C.E.C.C.| Shepherds Cot | Crouch End | North London | N8 8JJ
Everyone knows how capricious the Church Road wicket can be. On Saturday 17th Aug against Turnham Green Poly the pitch decided to favour the home side.
When Crouch End batted and the score rose comfortably at 5 an over it looked as if the pitch was being a bit better behaved. Only Richard had suffered at its irregularities having two balls rise off a length at him and then being LBW to one that shot along the ground. Generally though the change in batting fluency was due not so much to a better pitch than to better batting as exemplified by one of Mo’s contacts Hasan, who knew how to defend and who knew how to hit the bad balls very hard. He strode along to 98 before having one big heave too many. Tipu, another of Mo’s contacts, partnered him loyally and then took up the mantel, less stylishly but very effectively, with 56 on his own account. With hearty blows from John, one of Mo’s contacts, and Rupu another of Mo’s contacts and a beautifully pulled 4 from Courtney, Crouch End were all out for 221 in the 38th over. Perhaps you can detect a theme here: indeed one of the spectators who narrowly missed out on playing, was one of Mo’s contacts who – I hope I’ve got this right - had played for Bagladesh Under 19s. There could be a useful seam of talent here at the club’s disposal.
It was at the start of TG’s innings that the pitch made its most telling intervention. The TG opener and captain was the prolific Bernard Hughes. John,who opened up, was fast and a bit wild. Within his mixed bag there was a ball that shot along the ground from a good length thus despatching TG’s best chance of staging a run chase. John then got the other opener with a genuine good ball: Dhamendra, being his usual tidy and consistent self, picked up an LBW at the other end; but then resistance became a bit more stubborn and the TG middle order showed what it might have done if the chase had really been on. One in particular looked as if he was playing well below his proper grade; but our own over-qualified player came back into the action. Hasan was fast and accurate: TG could only resist for so long. Crouch End tried to reinvigorate them by dropping three fairly straightforward catches; but Hasan started hitting the stumps – a couple of Yorkers were unplayable - and with good support from Kashif, Tipu and Mo the innings subsided to 134 all out.
Regular readers of these reports, will, at this point be bracing themselves for the moral of the story. There are two: 1. make sure you have a well connected captain. 2. make every effort to integrate occasional stand-ins into the body of the club.
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