The weather was changing as I headed down to my first game at Hanwellians only to be advised that the keys for the clubhouse were still at ECC! Luckily I had left earlier thanks to Mr Dhillion agreeing to bring Charlie on route however, when I did eventually arrive, the South Hampstead CC (SHCC) coach with some of his players, were already waiting. The pathway looked very tight and the actual ground had some significant flooding, fortunately it was just far enough from the boundary.
This was Ealing CC’s (ECC) 2nd double header with Omar taking the earlier game in the morning at Northwood Town.
Our game was played under the following rules:
10 players per side
Score starts at 200
Lose 5 runs for each wicket
Each pair bats for 4 overs
Wicket Keepers: Tom/Arran/Arvin
Scorer – Sukh Sahota
Retained Photographer: Graeme Massey
Helpers: all the parents for setting-up the day!
Nicolas was given the privilege of being the captain and having won the toss elected to bowl first. He rallied the troops and provided some leadership, tactics and some much needed encouragement, but most importantly told the boys to have lots of fun! The game started at a slow pace for SHCC however in addition to the fact we agreed to play the game with a ‘hardball’, ECC’s bowling was very tight and accurate! Jake picked up a good wicket by straight bowling their opening batsman and Kieran caught and bowled one of their stronger players. Arran had one of the tidiest overs without a single wide, and even managed our first maiden over for the year. Another maiden over followed with some solid bowling from Arvin and with Charlie trying hard to stay within the boundaries of the game. Conleth picked-up a good wicket and between him and Ruben bowled very well with minimal extras. Next up was Alex and Tom and without wasting any time continued the fine form of earlier and bagged 4 wickets and a couple of maidens over between them. This reduced the SHCC’s total to 225/7 and ECC could sense victory.
After a short break and courtesy of some very kind parents water, biscuits and some very tasty and hot samosas was welcoming sight!
Batting commenced with both Nicolas and Jake taking strike however SHCC’s bowling was pretty accurate and we’d lost 2 wickets and not scored too many runs. Arran and Kieran were up next and SHCC’s bowling continued to be tight again picking up a wicket. By the end of the 8th over we had almost reached half the total required and was hoping that our remaining batters would soon be able to put the game away. With Arvin and Charlie at the crease, SHCC were able to pick-up a further wicket, however we did manage to pick-up a few more runs but gained very few in the way of extras. Alex had a prior engagement and was allowed to bat earlier than planned and strode in with confidence with Conleth. With the end in sight and having reached our target by the 14th over, ECC prematurely thought they’d won but SHCC had other ideas and before long, picked-up another 2 quick wickets in succession. Requiring 6 runs from the last 4 overs looked like a simple task with Ruben and Tom walking up brimming with confidence. Tom was keen to wrap things ups and started to bat the ball around the field. Ruben was excellent in support and even though both were keen, we still managed to be run-out twice in the remaining period. At this stage parents hearts were in their mouths as both Ruben and Tom tried to run at every opportunity and the game swung very quickly, but the boys were able to steady the ship and finish the game on 235/8 …
ECC finished on 235/8 whilst SHCC on 225/7
All in all, I was pleased with the boys efforts and they did Ealing CC proud even with most of the boys playing with a hard-ball for the very first time! I’m sure they will continue to work hard on those areas identified, especially as we start to face sterner competition over the coming summer.
If you haven’t already, please check out all the fantastic photos by our resident and retained photographer Graeme Massey :)