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Match 3 (3rd scheduled) 2021: May 9

Highgate Irregulars CC vs Pimlico Strollers CC

Strollers win over HICCs comes at a cost
posted: May 10, 2021

Strollers vs Highgate Irregulars, 9 May 2021

After the disappointing defeat to the Bohos last weekend, we happily returned to winning ways over the Highgate Irregulars with a comprehensive victory at Old Cholmeleians yesterday. However, our success came at the cost of losing skipper Abhik to a nasty hand injury that will leave him waylaid for several weeks.

The day started well with Abhik calling correctly to win the toss. With moisture in the pitch, he sent the HICCs in to bat first and whilst wickets weren’t immediately forthcoming, the miserly line bowled by Varun and Harry meant they could barely get the ball off the square. When the ball did occasionally get through it was held up in the long grass, still damp from Saturday’s rainfall. After an hour of gridlock, Viral and Rohit were brought on, the latter making our first breakthrough, trapping Romani LBW with the score yet to reach 50. This was followed up with a truly sensational diving catch from Harry again off Rohit, taken just inches off the ground to dismiss Gurtej (who has somehow survived a seemingly blatant stumping decision).

Drinks were taken, at which point Abhik (who had been keeping beautifully) swapped the gloves with Davie C. It turned out to be a poor decision as almost straight after the resumption, in an attempt to bravely take a skied catch at deep cover, Abhik had to depart the field – his thumb dislocated and refusing to bend back. So off to hospital the skipper went and we were down to 10 men.

Undeterred our bowlers stuck to the task in hand and Rohit completed a deserved threefer, bowling Yogesh through the gate.  Viral was next in on the act when he yorked opener Vinod – who had looked by far the most comfortable of the HICCs batsmen – for 45. A string of further wickets tumbled with Harry, Kash and George all claiming scalps and, in the final over of their innings, the Irregulars edged just past the hundred mark, closing on only 106-9.

After a short break our openers Gav and Kash strode out and, with the pitch having dried out somewhat by now, both made batting look far easier than it had for the oppo. Kash opened his account with a glorious cover drive for four and at the other end, Gav set out his stall with a powerful straight drive off Steve Gray.

From then on, despite a couple of minor miscues, it was all one way traffic as the big man opened his shoulders and started smashing the oppo all round the ground, carting Gurtej (who had been brought on at first change) for 15 off his first over including a massive straight six. Owen was brought on to restore some control and he succeeded in having Kash caught edging to gully.

Gav however continued the onslaught with a barrage of further boundaries until, with a promising fifty looming into view, he got distracted by the thought of more of Yash’s delectable lemon drizzle cake, took one heave too many and was caught for a fine by the oppo skipper himself at mid off, agonisingly just two short of what would have been a hefty half century.

This precipitated a bit of a wobble as George, in at three, was run out having been called for a suicidal single by Fenil. Dave then edged behind without scoring and we found ourselves 69-4. However, any fears of a calamitous collapse subsided as Viral joined Fenil for his first knock of the season and worked the ball around and over the boundary with ease. Without any further loss we romped home with six wickets still intact and fourteen overs still remaining – as decisive a win as one could hope for.

Our celebrations were muted somewhat at the news from the hospital that Abhik had suffered a fracture to his dislocated thumb (which the doctors had thankfully managed to reset) meaning the skipper will be out of action for weeks to come. We wish Captain Bob a speedy recovery and hope that we can keep to winning ways in his absence.

Gavin Richardson
10.05.2021

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