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Match 7 2023: June 11

Pimlico Strollers CC vs Interlopers CC

Strollers finally find form with fine win over Interlopers
posted: June 12, 2023

Strollers vs Interlopers, 11 June 2023

It was third time lucky after the disappointment of a couple of matches in which we failed to defend a moderate total as we managed to see off the Interlopers in tidy fashion and seal a comprehensive win by a margin of 70 runs.

On the hottest weekend of the year so far we were relieved when Spencer called correctly and wisely opted to bat first on a Ferme Park pitch that looked surprisingly decent. Interlopers paceman Josh Friend tore in at a ferocious speed but frequently lost his line with frequent beamers and Abhik was able to capitalise straight away with some beautifully timed boundaries either side of the wicket. Gav dug out the speedy stuff for several overs but had just managed to cream a straight drive for four before Friend finally bowled a straight one and the big man was done for pace as the yorker skidded onto his stumps.

Spencer joined Abhik in the middle and looked in good touch with a trio of boundaries until he unluckily middled a drive off Michael Rose, the opposition skipper, straight to cover and was gone for 16. However, this brought Varun to the wicket and with the Interlopers’ second string attack markedly slower he joined Abhik in some heavy hitting around the park.

Frustratingly, Abhik’s innings was again curtailed against the run of play when he found himself trapped LBW by Thal and was out for a stylish 32. Thankfully this didn’t disrupt our momentum as Tim quickly got into the action with some typically nippy running between the wickets. Varun, also in a rich vein of form, notched up his half century with a clout to cow corner and by the twentieth over we already found ourselves passing 150 …all very encouraging.

However, with again annoyingly only ten men at our disposal, Spencer remained mindful of the gaps that could eventually cost us in our field so encouraged our batters to press on knowing that on the small Ferme Park pitch only a score close to 280 would truly be comfortable. Perhaps it was the underlying anxiety to up the ante that caused Tim to call Varun for a run that wasn’t there only to be sent back too late and he was run out for a quickfire 22.

Not that it mattered to Harry who marched in and defiantly continued where he left off last week, smashing a towering six into the tennis courts. Varun added a few more before he threw caution to the wind, marching down the track to a slow one from Leigh and was finally stumped for a fabulous 62, having safely seen our score over the 200 mark.

Ron, in next, made his intentions clear joining Harry with a flurry of boundaries and speedy sprinting between the wickets. However, having blasted his way to 28 from only nine deliveries, Harry met an abrupt end when he holed out to Leigh and, with that, our charge faltered. Gaurav became our second run out victim of the afternoon, failing to trouble the scorers and then Ron too was caught in the deep off Thal.

A hungover Ali managed to keep his head as he stoically defended and nurdled a few extra runs and, with Dickie yet to arrive from his weekend on the South Coast, as lowest scorer Gaurav was kindly granted an encore – finally getting into the scorebook as he worked the ball to leg on his way to 17 before he skied one off Rose and, with that, we closed on 241 all out – perhaps not the lofty total Spencer had hoped for but enough to impose some scoreboard pressure on the oppo.

After a sumptuous NLCC tea we returned to business with Gaurav and Varun opening our attack. With an asking rate of almost 7 per over from the outset the Interlopers wasted no time in getting stuck in. Dickie, arriving shortly after tea, jogged on and immediately found himself chasing the ball around the square leg boundary and must have wondered what he had let himself in for. However, after a trio of fours, Grower was first to fall as Varun sent down a beautiful inswinger to knock over his stumps.

The oppo’s wicketkeeper Pringle came in at three, nursing a badly bruised knee from an earlier misfield, but that didn’t stop him pressing on with Gould who found the boundary with regularity. After Gaurav cursed himself for failing to hang onto a regulation return catch he thankfully made amends when he gladly held onto a well taken catch off Harry (on at first change) to see off the Interlopers’ opener for 31.
With the heat still lingering we took an early drinks break after which Ron was brought on and he was instantly rewarded first ball with the wicket of Surkes who was trapped by one that looked ‘very adjacent’ for a duck.

However, if we thought this was going to be simple, the Interlopers’ number four Leigh had other ideas. Taking a liking to the slower stuff on offer from Spencer – now operation from the pavilion end – Leigh scored with ease, hauling multiple boundaries through midwicket to take the oppo past the 100 mark. Ron thankfully kept the pressure on and found some turn to bowl Pringle.

Adam Rose, in next, gamely attempted to slog his side into contention but chipped one up from Spencer only to find Ron ready and waiting at midwicket to take the catch. Josh Friend came to the crease showing every bit as much intensity in his batting as with his bowling (his team mates laughing heartily at his impassioned call for ‘no run!’ off his first ball) and, with keen running between the wickets, he joined Leigh to mount the counter-offensive and before long the Interlopers needed less than 100 to win… surely we couldn’t miss out again?

What might have been a dangerous partnership was thankfully undone when Leigh took a huge slog off Ron to cow corner only to find Abhik, who covered impressive yards to take the vital catch right on the boundary. With that the oppo’s only hope for victory surely remained in the hands of Friend who, undeterred, launched an enormous six into the tennis courts behind the changing rooms.

Luck, however was no friend to Friend who handed Ron his fourth wicket of the afternoon as he somehow managed to toe a rank legside long hop back onto his stumps and he was gone for 17. Phew.

All that remained was to mop up the tail and, for this, Abhik was deemed the man for the task. In an extraordinary first over Abhik got underway with a fearsome head-high beamer (which felt like apropos payback for some of Friend’s deliveries earlier in the day) and followed that up next ball with a searing yorker to dislodge skipper Michael Rose. With Meade pinching a single next ball, Hisketh survived only one more before scooping a simple catch up to Gaurav in the covers and the oppo were nine down.

Thal, in last, dismissively spanked his first ball (Abhik’s final delivery of the over) through extra cover for four. However any final defiance was short lived. Gav only managed to get his fingertips to a low edge to slip from Meade but it barely mattered with Spencer taking the return catch a couple of balls later and with that, the job was done.

Nice to get back to winning ways and nicer still to get there comfortably for once! Our thanks again to the Interlopers for another enjoyable game. Now let’s keep up that winning habit…

Gavin Richardson

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