Hanwell CC on a sunny Friday evening is always a nice place to find yourself. And after a late scramble to find a player (Crowny to the rescue) your correspondent found himself getting there just in time to the news that we'd lost the toss and would be in the field.
To date, we've been stronger in the field than we have with the bat and so it was again on Friday. We stuck with the spin option and William rediscovered his mojo on his way to three wickets. Scott was unlucky not to come away with a bagful too as a number of edges fell painfully short of third man. On came the pace battery. With Jilal and Harjot spearing them in at a rapid rate of knots scoring was always going to prove difficult and so it proved. Ned was, surprise surprise, steady as ever and claimed a couple of wickets too. So wickets for William (3), Jilal and Ned (2). The fielding was as good as we've seen and there were plenty of highlights there too. Led by Oscar, showing ever increasing maturity and ability behind the stumps, and making it look easy when taking a catch off Jilal, for example. Two caught and bowleds (William and Ned), and a good catch at point by Alex. Don't forget the ground fielding - mentions go to Nathan, Rishab and Scott who patrolled that vital third man to fine leg arc perfectly - the outfield isn't exactly flat down there so that the ball went straight into hands pretty much every time is testament to how much we've progressed as a team. We walked in, we worked together, we backed up. It was all good.
So we needed 50 to win, certainly no forgone conclusion. Old As bowled well throughout and we were going to have to score the runs as they weren't going to be gifted to us on a plate. Not sure how or why but the wickets kept falling and all of a sudden we found ourselves 22-5 and, if not out of it, then at least just needing to hang around. Not to fear. Crowny, having stepped into the team an hour before the game, steadied the ship alongside Jilal and saw us home - in the end pretty comfortably with over seven overs to spare. With plenty of batting (Oscar, Scott, Rishab, Nathan) still to come there was relatively little cause for concern but an extra 25 runs to chase would have made things very interesting. Let's not read too much into the batting - the oppo is allowed to bowl good balls. But we can tighten up on our calling and shot selection - if we want to hit it, let's HIT IT !!!!!!!
So that puts us in the MCA South Area final, which will be played against either Wembley or Osterley. Don't know when, but it will be at home. Either way it will be a difficult game for the boys, I'm sure they'll be ready.
Have fun, stay safe.