C.E.C.C.| Shepherds Cot | Crouch End | North London | N8 8JJ
On the day the Crouch End 4th XI played on the Calthorpe ground the points went to the visitors. The occasion was graced with an undefeated century by Shashi who, with the quiet support of Kashif, dragged the Crouch End innings from 47 for 5 to a defensible 186. North London however reached the total with a couple of overs to spare.
The North London openers made good use of the lively surface. Kahlid, Andrew, Ganesh and Richard all made a stab at detaining the attack for a few overs but when Connor was the 5th to go the run rate was under 2 an over. Shashi may have been lucky to survive his usual early indiscretions but he started to play a proper innings, looking for singles rather than trying to hit the cover off the ball. Kashif resisted some of his more imaginative calling and when he was sixth out for 20-something ( I haven’t got the scorebook in front of me) the pair had put on 102. A platform had been built for Shashi’s bit hitting game. He hit a couple of towering sixes, was dropped on 97 and finished on 108 not out. Jeremy, Bhanu and Nabil scampered about in support and the innings ended on 186 for 9.
The recent history of 4th XI cricket has seen sides struggle to chase even modest totals. As a result of Shashi’s exertions Crouch End adopted the ploy of opening with Connor’s leg-spin: and it was vindicated to the extent that both openers fell to Connor, albeit one of them to his quicker ball. Matt at the other end also beat the bat but runs were leeching from the occasional over-pitched ball from Matt and short-pitched ball from Connor. The pattern continued with both Ganesh and Shashi: for only a few overs did it feel as if the fielding side was in control and a few fielding lapses compounded the situation. Batsman no. 4 was now getting into his stride and it wasn’t until well into the final 20 overs that Kashif found a way through his defence and a glipse of a possible collapse was offered. The North London middle order however had enough to see them home.
A great day for Shashi – his first score over 36 apparently – but a disappointing day for the team in that we never really got the sniff of victory into our nostrils.
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