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Match 2 (4th scheduled) 2022: May 08

Highgate Irregulars CC vs Pimlico Strollers CC

Strollers survive early scare to seal season's first win
posted: May 09, 2022

Strollers vs Highgate Irregulars,8 May 2022

Basking in gloriously warm and sunny Spring weather, the Strollers celebrated yesterday as we notched up our first win of the 2022 campaign, over the Highgate Irregulars at Old Cholms.

Initially victory looked far from assured as, having won the toss in seemingly good batting conditions, we slumped to three down having only just made it to double figures. Thankfully we regrouped well with Gav steadying the ship with a combination of stoic defence and some well-timed strokeplay as he made his way to an all-important half century. Having lost débutants Stan and Ben (guesting for us from Southgate Compton) along the way, the big man, believe it or not, enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Ron who, having ridden his luck a little early on, accelerated to fifth gear with some typically swashbuckling strokeplay with a flurry of boundaries.

Having helped take the total past the hundred mark and just after notching up his 50 Gav took a big swing, missed and was bowled by Giles, skippering for the HICCs. However, this brought Harry to the middle who matched Ron's assault with some powerful big hitting over the long boundary. In almost no time, both secured their half centuries and powered on until Ron eventually holed out to Thatcher for a handsome 61.

Our third débutant Connor – playing his first competitive cricket in over 5 years – joined Harry and played some attractive strokes to help us pass 200, in itself quite an achievement on a notoriously low-scoring ground with a slow outfield. In the end we closed on an impressive 227-6, the skipper unbeaten on an excellent 63 not out.

With the tea lady indisposed with a bout of Covid (yes, that's still a thing unfortunately) we made do with homemade refreshments before heading out to defend our total. Spencer, opening with spin, turned in a truly remarkable spell with not a single run conceded from his first 34 deliveries (a club record)! Stand-in keeper Ben bravely stood up for Rohit, operating from the other end, who also bowled a probing line and the frustration clearly got to the HICC's opener Diyen who chopped onto his stumps to one from Spencer.

If the oppo had any chance it would surely be down to the efforts of their talisman Tony Mitchell who arrived at the crease in typically belligerent style, dispatching a brace of powerful straight drives. However, our bowlers stuck to their task well and Gus, on for Rohit, made the next breakthrough when Nick Woollard chipped one up to Stan. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dave Osborn was next in and helped Tony up the HICC's run rate with some boundaries of his own but with still two-thirds of the target total still to get after drinks, the pressure remained firmly on their shoulders.

Harry brought himself on to replace Abhik, who had bowled with impressive consistency and pace but alas with no success. Tony continued to make inroads but, with the hundred now up and having made it to an excellent 62, his progress ended when Harry skittled his stumps. Ron replaced Gus at the far end and was rewarded with the dismissals of Sumit – who played on – and then Osborn who was dramatically caught at deep midwicket by Stan who clung on just enough (before spilling the ball in celebration) for Dave to sportingly agree to depart the field. All that was left was for Neville and Giles to see out their overs, any thoughts of victory long gone.

And so we walked off to the warm handshakes and congratulations from the HICCs, having happily got the first win of the year under our belts. Most satisfying. Next weekend we trek out east to take on Theydon Bois... let's make winning a habit!

Gavin Richardson

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