C.E.C.C.| Shepherds Cot | Crouch End | North London | N8 8JJ
The 4th XI Friendly against St Ignatius old boys turned out surprisingly well. It started with most of the team, one by one, taking the captain to one side to explain where or whether they’d like to bowl/bat/keep wicket. Departure was delayed by about 40 minutes as we waited for one of the cars to arrive; and under lowering skies the captain missed the exit from the A10 and in the several-miles it took to rectify the situation participated in a lengthy traffic jam. The toss was lost by a stand-in; but the captain arrived in time to forestall a batting order based on the rule of the loudest: due order was restored and the cricket began.
Khalid regained the confident form he had at the start of the season. He got away with his usual premature flashes against the opposition’s star bowler and started timing the ball nicely. In one particular instance he turned a yorker, into a half-volley and slammed it away just backward of square for four. First Anton and the Sharia keep him company: after two big straight sixes he was caught at extra cover for 50 but he had set the innings on its way. Nabil tried to initiate the habitual collapse by top edging his first ball to cover point but Joe bustled about for a bit and Rony, on his debut, got his eye in and set about the bowling with aggressive intent to the relief of some of the more excitable observers. Although Sharia’s progress had been steady, or pedestrian, he was still there: he had held the innings together and backed up Rony’s sparkling assault. Sharia was bowled for 19; and after 36 overs the innings ended on 175 for 5 Rony not out 39, Ian not out 2.
It was surprising there were no run-outs considering there was some awful calling. Studs rather than trainers will help in this respect but batsmen have to learn from somewhere how to judge a run. Experience you’d think would help; but it’s one of the skills of the game that hasn’t rubbed off on Khalid. He will run if he likes the shot and ignore no end of byes. It’s a harsh thing to say, but it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that he bats for himself rather than the team. I’m sure this is not conscious but the result of a long-established mind-set. There’s still time to add this to his game.
Khalid to his great credit stepped in to another breach. Some of the younger members of the team thought they’d decide among themselves who’d keep wicket. Their choice wasn’t going to be accepted, possibly on principle, probably for sound cricketing reasons, and Khalid proceeded to do the job perfectly.
The opposition star bowler turned out to be the star batsman and threatened to knock off the runs in no time. Des’s first ball went for 6: Dhamendra didn’t escape punishment but then he induced him to play-on and a normal game could resume. With the two Ds getting a wicket each and establishing control it was possible to introduce Ian and Ronny into the attack and both had very good spells. Once Rony, bowling very sharp seamers, round the wicket, had found the right length to bowl he terrorised the middle order. Only a very solid left-hander held up progress; and it wasn’t until there were only four overs left that Dhamendra got him LBW playing no stroke to an in-swinger. (Good decision, ump.) Somehow the tail-enders held on. St Ignatius ended 102 for 8 after 36 overs.
Another decent fielding performance due mostly to the quality of the bowling. Dhamendra: 8 overs 2 maidens 3 or 17, Des Khan: 7 overs 1 maiden 1 for 25, Ian: 7 overs 1 maiden 1 for 27, Rony: 13 overs 4 maidens 3 for 29 and Anton 3 overs 1 maiden 0 for 5.
So if one of my electric windows hadn’t decided to jam open during the rainy drive home it would have been a fairly satisfactory event.
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