C.E.C.C.| Shepherds Cot | Crouch End | North London | N8 8JJ
Prospects for any play seemed unlikely at 1pm in Edmonton for the 4th XI’s home game against Hornsey 4ths. But by 2pm the skies brightened and with it the groundsman’s demeanour; and a soggy game ensued. The toss was lost and Crouch End’s innings made a soggy start. On a slow pitch runs only seemed possible from extravagant hits which led to several cross-batted departures and a run rate after twenty overs scarcely above three an over. The innings was rescued however by a sensible knock from Richard (27 not out) and a sparkling one from Symon, out sky-ing a catch on 49. With the weather still unreliable Mo declared on 174 for 6 after 37 overs.
Hornsey’s batting, like there bowling, depended heavily on the only adult in the side. The talented youngsters who had been a bit naive in the field now wilted before the guile of Dhamendra and Desmond. 4 wickets quickly fell, one of them to a splendid catch at cover point by Asif, before the old hand came in and threatened to turn the game on its head. Taking advantage of the slow pitch he played everything off the back foot, scoring freely in all directions. Des tired, Andrew slithered around as the rain picked up again, and the Hornsey captain rattled up 30 quick runs. His fun was brought to an end however by Zinnah’s excellent catch, low down at deep mid-on. The batsman stood his ground but the umpire had the best view and decreed it a safe catch: Crouch End heaved a collective sigh of relief. Mo took the opportunity to give Vab a bowl in his final game with us. He responded by pitching his off breaks on a length from the word go, drawing another excellent catch from Asif, this time in the slips, off his second ball. He followed this with a wide and then a perfect ball that went through the gate and hit the stumps. There was just time for Dhamendra to get his 5fer: Hornsey were all out for 73 in 23 overs: Dhamendra 5 for 27.
The combined age of Crouch End’s first three bowlers, who accounted for 91% of the overs bowled, was 173. The 4th XI looks like an effective unit this year but it’s no longer operating as a vehicle for introducing youngsters into adult cricket. The Islington Schools stream seems to have dried up and I suppose it will be a few years before the Friday night colts sessions start to have any impact. Meanwhile, the prospects for a successful season this year do look good.
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