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Match 14 (24th scheduled) 2022: August 14

Pimlico Strollers CC vs London Erratics CC

Scorching Strollers edge past Erratics to seal win ...no sweat!
posted: August 14, 2022

Pimlico Strollers v London Erratics, 14 August 2022

In our final home game of the season, the Strollers yesterday notched up another good win with a superbly executed run chase in pursuit of the handsome 276-5 total posted by a much-improved London Erratics side. Withstanding the searing toll of this latest heatwave with temperatures again soaring into the mid thirties, we overcame our grumbles when Harry lost the toss, with the oppo predictably opting to bat first, and put in a solid shift in the field.

However, with the concrete-baked Ferme Park outfield lightning fast, the Erratics got off to a flier with 12 off the first over and, throughout the course of the spell leading up to the first of two drinks breaks, offered us nothing as openers Healy and Khawaja powered their way to a 100 run opening stand. This was not the same Erratics side we have been known to roll over in years past.

Healy had made it to an elegant fifty before he finally offered a chance with a lobbed off drive safely pouched by Abhik lurking in the deep who recovered from a painful dive into a blackberry bush a few balls earlier to make impressive ground to take the catch. However this brought the powerful Aussie Wills to the middle whose belligerent hitting complimented Khawaja's more measured style. And as the hot afternoon wore on the runs piled up, no thanks to a few unfortunate misfields owing to the fast and bumpy conditions underfoot. With the 200 up at the second drinks break and more than ten overs remaining, we worried that we may be facing a chase in excess of 300... which, even with the batting at our disposal, would have been quite some ask.

But, perhaps not being as familiar with Ferme Park as we are, the Erratics oddly seemed to take their foot off the gas. Khawaja, having carded a superb and chanceless ton (our first to be conceded all season) generously opted to retire. Wills powered on until he was abruptly dismissed on 75 when Ron casually plucked a return catch off his own bowling. With that, the oppo's main firepower had gone and, between Ron, Varun and Spencer we collected three further cheap wickets before the Erratics closed their innings... and whilst 277 would certainly take some getting, there was a definite sense that the momentum had swung our way.

After the break, our openers repaid the Erratics in kind. Ron was sent out to join Gav and happily took the spotlight to cart the ball over both boundaries square of the wicket as he flew towards an unbeaten fifty. Immediately after the first drinks break Gav, who had been quietly playing the supporting role, found his rhythm with a trio of successive fours to notch up the 100 opening stand (these are clearly much-changed times for the once hapless Banerjee/ Richardson batting combo – Ed) before literally being caught in his stride as he ran himself out for 29.

Abhik, in at three, unfortunately holed out to Berrigan early on but Ron continued his assault and looked to be marching untroubled towards his maiden Strollers hundred before he was spectacularly caught on the boundary for 85 ...damn.

But if there was a sniff of a wobble, it didn't last long. In typical fashion, Tim brought the steely determination needed from our middle order to keep us on track and up with the required rate of 8 an over, aided by Varun who, after a few miscues, located his mojo and joined Sturm in finding the boundaries. With 200 up at the second drinks break we were matching the Erratics with where they were at the same stage in their innings and we looked to be cruising until Varun was well caught at deep long off from Healy.

Harry joined Tim and continued where Varun had left off as we tantilisingly edged towards the target. With an expert caress through midwicket Tim brought up a vital 50 whilst the skipper kept things ticking over nicely until we reached the 33rd over with 21 needed. Harry then unleashed three powerful boundaries through the offside bringing victory into view before somehow managing to run himself out... surely we couldn't slip up now?

Thankfully we didn't. With Karthik calmly pulling one for four, it was fittingly left to Tim to take us over the line and the winning runs were struck with nine balls to spare. An excellent chase securing a fine victory in tough conditions. Our fifth win on the bounce ...and there was nothing erratic about it!

Gavin Richardson

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