Strollers pile on the runs to claim T20 win over Trundlers
posted: June 24
Fresh off a valiant but ultimately losing rear-guard action on Sunday, a much changed Strollers team arrived at Highgate CC to find an unusually green pitch and overcast conditions. Abhik, deputising for the late-running skipper and due to open the batting, decided these were exactly the conditions for him and plucked to bat first.
His confidence was well rewarded as both he and Kash got the Strollers off to a rollicking start. Kash hitting cleanly through the V to bring up regular boundaries and Abhik joining in with some lofty blows to leg. At 72 for no wicket at the end of the 7th over, the Strollers were well set to push on for a big total. However as the old analogy goes, one wicket brings two, and this was duly the case as first Kash was caught in the deep for a well-made 38 and then Abhik was bowled shortly after attempting to go for a somewhat agricultural heave.
This brought Nic and Ron to the crease who quickly assuaged any concerns the onlooking Strollers had following the loss of two quick wickets, with Nic immediately looking in fine form getting off the mark with a 6 and a 4 to set the tone for a destructive innings. At the other end, Ron attempted to join in the fun but instead fell for 4 going for a big hit. This brought to the crease Will (a colleague of the captain’s making his Strollers debut) who expertly rotated the strike to allow the inform Nic to tee off. The two moved the Strollers onto 145 in the 15th over before Will was bowled by the excellent young off-spinner Hayward, who then followed up by taking the wicket Jack (another debutant) in the same over.
The carnage however continued, with Nic regularly peppering the boundary until he was run out for 74 following an ill-advised quick single from the new batsmen Tom. Tom made some slight amends with a quick-fire 18 to leave the oppo an imposing target of 200 for the match.
The Trundlers innings got off to a somewhat fortuitous start, as both Varun and Harry Brown caused problems early on. Varun in particular pitching the ball up and getting movement both ways under the dark sky, induced a number of false shots and was unlucky not to get wickets in his first couple of overs. The breakthrough was coming though, and in the 5th over Varun had Claydon caught behind, before Harry joined the party with two wickets in the next over. The first being a particularly sharp chance caught low down by a diving Tom at point (early contender for catch of the season?!).
With the oppo 30-3 from 6 overs, the target was looking a distant prospect. However the fall of that wicket brought the imposing figure of Buxton to the crease who made his intentions clear early on by lofting Varun for a straight 6 straight back over the bowlers head. A change of bowling brought Tom and Kash into the attack and Buxton began to wrestle back some momentum, with Kash’s spin bowling in particular proving too tempting with his one over going for 21.
The game should have been wrapped up as the charging Buxton offered up a number of make-able chances. However these were not taken by the Strollers fielders and he took full advantage, regularly making use of the short leg side boundary to race towards his hundred and put the Trundlers in with a sniff of victory. However, on 98 and going for another big hit to bring up his century, his luck finally ran out as he was expertly caught by Jack running around in front of the pavilion to fall an agonising 2 short of the landmark.
That left the Trundlers with 60 needed off the final 4 overs, and the Strollers were finally able to turn the screws and put the game to bed. First Dave bowling Norton for 13, and then Abhik had Plumley stumped off a wide following good work from Matt. The opposition ended on a respectable 173 from their 20 overs which on many occasions would have been enough for victory. However, this was a day for the strollers batsmen and the target 200 always likely to be too much.