Erratic batsmen can't stop Strollers from sealing ninth win
posted: August 29, 2017
On a glorious Bank Holiday Sunday, the Strollers played host to the London Erratics on the main pitch at North London. With only 10 Strollers due to play, we were bolstered by the welcome recruitment of 11 year old Alex Dorman to bring us up to full strength.
Under the hot sun, George won the toss and sensibly elected to bat. The skipper himself opened with Nick keeping him company at the other end as the rest of us retired to the shade of the decking to watch proceedings unfold.
The Erratics started well with a miserly opening over from Dudley leaking just a single but the second over was more symptomatic of their subsequent struggles in the game. Berrigan, the other opener, had conceded 5 off his first 4 balls when, as he strode in to deliver his fifth, he broke down on approaching the crease and had to hobble off the pitch unable to complete his over, or indeed to bowl for the rest of the contest.
Emmett came on to finish the over and Nick, clearly sympathetic to the Erratics' plight, promptly hit him for four and six. This forced the Erratics to replace Emmett with Murphy - thus using their fourth bowler in the opening four overs. The latter bowled accurately and conceded just 3 runs off his first 3 overs (with eventual figures of 0-14 off 7) but Nick now took the attack to Dudley at the other end and the score kept ticking over.
George fell for 5 bringing Harsh to the crease and after a couple of watchful overs he and, in particular, Nick began to dominate the Erratic bowling. Nick unleashed some huge shots including a fearsome flat six which nearly ended the short life of a small child innocently frollicking on the boundary.
All seemed plain sailing as the fifty partnership came up and Nick himself notched up a very impressive half century that included 6 fours and 3 sixes on a pitch with much larger boundaries than we are accustomed to.
However, the introduction of Watson sparked a flurry of wickets as he accounted for Harsh, Tim and, shortly after another two mammoth sixes in quick succession off White, he also bowled Nick for an utterly destructive 67, which had laid for us the perfect platform.
Abhik was joined by Dave C at the wicket with plenty of overs to go and they consolidated a little before the former was trapped LBW by the returning Emmett for 10 and Dave G strode out to the middle.
The Erratic bowling increasingly lived up to its name as the front-line bowlers used up their allotted overs and the two Daves managed to put away the generous supply of loose deliveries. Along with a series of fours, Davey G hit what he claims was his first ever six - a sweetly middled monster over cow corner, which landed in the tennis courts. The 200 was brought up as the two Daves plundered boundaries and we began to entertain hopes of reaching 250.
Opener Dudley returned and stemmed the runs a little before producing a beauty to york Dave G off the final ball of his spell. Dave G's rapid 35 was an excellent knock which bodes well for yet greater things to come with the bat.
Mickey joined Dave C at the crease and at the start of the final over, we were on 236. Dave C managed to hit the first two balls for six and four and then a wide and four byes off the final delivery allowed us to creep past 250, finally finishing on 251. It felt like a good score but we knew we would have to field and bowl well to make it nine wins on the bounce.
After a nourishing tea which thankfully included the essential components of scones with cream and jam and an assortment of cakes along with sarnies and sausages, the Strollers took to the field in good heart. Abhik opened the bowling and we were immediately in the game as Emmett drove uppishly at his first two deliveries which, on another day, might easily have gone to hand.
Nick took on opening duties at the far end and started tidily before striking to remove Emmett in his third over. Abhik then followed this up with a wicket maiden, removing skipper Rivington for a duck with an inswinging yorker that knocked back off stump. In his next over, he repeated the trick to send White back to the pavilion and the Strollers were now well on top.
Sam and Mickey joined the attack and both did well to restrict the scoring and build pressure before Mickey had the wandering Shoreland stumped for 17. Murphy at number 5 impressed with the bat as he had with the ball and was offered solid support by Lane as the two combined to frustrate the Strollers' search for further wickets with a defiant partnership.
It was 11 year old Alex Dorman who the skipper turned to after drinks to try and break the deadlock and the young leggie came up trumps. Bowling with all the grace, guile and accuracy of a certain bleach-blonde Australian, his new teammates were soon crying out 'Bowling Warney', as he removed Lane in his first over with a classic leg-break delivery.
Watson went in the next over, well caught in the deep by Harsh off Mickey who struck again two balls later to bowl wicket keeper Tucker for none. Young Alex continued to bowl well and was rewarded with his second wicket when Dudley picked out Harsh on the leg side who again made no mistake.
At 108-8, with just 10 overs remaining, the target looked increasingly distant for the Erratics but Dunabin and Murphy, who notched up a fine fifty, offered spirited resistance and put on 40 for the ninth wicket before Murphy holed out to Abhik in the deep off George.
Dave M came on for a couple of overs and bowled well enough to suggest he has a bright future for the Strollers but much as we tried to crowd the bat in search of the final wicket, we couldn't find a way through Dunabin or the unfortunate Berrigan who had gamely limped to the crease with a runner. Eventually, the Erratics closed their innings on 161-9 and the Strollers were victorious by a margin of 90 runs.
It was another convincing win based on a solid team performance with everybody contributing. Nick, Harsh, Dave C and Dave G all got runs with the bat and Abhik, Mickey and young Alex Dorman starred with the ball. So, 9 wins in a row...surely a record? Let's try to make it 10 next time out against the Beamers. Stroll on!