The 3rds came away from Edmonton with a hard-fought win on Sat 15th. Despite a few stutters on the way they posted 243 for 7 off 46 overs and brought Edmonton’s spirited run chase to a close just 14 runs short.
The Crouch End innings fell into several distinct phases. Simon and Sri started up well until the opposition realised that most of the runs were coming off the back foot. Sri’s run-out, for 19, to a direct hit, brought Tim to the wicket who survived a slightly irresponsible swash-buckling start, took take advantage of some wayward change bowling and ran up a swift 64. Simon, run out for 25, stayed with him rather longer than either Rob, James or Micky. The score went from 140 for 2 to 149 for 6 and it looked as if the good early work might be undone; but Wasif (55*)and Phil Nagler (32) came together and with good sense and a lot of hard-hitting wrested back the initiative enabling Crouch End to declare 4 overs early on 243.
Edmonton got off to a flyer. Immediately the new ball started hitting the fence either though well hit boundaries or edges and byes. 70 was soon on the board and there was no sign of a wicket. Sri, who quickly found the right flight for the conditions, steadied things a little and finally induced a skied catch to the ‘keeper. James got no. 3 LBW; but Edmonton, who, on the evidence of their fielding we had rather underestimated, produced the next in a succession of very accomplished batsmen; and it was Crouch End’s turn to look uncomfortable on an outfield that until very recently had been churned up by the boots of Norsemen FC.
But then came drinks. I don’t know if anyone was listening but the skipper announced that this was where our luck changed and to the very first ball after drinks, with the score on 125, the Edmonton no 1 played on to the worst ball that Matt was to bowl all match. It was a chink. Runs continued to flow, but the occasional wicket fell. Micky got a very important caught and bowled. Matt picked up another, clean bowled. The openers, Wasif and Felix had to be recalled before it was too late and Wasif picked up a caught and bowled and an LBW. Felix clipped the off bail; but the game was still in the balance when the day’s magic moment occurred, a moment that might have changed the team’s season. Phil picked up a splendid diving catch off Felix to dismiss the latest in the line of confident, fluent batsmen who looked as if they were going to finish the match at a canter. With one wicket needed, Felix hit the stumps and the job was done.
Crouch End did not bowl badly and did not field well. They simply hadn’t been able to contain an aggressive batting side and at no time could say that they were really in charge of the game. But all the bowlers worked hard for their wickets. They all bowled a few bad balls, most got a bit of tap, most, especially James, had to endure mis-fields, but all fought back. Edmonton didn’t throw it away: in the end they were bowled out.
Man of the match? Tim top-scored, but Wasif’s 55 not out and 2 for 49 in 11 overs clinches it; but the champagne moment goes to Naggers.
Thanks to Richard for umpiring throughout and to Micky’s dad and Micky’s dad’s friend for loyal support.