Strollers survive scare from HICCs to win high scoring thriller
posted: June 20, 2018
Possibly inspired by England's world record-breaking exploits earlier in the day, yesterday evening we posted our highest ever T20 score – a massive 217-5 –when we took on the HICCs at North Middlesex CC. It was enough to get us over the line and secure our first T20 victory of the season but, my word, did they give us a scare.
Having won the toss Abhik opted to bat first on what looked like a belter of a pitch, and so it proved to be. Despite the early loss of Sid, Gav and Abhik mounted a solid start to take us past fifty before making way for the big hitting department of Ron, Nick and Viral ...the latter two especially clobbering anything remotely short to all parts. The onslaught was brutal and so ferocious that ball after ball was lost to the adjoining grounds and gardens... much to the chagrin of the elder Irregulars who had simply shown up for a relaxing evening in the sun. Nick departed, caught at cover, for a mightily impressive 63 but that was bettered still by Viral whose superb 70 not out came, astonishingly, from the final five (FIVE!!) overs of our innings. Walking off with a spring in our step thanks to our record total we felt understandably confident that the game was ours.
But, hang on, the HICCs had other ideas. For whilst they may have lost the dangerous Dave Osborne early on – holing out to Viral from Davie G – Tony Mitchell had the bit between his teeth. Joined by Diment, the pair promptly piled on an 84 run partnership – aided by a couple of fairly regulation drops on our part – comfortably meeting an asking rate in excess of 10 runs per over. They couldn't, could they? Nerves calmed somewhat when Ron expertly took a skier from Diment, who departed for 46 but this only brought the big-hitting Alex Gray to the middle who set about our attack with typical aggression.
Perhaps our key breakthrough came when Tony, who had batted superbly was castled by Sid, bowling a mean line from the pavilion end. Mitchell departed for 63 but with the HICCs having powered well past 150 with 6 overs to go nerves jangled and when Gav at fly slip shelled a spinning edge from Alex off Sid and his heart rapidly sunk with the ball to the floor... had he just dropped the Ashes?! Thankfully Nick made amends on Gav's behalf the next over by cleaning out Gray Jnr's middle stump. Phew!
But we were not there yet... as long as the dangerous likes of Yash and Giles remained out there the HICCs still had a sniff. However some quick thinking from Tom firing into the bowler's end from the cover boundary had Elwes promptly run out and a fast yorker from Viral did for Yash.
In the end the HICCs wound up some 23 runs short on 194-8 but what a game it had been, albeit for some serious heart palpatations. The celebrations were wild and the relief palpable! There was only one thing to do... head to the Belash and work off the stress with a fine curry and several ales. A great end to a really great evening!