C.E.C.C.| Shepherds Cot | Crouch End | North London | N8 8JJ
You know it's going to be a long day when, after 5 minutes of arriving at the club, Joe empties water off one of the many wet chairs and says "Has it been raining?" This was followed approximately 25 minutes later in the car when Joe followed up with the proclaimation that he wasn't going to hell because "I raised £80 for Red Nose Day." A very long day! Turning up a mere hour early, Sasha enlivened what could have been a tedious wait by nearly reversing my car over Shobuj, proferring the defence that "reversing is more difficult".
CECC lost the toss (I think oppo skippers are now carrying loaded coins) and unsurprisingly we were asked to bat. James F (13) and Sasha (4) opened and got off to a steady start before both departed in quick succession, Moni (23) and DJ (25) decided to combat the Indian Gymkhana attack with big hitting, while Shiva (5) took the words combat, attack and hitting a bit too literally. All went and when I (1) was contentiously given out LBW (INSIDE EDGE!!!), we were 79 for 6 and our batting fraility looked again as if was going to cost us. But not today, as Shobuj and Rhush were both immense (put on 99 for the 7th wicket, scoring 61 and 41 respectively, at about 8 an over) and cruel (made IG's 11 year old spinner cry after hitting him for 17 in one over). The tail fell away, but thanks to that stand CECC finished 186 ao in 34 overs.
Lunch provided absolutely nothing worthy of note. Absolutely nothing. Joe didn't come out with any pearls of wisdom, Simon wasn't there to make any outlandish prophecies and there was sugar.
The tried and tested combo of Joe and Hemant opened up and were both excellent, swinging the ball beautifully. Joe was unlucky to come away wicketless, while Hemant decided that after his first wicket, the 3rd team dismissal speciality (leg stump full toss) was the way for wickets 2 and 3. Rhush took over from Joe snaffled a couple, and at 33 for 5, victory seemed on the horizon. But unlike reversing, Sasha, horizons are often further away than they first appear, and IG's nos 6 and 7 entered us into a period of attrition that Simon and Richard would have been proud of. Over after over dragged by, the skies grew dark, Joe was told he was 'too fast' and had to bowl spin. Something defining needed to happen, and so to the first of my new, regular feature:
ROB RUSSELL'S DEFINING MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Sri had just been smacked for three 4's in his first 4 balls and Indian Gymkhana were beginning to look as though they may unbelievably get something from the game. Hemant is told to warm up. Sri's fifth ball: batsman advances down the wicket, smacks ball high and long, Moni circles under it, ball hits Moni's midriff, Moni's on the floor, Moni's held it! Sri proceeds to mop up the tail getting 5fer. Indian Gymkhana lose their last 5 wickets for 1 run (Joe takes a very good diving catch to win the game). At 7.42pm, nearly seven hours after we started, CECC win by 72 runs.
So 10 points puts us right in the mix, with 2 out of 3 wins probably being enough. 10 points also eases my conscious that 'strengthing' the team for this game was probably justified (still not entirely sure). Brentham next week, with my '3rd' team, will present us with the opportunity to complete part 2 of the trifecta. Game on.
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