Strollers' bowlers take down Tetherdown in latest T20
posted: July 1, 2017
Our rich vein of form continued on Thursday night when we were able to secure our fourth win on the bounce in our latest T20 clash with the Tetherdown Trundlers at North Middlesex CC.
This was largely thanks to a brilliant bowling display on our part. Having eyed up the tricky-looking wicket, upon winning the toss, Viral wisely opted to send the oppo in. Initially some opportunistic running and some clean striking from opener Phillips threatened to cast doubt on the decision until the skipper himself made the first breakthrough with a full yorker to bowl Phindley.
Simon bowled a consistent line and was unlucky not to nab at least one of his typically hearty appeals for LBW. However it was Harry, on first change, who really put us into contention with a crackerjack start to his spell — Phillips, having hit 23 and lucky to survive a strong shout for LBW from Harry’s first ball, did not withstand the speedy second which sent his off stump cartwheeling out of the ground (as more decisive dismissal you will never see). A few balls later Harry celebrated again, claiming a double wicket maiden (that rarest of Strollers feats) when Kash collected an uppish catch at cover to send Ike back to the hutch without scoring.
From here on the Trundlers struggled to put any kind partnership together as wickets fell with regularity. Kash himself chimed in with his left arm off spin first getting the better of Bowfield with a low bouncing grubber (an ongoing feature of the troublesome underfoot conditions) and then with an excellent catch off his own bowling, taken behind his head, to dismiss Roberts.
Ron, in possibly his last appearance of the season before jetting off to Hong Kong for 6 months, gave it a good rip and was initially unlucky to see an edged chance put down behind by birthday boy Davie C (surely a timely moment for a whip round for a new pair of gloves for the kitten? — Ed), before deciding to take matters into his own hands — literally — when he took a sharp return catch to dismiss Buxton.
Viral wrapped things up expertly firstly by seeing off his opposite number Adam Frais when Kash took yet another fine catch at mid on. The skipper then closed out a magnificent final maiden over ensuring the Trundlers would have the unenviable task of defending a sub-100 target, having managed only to post a meagre 91-7 from their twenty overs.
Having taken full advantage of the variable conditions underfoot, we had turned in what was without doubt our best bowling performance of the season and, with a strong batting lineup at our disposal, all we had to do now was keep our heads.
Despite the early loss of Nick, bowled by Buxton for a single, things started promisingly with George working the ball around well and Harsh, in at three, shooting a couple of powerful shots through the covers.
The Trundlers’ bowlers didn’t help their own cause by spraying the ball wide on several occasions. However, when they did keep it straight, the ball clearly was difficult to get away — contrary to usual expectations the short stuff seemed to keep low whereas fuller deliveries jagged up off the surface. With watchful batting the score had edged up towards fifty before one of those lifting full deliveries eventually did for George when, on 15, he feathered one down the leg side behind to the waiting keeper.
Gav, in at four, luckily survived a leading edge off his first ball which he thankfully chipped into no-mans-land. However Harsh was less fortunate when another daisy-cutter from Robinson bounced off his pads and onto his stumps, and Joshi departed for an unlucky 13.
Ron, in next, ran with typical enthusiasm (whether his batting partner was quite so enthused is another matter — Ed) to ensure the scoreboard got ticking over again. Gav, on the other hand, was frustrated to see several of his powerful offside strokes cut off before they could reach the boundary, as the Tetherdown fielders laudably made every effort to protect their modest total.
Whilst we edged ever closer to the target, we hit a setback when, with the score on 75, Ron lobbed one up from Frais and was caught. Kash, fresh from his 89 the previous week, was unable to repeat his heroics when he too fell for 4 to another low one from Buxton. Matt also came a cropper when he chipped one up to midwicket and left without troubling the scorers.
With the winning line tantalisingly within reach, a few jangly nerves on the boundary were settled when Gav sent a mighty on drive back over Buxton’s head for four to take us into the eighties. With just a few to get, upon arriving in the middle Viral sensibly urged Gav to simply look for the singles and, with some keen running, our target was happily reached in the penultimate over.
Another fine win then, doubtlessly thanks in the main to some top work with the ball earlier in the evening. But we had also done well with the bat to withstand the dangers of a decidedly treacherous wicket and, having recorded a grand-slam of wins within 10 days and in honour of our wicketkeeping kitten’s birthday, we repaired to the Belash for a delicious and well-deserved post-match curry.