C.E.C.C.| Shepherds Cot | Crouch End | North London | N8 8JJ
Stormy weather and stormy moods greeted the CECC Wildcards upon the league match with Abbotts Langley. A bunch of unruly 14-year old boys, similiar to those causing mayhem in Peckham and Hackney, shouted abuse and threatened violence. Well not really.... we were in Hertfordshire after all.
Beautiful ground, beautiful bouncey wicket and beautiful freedom - the Wildcards were finally liberated from the tyranical regime of Herr George. Could the dry weather hold to ensure we could enjoy this afternoon in the Hertfordshire Garden of Eden?
The CECC skipper (me) turned up late due to his chauffeur, Mr Tom Morris, hitting traffic driving back from Birmingham. The good news of this sidenote is that DJ stepped in & won the most vital of tosses....more about that later. But first, some details of the day....CECC posted a tidy 201-all out off 43.2 overs. Top scorer was the handsome Mr Extras with 47. One over went for 5-no balls and 2 wides... [queue evil laugh]. Notable performers with the willow: Mr Jenkins with a crushing opening 38-run cameo and batting MotM Tom Morris. The latter singlehandedly held the CECC order together and took the score from 66 to 201. The only support Tom got was from Kester, Charles & Vikash. Mr Morris is having a purple patch to match the colour of his insanely large leg bruises. 44 not out. The best batting performance I have seen from Mr Morris.
Tea time. Lovely tea, classics Hertfordshire, but rather punchy at £45. A KFC Zinger Tower anyone?
Post tea team talk; "wasn't that lemon cake good?". "where is our keeper? watching the charity sheild". Nothing like a league game to focus the body & mind. Tim volunteered to put on the keeping pads and settled in for 45-over behind the timbers. Little did he, or anyone, know the rain was to follow. Despite making an incredible start with Des going for only 1-an-over for 7 overs and young Charles threatening with every ball from the other end, the rain struck with the savage hand of nature.
45-minutes passed. Almost made it out to the soggy middle. Everybody ran back inside for shelter 30 seconds later.
55-minutes passed. "almost stopped". The enthusiasm couldn't be contained + the Charity Shield was over. Back on the pitch. Hold on - the professional umpire (Peter Jenkins) is doing something suspicious with the scoreboard. What is this???? A revised target of 138? Duckworth Bloody Lewis? I thought that was a private cricket joke? The calculators came out - the oppo hadn't been scoring at a high enough rate so they were already looking at a 4+ run rate an over.
Back to that all important toss - mother nature had turned the wicket into mush & AL had to deal with it. Up step the spinners & step back the field - this was going to be a war of negative fielding tactits. Here we go - time to keep it tight....and we produced. Ball after ball of no boundary and AL refusing to run singles.The prolonged amount of dot balls added to the pressure and Vikash started getting the wickets ..1...2..3...4.....Vijay contributed with 2 good wickets and all the fielders had a good day stopping stupid runs & taking vital catches. Abbotts Langley refusal to run quick singles meant their run rate was rising....4.....5.....6.....7....8 ....9....10......11. During the last, rain-adjusted, over AL needed a lot of runs. And we had a young man looking for a fifer. Up step Vikash & up step all the fielders. Turn, flight, bomber, beamers, yesssss!!!!! Vikash got his 5th wicket with the last ball of the game! Caught & Bowled.
A win - a bloody win!! In the league of all things. Winning the toss helped today - chasing on that mud bowl would have been truly awful. But it was the batting prowess of Tom & the bowling prowess of Vikash that earned us a great win against a strong younger team. MOTM goes to Tom (bat) & Vikash (bowl) - if that is a cop out I resign and give the responsibility back to Crimewatch...
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