Mid-July and the nation continues to bask in an extended and glorious summer. On another very hot Sunday afternoon Wimbledon were extending a first Cottenham Park welcome to the Gentlemen of West London, victors in the first fixture away earlier in the season. Under a cloudless blue sky and on a ground parched to a pale straw colour Wimbledon batted first, hoping to make good use of the lightning fast outfield. With United batting first against the Gents’ opening bowlers Desai and Dubey, David Hitchman and Anand reprised their opening partnership of the previous week and again got off to a good start. 57 runs came off the first 8 overs but with Shastri taking over the bowling from Desai the first wicket fell, Anand inexplicably missing a full toss to get bowled for 18. In the very next over David nicked behind to be caught by Namilikonda for 29, leaving James Flannery and Alex Herbert (back in United colours this week) to start all over and build a partnership. This they did, adding 44, mainly due to some forceful batting by James, looking in formidable nick, before Alex was bowled off his pads by Kota for 7, having taken 17 balls to get off the mark.
James it was who was to hold the complete innings together with a remarkable display of hitting. Chaitanya came and went quickly but Hash Ahmed contributed 19 to a fifth wicket partnership of 61 before taking a wild swing at Kota and getting bowled. Curtis Phillip (3), Dev Pai (0 – first ball) and Andy Cripps (6) played their part with minor cameo roles while James made hay at the other end, moving past fifty with ease and carrying on towards three figures. As most people do who make a hundred he rode his luck and was dropped at long-on when he’d made 76, but in the 33rd over he could utter a whoop of exultation as he reached his maiden century, brought up with another boundary. By the time Andy Cripps was bowled, taking another wild swing, this time against Desai, James had reached 113 and there was just one ball left, which, given that Greg was the man facing, remarkably stayed a dot ball. Wimbledon finished on an impressive 222 for 8, with James withdrawing to the pavilion pleased as punch to be 113 not out (having been dropped again, at cover point this time, when he’d scored 105!).
As soon as the last ball of the first over, the Gentlemen were in a bit of a bind, Andy Cripps bowling Basker for a duck as the batsman played on. Dubey and number three Kota made a quick-fire 32 together off the bowling of Andy and Gary Saxby, mainly due to some bold hitting by Dubey, but the dismissal of Dubey in the sixth over, caught by Alex Herbert at a deep backward point position off Gary for 23 heralded the onset of a quite remarkable collapse, aided by faultless catching by the home side. In the seventh, Namilikonda was bowled by Andy for 4; in the eighth Kota was caught at long-off by Hash off Gary for 8; in the ninth, H Patel was caught by James, standing in as keeper, off Greg for a duck; while in the tenth K Patel was bowled by Dev Pai for 8; all of which mayhem left the Gentlemen reeling on 59 for 6.
Two more wickets fell in the eleventh over, bowled by Greg, as first Desai was caught by David H at cover point for 2 and three balls later Kumar engineered a dead repeat to register a duck, rewarding Greg with a double wicket maiden. In a trice 59 for 6 had turned into 59 for 8. Chaitanya entered the bowling fray in over 13, perhaps for some light relief – who knows – but he too immediately got on the wicket taking band wagon, getting Shastri caught at square leg by Andy for a single. That left M Khan in the company of the first of two youngsters, M and K Gadige, who’d been brought in to make up numbers. An entertaining epilogue ensued, the young lads trying their best to get a run or two and enjoying some time at the crease, Khan slogging some fours, the tenth wicket falling when M Gadige was bowled by Dev Pai. His companion K then managed to hit a four and a two, to encouraging applause, while Gary threw the ball to David H for some celebratory overs of left arm spin (for want of a better description). Imagine the surprise and hilarity then when after Khan had slogged the second ball of Dave’s second over for his seventh four, the next ball he was clean bowled for 33, at which point the Gentlemen were well and truly all out on 112 for 11 and Dave could perform an unaccustomed wicket taking celebration.
So a thumping 110 run winning margin was achieved to leave the season’s double header at one win apiece. This was due perhaps to some inexplicably flaky batting by the Gents, but was helped immeasurably by some tidy bowling and the fact that every possible catch was taken. There can be no doubt about the man of the Match this week however as we celebrate James Flannery’s magnificent century. Well done the lad – may there be many more!
|Innings of Wimbledon United C. C.||Innings of Gentlemen of West London C. C.|
|Batsmen||How Out||Total||Batsmen||How Out||Total|
|1||A Nayak||b. Shastri||18||1||N Dubey||c. Herbert, b. Saxby||23|
|2||D Hitchman||c. Namilikonda, b. Kumar||29||2||V Basker||b. Cripps||0|
|3||J Flannery (w)||Not out||113||3||P Kota||c. Ahmed, b. Saxby||8|
|4||A Herbert||b. Kota||7||4||S Namilikonda (w)||b. Cripps||4|
|5||C Iyengar||lbw. b. Kumar||1||5||H Patel||c. Flannery, b. Dean||0|
|6||H Ahmed||b. Kota||19||6||K Patel||b. Pai||8|
|7||C Phillip||b. Kota||3||7||S Desai||c. D Hitchman, b. Dean||2|
|8||D Pai||b. Dubey||0||8||S Kumar||c. D Hitchman, b. Dean||0|
|9||A Cripps||b. Desai||6||9||M Khan||b. D Hitchman||33|
|10||G Dean||Not out||0||10||G Shastri||c. Cripps, b. Iyengar||1|
|11||G Saxby (c)||11||M Gadige||b. Pai||1|
|12||K Gadige||Not out||6|
|Extras W12 NB0 B9 LB5||26||Extras W8 NB2 B16 LB0||26|
|Total (for 8 wickets) (35 overs)||222||Total (for 11 wickets) (18.3 overs)||112|
|Fall of wkts: 1-57(1); 2-67(2); 3-111(4); 4-114(5); 5-175(6); 6-195(7); 7-213(8); 8-222(9)||Fall of wkts: 1-1(2); 2-33(1); 3-44(4); 4-44(3); 5-53(5); 6-59(6); 7-59(7); 8-59(8); 9-75(10); 10-90(11); 11-112(9)|
|Bowling Figures: Desai – 4/0/41/1; Dubey – 5/0/26/1; Shastri – 5/0/27/1; Kumar – 7/1/30/2; Kota – 7/0/36/3;
Patel – 6/0/36/0; Khan – 1/0/12/0
|Bowling Figures: A Cripps – 4/0/13/2; Saxby – 4/0/32/2; Dean – 2/1/4/3; Pai – 5/1/17/2; Iyengar – 2/0/21/1;
D Hitchman – 1.3/0/9/1
Result ~ Win for Wimbledon United C. C. by 110 runs
~~ Wimbledon United ‘Man of the Match’ – James Flannery~~