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Match 03 2023: May 21

Southgate Compton CC vs Pimlico Strollers CC

Collapse to Compton costs us as we crumble at Southgate
posted: May 22, 2023

Strollers vs Southgate Compton, 21 May 2023

After two spirited performances to start our season we sadly lost our composure yesterday and crumbled to a chastening 10 wicket defeat away to Southgate Compton.

With the forecast sunny weather nowhere to be seen, it wasn’t surprising that the oppo’s skipper chose to send us in to bat first under the gathering clouds overhead. However, despite a cautious start, things looked promising early on as Varun and Abhik found their feet – the latter especially finding the middle of the bat with increasing ease with some lusty blows putting away some wayward stuff to the boundary after Southgate’s opening bowlers were removed from the attack.

Umpire Harry raised eyebrows on the boundary, opting not to no ball several deliveries that appeared well above waist height, not that it mattered to Abhik who aggressively swatted anything loose to the fence. Our 50 came up without incident and all seemed rosy – and then it all went horribly wrong.

First Varun edged up one such delivery that looked suspiciously flighty straight to cover point. Then Abhik doubled up at one sent into his midriff, chipping the ball to square leg to depart for a well-made 40. And, without another run being scored, Spencer missed out a slow one from Osman, found himself off balance and with his back leg ungrounded was unceremoniously stumped, much to his annoyance. Nick –making his welcome Strollers comeback after a couple of seasons out of the picture – unfortunately was out of practice and out of sorts as he scooped an easy chance up to mid on from Osman and all of a sudden we found ourselves 54-4 …our promising start no more than a fleeting memory.

Harry joined Gav in the middle to repair and rebuild but with medium pacers Amaan and Osman offering us nothing, scoring all but dried up. We made it to drinks mercifully without further loss after which our batters attempted to up the ante. However, despite some powerful hitting, the fours just weren’t forthcoming – thanks both to the well set field and the longish grass shielding the boundary.

Eventually Harry’s patience gave out and with an agricultural hoik to deep mid off where the catch was safely taken. With again only 10 men at our disposal (Ron having withdrawn that morning with a pulled muscle) we looked anxiously at the scoreboard, which looked less than encouraging with the wickets remaining ebbing lower and lower.

Gav battened down the hatches and safely kept out anything that threatened his stumps and finally managed to get a couple of trademark drives away to the cover point boundary. Nidhish, in at 7, also managed to nurdle the ball around but impeded his progress when he badly sprained his thigh pushing off for a quick single. This unfortunately hampered his hitting and he departed the stage with a catch lobbed to extra cover.

Captain George, dropping himself down the order, seemed to find the middle of his bat instantly but was frustrated again by both the field and the slow outfield preventing him from cashing in on some good shots. Nevertheless he and Gav managed to finally notch up our hundred, meaning we at least had something to bowl at later on. With just a couple of overs remaining George attempted a slog to push up our total only to be caught in the covers leaving Ali (making his first appearance of the season) to join Gav in nudging our total up to close on the ominous Nelson of 111-7, the big man walking off unbeaten for a gritty 32.

We munched on our home made teas ruefully aware that, although it wan’t the easiest pitch to score on, we hadn’t posted nearly enough. Nevertheless we had plenty of bowling options open to us and with a few early breakthroughs you never know, miracles can happen.

Sadly, they didn’t. With the sun scornfully poking through the clouds after tea, the oppo made a mockery of the supposedly tricky conditions as they kick started their innings and scored like a train. With our attack notably quicker than theirs, Compton’s openers found timing the ball seem far easier and the boundaries flooded forth – so much so that several passing vehicles were in direct threat of being pocked by the flying cricket balls that were launched over the boundary and the Cockfosters Road beyond.

Southgate’s 50 came up without loss in the 8th over and as the score shot upwards, the reality of a humiliating defeat began to sink in. Openers Shearley and Brollino each carded a chanceless 50 and with a final blow through extra cover the latter brought up a searing 10 wicket win for his side before even the drinks interval… not a good look.

We limped off with little else to reflect on but a bad day at the office, but these things do happen and with a long season still ahead of us there is still plenty of opportunity to get back to winning ways.

Gavin Richardson

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