C.E.C.C.| Shepherds Cot | Crouch End | North London | N8 8JJ
OK, the Crouch End Tigers (this being the new name for the Sunday team) were soundly beaten by North London Muslims. We never looked likely to match their 197 for 4, and struggled even to get to 101 all out. And yes, this gave Crouch End three defeats out of three on the opening weekend of the season. But there were reasons to be cheerful.
First, and most important, to play 75 overs of cricket, in the sunshine, in mid-April, is always something to be celebrated.
And second, our bowlers performed well. Pride of place goes to Matt Chambers, whose 8 overs for 27 runs included 3 overs bowling at the death, when the opposition was swinging at everything. Matt bowled with guile and accuracy, beat the edge countless times, and deserved much more than his solitary wicket.
Joe Nickel was also good, getting bounce and movement. Like Matt his return of just 1 wicket for 29 off his 8 overs did not reflect the number of chances he generated.
As for the youngsters, Ian and Nabil bowled with maturity, and DJ came on for three overs of clever variations at the end, which helped limit the opposition score. Only Murthy struggled to find early-season rhythm, and took a bit of punishment off his two overs.
So well done the bowlers. But the fielding…. that was diabolical (your reporter included). We could have had about five run outs and ten catches. Murthy took a skier comfortably, but otherwise we were a shambles. I will not name names. Not even the fielder who watched with sleepy disdain as a thick edge flew 20 yards, before narrowly missing him on the way to the boundary. Not even the man in the deep who actually jumped out of the way of a shot which would otherwise have hit him on the leg. Let us just say that as a team we are in bad need of fielding and catching practice.
The result was that the opposition captain, who opened their innings, was only out in the final over of their 40, with his score on 97. He was good, but he was not that good.
If we were casual in the field, we were suicidal with the bat. Murthy ran out Rob, before running out himself. Bernard ran out Matt. Stuart, Ian and Nabil all forgot they were under strict orders to play safe, and were bowled swinging at straight balls. To be fair, DJ was unlucky with a ball that kept low, but after 20 overs it was our own stupid fault that we were reeling on 66 for 6. 15 overs later when Bernard was given out LBW by Ian for 22 it was all over bar the drinking (or in the case of the opposition, the praying).
So let us list what we have learned:
- A team that fumbles, crumbles
- Running between the wickets is a lot harder than it looks, especially if Murthy is doing the calling
- Best not swing at a length ball on off stump
- Ian is the new Andrew Smith (if you don’t know what that means just let the ball hit your pad when he is umpiring and you will find out jolly double quick time)
- Cricket is a cruel mistress.
CECC man of the match: Matt Chambers
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Wind up of the day: The oppo captain refused to start the game for an hour and a quarter. “That run-up is dangerous. Someone could break an ankle!”
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Dateline 24.5.14 Edmonton
What a game! We triumphed not only over Shepherds Bush, but also over the British weather.
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