Strollers survive erratic start to secure win at Ally Pally
posted: September 9, 2018
After the Beamers cried off due to dwindling numbers, the London Erratics thankfully were able to step in as oppo for this afternoon at Alexandra Palace – gladly so given our fixture against them a couple of weeks earlier had fallen foul of wet weather. Even better we happily secured a third win on the bounce, the margin of victory being a convincing 76 runs.
However things didn’t look so rosy at the start. Having lost the toss we were sent in and found ourselves immediately on the ropes – Gav dragged a wide first ball onto his stumps to go for diamond duck, George holed out to backward point for just a single and, whilst Spencer and Harsh made starts, both were dismissed before getting into third gear. When Ron too played on for a duck we found ourselves at just 53-5 looking down the barrel of a low score in the face of a much-improved Erratics attack.
Thankfully our middle order rallied well with Gaurav and Matt digging in to take us past three figures without further loss. As both batsmen grew in confidence so the boundaries began to flow and, coupled with spirited running between the wickets, the scoreboard ticked over nicely. That was until Matt pulled up sharply with a pulled calf muscle and had to retire, temporarily injured.
However this made way for Viral who, in full destructive mode, had the Erratics reeling with a powerful array of fours either side of the wicket which were then eclipsed by a couple of immense straight sixes back over the pavilion end boundary. Having blasted his way to 38 off only about half as many deliveries though, Viral spooned one up off Jimmy and left the stage.
The momentum shifted back in the Erratics’ favour when the Kitten sadly became the third Stroller to depart for a duck when he feathered a catch behind. Gaurav too was unlucky to miss out on a well-deserved half century when he misjudged a straight one from Jimmy. Thankfully Ravi and Davie G chipped in with helpful cameos to take us past 200 before Gorton too was bowled. Matt limped on to nab a couple more in the final over until Ravi ran himself out on the penultimate ball of the innings, the score having reached a respectable 208 – a fine effort considering our poor start.
In response the Erratics looked eager to attack but faltered with Viral gaining sharp in-swing from the Hornsey end and claiming the wickets of both Joseph and Sethi. Ravi had White trapped LBW for just one but Taylor – in at four – looked a more threatening proposition altogether, frequently finding boundaries with some powerful hitting through the V.
It quickly became apparent that, for all this might be a one man show, it could be a very effective one – the left hander farming the strike well and pouncing on anything short or off-line. Davie G was brought into the attack and gladly managed to nab a couple of cheap wickets – firstly with Lane carelessly swiping at a wide one only to snick behind straight to the Kitten’s gloves. Then he snaffled a return catch off his own bowling to see off Jimmy.
Emit was next to go in rather opportunist circumstances when, having prevented overthrows, Ravi hurled down the stumps from fine leg to run him out, albeit by the finest of margins. However, despite these losses, Taylor continued his charge and, at drinks, the Erratics were past 120 and well ahead of the required run rate.
The oppo though were shedding wickets fast and even though Taylor passed his fifty with another searing cover drive he could do nothing to prevent the ensuing collapse at the other end. Ron, now operating from the pavilion end, made further inroads bowling Dunabin and Bush. Spencer, at the other end and still nursing a sore back, was just as effective bowling spin and had Dudley trapped LBW for just two.
Ravi completed proceedings with another run out to dismiss the Erratics’ skipper Hellier and though Taylor remained unbeaten on a superb 66 not out, he and his colleagues had managed to reach only 132, over seventy runs shy of their target.
With the late summer sun now beginning to dip we left the pitch to adjourn straight to the bar to reflect yet again on a job well done, carrying that all-important winning momentum with us all the way to the end of the season.