C.E.C.C.| Shepherds Cot | Crouch End | North London | N8 8JJ
I try not to include too much autobiographical information in the 4th XI reports, but I feel I should make an exception today. I dropped a catch off the first ball of the day, I didn’t bowl and I scored no runs, but I locked the Mill Hill padlock a satisfied man.
Highgate Vs chose to bat. They made a slow start against the nagging length of Dhamendra and the pace of Charles. Although only one wicket fell in the first 16 overs the batting side were never comfortable. Mike and George kept up the pressure and the subsequent steady fall of wickets was due largely to the batsmen’s frustration. Tim took three catches in the covers, Bhanu got a catch and a stumping off the same ball off Mike’s bowling to remove the top scorer, Charles hit the stumps with the first ball of his second spell, Joe got a run out with a direct hit from a prone position and Ninad, in his best bowling to date, rounded things off with 4 for 25 in 7 overs. Highgate all out 177 in 44.2 overs.
The foundation of the Crouch End reply was laid by Khalid and Ninad. The score was a healthy 57 for 1 after 10 overs when Ninad did what he has done in each of his three innings for the club, that is give a tame catch after seeming on the verge of a big score. After running Tim out before he had faced a ball Khalid carved his way to an excellent 47, but two other cheap catches, one from George and the other from Kashif, meant that at 112 for 6 there was work to be done. Mike Alexander however was in the mood. He hit the bad balls very hard, he unleashed a text-book cover drive, but above all he was very patient. Joe, in slightly less convincing manner kept him company; and Crouch End crawled their way nervously to the finishing line and their first league points of the season: Mike 51 not out, Joe 18 not out. After two rather uncomfortable away games this felt like a return to the style and substance we want to see from the 4th XI.
One other thing: by having George in the side we also had a dedicated scorer. Thanks to Roger: it makes a huge difference.
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