not out||5||8||J Hitchman (w)||b. J Singh||22|
|9||S Smith||9||R Wije’dena||Not out||21|
|10||R Kent||10||G Dean|
|11||G Dhuna||11||A Cripps|
|Extras W6 NB0 B9 LB4||19||Extras W23 NB1 B18 LB5||47|
|Total (for 6 wickets) (40 overs)||255||Total (for 7 wickets) (40 overs)||223|
|Fall of wkts: 1-18(1); 2-19(2); 3-65(3); 4-181(5); 5-240(4); 6-242(6)||Fall of wkts: 1-39(1); 2-61(3); 3-61(2); 4-89(5); 5-109(4); 6-114(7); 7-186(8)|
|Bowling Figures: Cripps – 8/0/39/2; Dean – 8/1/39/2; Saxby – 6/0/44/0; Wije’dena – 6/0/32/1; Nayak – 6/1/47/0; Hasan – 6/0/43/1||Bowling Figures: Dhuna – 8/1/43/2; Kent – 8/0/45/2; Taylor – 6/1/25/1; Farwell – 8/1/28/1; Smith – 5/0/46/0; J Singh – 4/0/14/1; D Redhead – 1/0/7/0|
Result ~ Win for Northfield C. C. by 32 runs
~~ Wimbledon United ‘Man of the Match’ – Curtis Phillip ~~