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Match 16 (27th scheduled) 2022: September 05

Croxley Guild CC vs Pimlico Strollers CC

Ron rips through Croxley's tail to clinch vital win
posted: September 05, 2022

Pimlico Strollers v Croxley Guild, 4 September 2022

We gladly returned to winning ways yesterday afternoon as the nine man Strollers held their nerve to clinch a hard fought win away to Croxley Guild. Despite our depleted numbers we put on an impressive display with the bat, posting an imposing 276-6 from our 35 overs.

George and Abhik got us off to a great start with an opening stand of 78 – both reading the artificial track well with some powerful hitting square of the wicket until Brown was caught behind by Dalgleish for 26. Varun was unable to add more than a well-struck four before offering a return catch to Bird, but Gav got things back on track with some watchful defence interlaced with some lusty blows to the boundary.

Abhik continued in trademark style with a series of handsome pull shots through midwicket along with some powerful straight hitting and notched up a well deserved fifty. He continued on to 64 before he tipped one up to gully off Bird and sadly his knock came to an end. However KK carried on where Abhik left off and, with Gav, mounted a vital 100+ partnership, frustrating the Croxley attack.

With 10 overs remaining the pair upped the ante but alas, just one away from carding his own half century, KK called Gav through for a quick single only for the keeper Dalgleish to leap round and hurl down the stumps leaving the big man stranded on 49 and gnashing his teeth. To be fair it was probably for the best as this brought the added pace of Ron to the middle who wasted no time clobbering the ball and scampering between the wickets as only the Rabbit can. With a textbook cover drive KK secured his fifty as our 250 came up although he departed shortly afterwards for a well made 53, lobbing one up to Massey.

Ron also went for a handy 25 when he played on to one from Saman, leaving Spencer and Ali to see out our overs, tidily pushing our score up to 276... a job well done. However, as we enjoyed our teas back at the pavilion we were mindful that, in recent years, Croxley has indeed been a high scoring ground and defending our total with only nine fielders would take some work.

With Varun turning to Ron to open with spin, our spirits leapt immediately when Croxley's dangerous opener Dalgleish was sharply caught behind by Davie C for a diamond duck off the first ball of the oppo's innings. However, from there on all the way up until drinks the reality of our situation became evermore apparent as Saman and Woodford relentlessly punished us by making the most of the huge gaps in our field clocking up boundary after boundary. This wasn't going to be easy.

We were boosted when Kash, who had originally been down to play but was railroaded into parental duties, showed up to watch the conclusion of the game with his young son and both were dragooned onto the pitch to temporarily make up the numbers ...junior being surely our youngest Stroller yet!

Unfortunately it didn't stall the onslaught and, with Croxley piling on 150 without further loss, we licked our wounds as we limped off to take drinks. However the refreshment seemed to put a spring back into our step as, shortly after the interval and with much relief, we broke the huge 160 second wicket partnership when on 90 Saman snicked one behind from Abhik to Dave who took an excellent one-handed catch high up. Varun followed this up next over by cleaning out his opposite number's stumps – Woodford departing for 59 – and, with two raw batsmen now in the middle, we felt the momentum swing in our favour.

There was still work to do of course and from here on Ron took centre stage as he was brought back to complete his spell. This he did in spectacular style as he ripped through the oppo's middle and late order, clean bowling four of them and fooling Akers with flight, allowing the Kitten (who was quietly having a bit of a blinder himself) to whip off the bails as he marched down the pitch... Ron finishing with career best figures of 6-33!

With Croxley also a man short we needed just one last wicket to secure the win and, in the thirtieth over, we nabbed it when Manners chipped one from Varun up to Davie who happily snaffled his fourth victim of the afternoon leaving the oppo 83 adrift from their target. All in all a great effort all round performance given our limited numbers and a significant victory meaning that regardless of the results over the remaining games, we will end the season with our win/ loss tally in the black. Let's keep it up!

Gavin Richardson

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