Ealing beat Twickenham
By Chad Barrett
3s kick off 2019 with emphatic win over Twickenham
Winning the toss at Popesfield on a damp, bowler-friendly (shock) track, we put Twickenham in and the combination of Viraj Chaturvedi and Nabil Irfan came together to open the bowling for us once more. Perhaps the opening pair with the biggest age gap in the Middlesex leagues, Viraj and Nabil were straight into their rhythm from last season, building plenty of pressure on the Twickenham openers until Nabil finally forced a breakthrough, leaving the away team on 23-1 after 11 overs. Having picked himself in his fantasy team, Simpson decided that his slow away swingers were the best option for first change and so took over from Nabil. Kicking off with a trademark wide down the leg-side wasn’t the plan, but he ended up having the number 3 caught behind in the safe hands of Will Grigg with his next ball, much to everyone’s surprise.
Twickenham’s inability to deal with wide half volleys proved their downfall, with Simpson astonishingly picking up 5 wickets (all caught), much to the dismay of Oscar Dewhurst who only managed to get one after three catches were dropped off his bowling (hopefully last season’s habits will have been shaken off by next week). An extremely tight 12 over spell from Oscar coupled with regular wickets left Twickenham reeling on 60-7 with just 11 of their 34 overs left to bat. Some lax fielding and good batting meant they managed to fight their way to 135 all out from their 45 overs, with Nabil picking up the last three wickets in the final over, much to the delight of the 31% of fantasy players who selected him this weekend.
Going out to bat, we knew we were in for a fight – it didn’t look like par was much higher than 150 and we all know about the 3rd XI tendency for batting collapses so no one was overly confident. Thankfully, there was no reason to worry. Ciaran O’Malley and Henry Anton, both debutants, looked like they were batting on a different pitch to Twickenham, Ciaran racing to an excellent 38 before being caught at slip off their off-spinner, while Henry dug in and saw us home with a very solid 37*. Contributions from Matt Morgan and Oli Simpson helped us to victory with 13 overs to spare rounding off a victory in which we dominated in every department (even their fielding was worse than ours!). If we can carry on in the same manner for the rest of the season then it should be a very successful one!