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Match 15 (15th scheduled) 2017: July 16

Chesham Bois CC vs Pimlico Strollers CC

Super Strollers make it six with convincing win over Chesham Bois
posted: July 17, 2017

Chesham Bois CC

Our fine form continued yesterday with a sixth win on the bounce, away to Chesham Bois CC — new opposition introduced to us by none other than sometime Stroller David 'De Dazzler' Haines who now skippers the Buckinghamshire side.

Of the grounds we have visited, Chesham’s ranks amongst the more unique – positioned as it is within a picturesque circular clearing in thick woodland, only just wide enough to accommodate a cricket pitch, creating the overall effect of a natural colosseum. Doubling up as the village common the ground underfoot is a little bumpy so, given the warm and overcast muggy weather, we weren’t entirely unhappy when upon winning the toss the Dazzler elected to bat first.

The opening spell was attritional stuff – both Spencer and Harry bowled a consistent and miserly line, hemming the Chesham batsman in and restricting them to only 34 from the first ten overs. However the senior openers Witham and Holloway played patiently and calmly offered us nothing.

George – skippering for the day in Viral’s absence – duly decided to ring the changes and tossed the ball to Nick for his first Strollers spell with the ball. The decision paid off as, having survived a chance dropped by Sandeep at point, Withams Snr edged behind to Gav at gully, who neatly collected the catch. Abhik, on second change and having begun his spell with a wild beamer, followed this up shortly afterwards by bowling full and shattering Holloway Snr’s stumps.

This brought De Dazzler himself to the crease, dressed for the occasion in Strollers cap and 2002 Helsinki tour shirt. Haines quickly reminded us how much we missed him with a series of characteristically stylish shots that kicked the Chesham Bois innings into third gear. His younger batting partner, Holloway Jnr, likewise displayed impressive timing with some powerful shots to the leg side that frequently found their way into the surrounding undergrowth, and the score climbed into three figures.

However it was one such shot that proved to be Holloway’s undoing when George brought himself on and was rewarded when Tim manfully (if painfully) gathered in a powerfully struck pull shot at deep backward square leg with a trademark rugby catch. Withams Jnr joined the Dazzler and managed to keep the score ticking over and past the 150 mark.

Eventually De Dazzler was undone by Nick who, upon his return into the attack, bowled fast and full to trap Haines LBW for a useful 35. With the loss of their star batsman and with the end of their innings in sight, Chesham’s batsmen decided to hit out, but with mixed success. Withams took a heave to a short one from Abhik which sailed vertically skywards before descending directly into the Kitten’s gloves. Ghosh followed this up next ball with a yorker to clean bowl Sawant and finished his spell with an impressive 3-41.

Howe was next to go when, having launched one enormous six into the trees behind the pavilion, he was cleaned all ends up by Spencer. Lastly Harry collected a well-deserved wicket when he had Perceval well caught by Spencer, lurking in the deep. Chesham closed on 196-8 — seemingly a par score although with heavy conditions persisting overhead and bumpy ground underfoot we were wary about what lay ahead.

Before that however, we pored over a wonderful tea kindly prepared for us by Mrs. Haines comprising a delectable selection of sandwiches, scones and sponge cakes of the finest tradition.

But, before we got too comfortable, we were back out there again – the niceties of tea were quickly forgotten as Gav and Harsh found themselves in the middle facing a barrage of fast and short stuff from Chesham’s young opener Frazer Perceval. De Dazzler, knowing his foe, crammed the slip cordon and pointedly called for ‘two gullies for Gav’.

However the big man rode his luck, flashing hard and evading the predatory fielders positioned behind with a couple of quick fours to third man, much to Frazer’s displeasure. Having taken a couple of blows to his forearms Gav eventually made it down the other end to watch Harsh blast a couple away, including a ferocious hook shot to one of Perceval’s many bouncers. Unfortunately it was also the extra bounce that did for Joshi when he gloved one behind and departed for a modest 18.

Gav at the other end had greater success as he lapped up two successive wider deliveries from Sawant which he powerfully clubbed back past the long on boundary. This forced a bowling change and, with Frazer now also tiring, the openers were happily seen off.

Spencer and Gav continued to work the ball around and took us into the seventies before Richardson was hoodwinked into playing for spin that, for the first time, wasn’t there from the leg spinner Withams, and the big guy was bowled for a lusty 27.

Tim, next in, immediately looked more comfortable against the slower stuff and with Spencer eased us past the hundred mark. But when Spencer took a heave at one from the elderly Beeson he unfortunately holed out to Cox waiting in the deep, and departed the field for a valuable 37. Dickie, making a welcome return to the side, hit his straps straightaway and, with Tim, enthusiastically scampered from one end to the other – punishing overthrows with a couple of well-run threes.

Combining with Tim, who was by now playing with fluency and frequently sending the ball into the surrounding woodlands, Dickie helped us past 150. To stem the flow, Dazzler threw the ball back to Frazer who promptly yorked Betts.

Abhik, next in, was immediately greeted in kind with the same beamer he had loosed off first ball but this was to be the last threat of the day, as we coasted our way towards the winning line. Along the way, Tim collected a thoroughly deserved and man-of-the-match-winning half century demonstrating yet again how much of the rock in our middle order he is. In the thirty-third over, with one final four through the covers Tim ensured our target was met as we made it six of the best on the trot.

It had been a thoroughly enjoyable day, thanks entirely to De Dazzler who had kindly extended the invitation to play his old chums. In turn we were delighted to meet his new chums and, as we made our way to the local pub to reflect on the day’s events, all agreed we that very much hope to make this a regular fixture for future seasons.

Gavin Richardson


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