C.E.C.C.| Shepherds Cot | Crouch End | North London | N8 8JJ
Things started badly for Crouch End. At the scheduled start time of 12:30 we were 2 men light, skip had lost the toss and CECC were asked to field. By the time we took to the field we were up to 10, but Bobby was stuck somewhere on the M1 behind a pile up. Although this would mean more running around for the other 10 fielders, it was to prove a key moment in the game. More on that later.
Shashi and Ruskin opened the bowling and although they both bowled well, wickets proved hard to come by. First change brought Bernard into the attack and he snagged the first wicket via an assured catch on the boundary by Nabil. The runs came regularly for Palm Tree, our bowlers toiled away with admirable determination, but little success. The Palm Tree opener and number 3 bat scored 66 and 75 respectively and the total was beginning to mount.
It was the return of Shashi bowling spin that made the breakthrough, removing the opener, and Kiran doing the honours with the number 3 bat. But the runs continued to come and although we took a further 3 wickets (Kamuran, Felix and Shashi), Palm Tree finished with an imposing total of 232 and skip was concerned.
It was a big total to chase for the Wildcards, and we were still missing one of our better batsmen, who was making slow progress on the M1.
The innings started badly. Kiran and Nabil both falling for ducks, Alex hit some lusty blows but fell to a Collingwood like catch for 9. We were 3 down and only 10 runs on the board and still no sign of Bobby. His absence was now to be the turning point in the game. It was the Sliding Doors moment. That pile up on the M1 which was the cause of such concern initially bought Shashi to the crease early, promoted to 5 in Bobby's absence.
Shashi started dispatching the ball to the rope with regularity, but wickets continued to fall at the other end. We were 65 for 6, and people's attention was drifting towards the showers and bar.
Shashi has been known to make some useful cameos in the past, but today was different. Today he was in the mood for a more substantial part in this tale, but he needed someone to be his Robin to his Batman, his Rodney to his Delboy, his Penfold to his Danger Mouse. This bought Kamuran to the crease. By the time Kamuran fell, the score had reach 154 and the cavalry had arrived in the shape of Bobby. Bobby and Shashi took the score to 218 and Crouch End were almost over the line. But with only 16 runs needed Bobby fell for 21, and it was getting dark. Umpires were getting out their light metres and Batmen were checking the batteries in their miners helmets.
But Shashi didn't need the assistance of daylight, he was using the force. Bernard and Ruskin held up the other end, and Shashi scored the winning runs with a huge 6 into the hippy commune over the fence. Crouch End were 9 wickets down but had done it, Shashi had done it, we had won.
Shashi finished with 167 off 85 balls including 9 sixes and 17 fours, and what is possibly (to be confirmed) the highest score for a CECC batsmen. If he had scored it a week ago, surely a contender for match winning performance of the year.
So MOM goes to Shashi for a remarkable innings, honourable mentions in thier supporting roles for Kamuran and Bobby. Between the 3 of them their partnerships were worth 153 runs and won us the match.
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