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Match 19 (24th scheduled) 2021: August 15

Pimlico Strollers CC vs Battersea Bohemians CC

Strollers centurions lead stunning comeback to blast away Bohos
posted: August 16, 2021

Strollers vs Battersea Bohemians, 15 August 2021

In a season already replete with tales of victories against all odds, the Strollers made it a magnificent seven wins on the trot yesterday with another incredible turnaround to see off our old foes, the Battersea Bohemians. Having been upgraded to play on the main pitch at North London CC, skipper Varun had no hesitation in opting to bat first on a sunny afternoon, having called correctly at the toss.

It looked to be a decision he would soon regret though as, with sensational opening salvos from Buxton (guesting for the Bohos from the Tetherdown Trundlers) and newcomer Hyde, we were reeling having slumped to 16-4 losing Gav, George, Harry and Tom inside the first ten overs. Only when Matt joined Davie C in the middle were we able to right the ship somewhat, although our progress remained slow. Having made it to 21, on the first ball after drinks, Matt middled one unfortunately straight to Russ at cover who clung on well and with now five down with only 51 on the board we feared the worst ...surely our winning streak was at an end.

How wrong we were. Rob Archdale, lamenting his side's complacency, remarked later that even he hoped we would score a few more to make a game of it. We scored more than a few. What followed was truly remarkable as Varun, joining Davie in the middle, opened his account with a sublime stroke through the covers for two and from then on, hit the gas. Davie, having survived an early shout for a catch behind and had played watchfully within himself since then, joined in on the act with some easy-stokeplay to the leg side thanks to some nifty footwork whilst Varun accelerated directly into fifth gear with some almighty strokeplay down the ground.

The 100 and then our 150 sailed past in no time as both batsmen notched up their half centuries, but they weren't done yet. Richard Meier – often known for bowling a particularly miserly line with his left arm seam – was carted for an enormous 56 off his four over spell as Varun and the Kitten smashed us past 200 in the thirtieth over. With our batsmen flaying boundaries almost every ball, smoke seemed to billow up from the scorebook as tally man George tried to keep up.

The onlooking Strollers roared with glee as Varun raised his bat upon recording his first century – a captain's knock if ever there was one – and, having now passed the 250 mark, we repeated the celebration when Davie notched up his second Strollers ton to wild applause. In the end we closed on an utterly improbable 261-5, and whilst the Bohos forlornly trudged off, Davie and Varun were welcomed in as our heroes of the hour having smashed an incredible 210 run partnership off just 17 overs! For the statisticians – Varun's unbeaten knock of 109 had included fifteen fours and four sixes, whilst Davie's 105 not out had comprised ten fours and no less than seven maximums... and, to this writer's knowledge, this was the only occasion in the club's history where two Strollers had made a ton in the same game... sensational in every respect. Needless to say we enjoyed our tea.

For all our jubilation, we had to remind ourselves that we still had a game to win and, much as 262 was an improbable target, it was far from impossible... especially when we saw the Bohos batsmen led out by Kyle Pittman –  perennial thorn in the side of Strollers bowlers from his Beamers days –  joined by Robin Hayley... both capable of inflicting much damage.

As Tom opened the bowling our fears threatened to be realised when in trademark fashion Kyle immediately carved out a glorious cover drive for four, followed by a quick-run two. However, with the final ball of the first over, fortunes dramatically swung our way when Kyle skied a top edge behind... hearts were in mouths as Davie frantically backtracked in vain to make the ground but Gav calmly (?) jogged round to collect and mercifully hang onto the crucial catch to the whoops of delight of his team mates... and with that the Bohos' dangerman was back in the hutch.

Russ Leece was next and joined Robin for a spirited second wicket stand that kept the Bohos within reach of their asking rate until he was castled by Tom for 10. Newcomer Mustafa had bowled some tantilising off spin until he was replaced at the far end by Gus who made the next breakthrough when he had Robin superbly caught by Davie G, lurking at gully. Howard Spratt, in at four, had made it to 15 before being smartly stumped off Gus by Davie... the Kitten getting the cream once again this afternoon. Gus completed a richly-deserved three-fer with the dismissal of Hyde, who was clean bowled.

The Bohos' slim last hope rested on the partnership between Olly and Richard but neither lasted long – Buxton yorked expertly by Harry whilst Meier, having added a few more, was seen off when he lobbed one of Davie G's trademark 'heavy ball' up to point where Matt drew blood clinging onto a well-held catch. All that remained was to wrap up the tail, which didn't take long... Nick Stoop(idly) ran himself out before Rob holed out to Gus at midwicket, bringing the Bohos' innings to a close with a golden duck, a massive 159 runs shy of their target.

Another Sunday, another sensational win notable not only for the efforts of our two magnificent centurions but also in that with only five games remaining we can now be assured that our season's win ratio will end up in the black. Sensational stuff... yet again.

Gavin Richardson

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