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Match 9 (12th scheduled) 2021: June 10

Acme CC vs Pimlico Strollers CC

Strollers riverside blues at Acme
posted: June 10, 2021

Strollers vs Acme, 27 June 2021

Yesterday's adventure way out west to the pictureque surroundings of Weybridge Vandals CC sadly ended in defeat as our hosts Acme cantered home to a 6 wicket win. Despite the delightful riverside setting on the banks of the Thames the never-ending drizzle pervaded and, having been put into bat, we failed to turn on the heat.

Our innings got off to a disasterous start when on only the second ball Joe, newly promoted up the order to open the innings, eagerly set off from the non-striker's end for a run that was never there and Big Gav, having noisily called 'NO' at least twice determinedly (and predictably) remained unmoved. Thus the Great Gadsby was run out without facing – possibly the cruellest of all cricketing dismissals made all the crueller because young Joe had brought his good lady along to watch him bat. Cricket is such a cruel mistress.

More positively, this meant that we got to see the recently-quarantined Ron in action for the first time this year. Having only managed to half-finish his cheroot of choice, Ron started in uncharacteristically understated fashion whilst Gav at the other end fiercely banged out a trio of trademark cut shots to the boundary before he edged behind a good one from Tom and was caught at slip. Davie G, in at four, turned on the style with a flourish with a glorious off drive and got the scoreboard ticking over nicely until Acme astutely brought on big David Prest with his loopy off spinners and the temptation was just too much for Dave who swung, missed, and the ball dropped onto his stumps.

George, having made several laps of the ground thanks to his dodgy sat nav, arrived late but was next in and supported Ron well as the Rabbit upped the tempo with some heavy hitting. However, having made 29, he was eventually undone by Kethese who skidded one through. Paul Murphy –  making his first appearance for the Strollers in a couple of seasons – was in next and kept us going until drinks but fell almost immediately afterwards when he thumped one straight to short midwicket and was well caught by Kethese. George followed soon after as Sandeep, bowling some devilish leg spin, lured him into playing a big shot and did for him with the turn. Varun, next in, played some attractive shots through the covers and thankfully helped us over the hundred mark before Haris had him playing down the wrong line and the skipper was gone for 13.

Our fortunes improved with the arrival of The Kitten at the crease – Davie C teaming up well with Rohit to add vital runs as our innings neared it's close but, after some textbook stuff, he too was undone by the spin of Sandeep as he played on having made a useful 22. Bruce, gladly playing close to home, unfortunately failed to trouble the scorers but last man Usman let loose a couple of lusty blows and, thans to some good running with Rohit, managed to take us past 150 until Kawathekar was caught off Kethese in the final over, leaving us on 159.

Despite no formal tea being on offer, our hosts had generously brought along some sausage rolls and doughnuts which they kindly shared out at the changeover and the sugar injection clearly helped as Varun claimed the early scalp of the dangerous-looking Dil as Acme began their reply. However from there the oppo's two and three batted calmly and sensibly and we didn't nab another wicket until after drinks when Varun pouched another –  this time Zaheer who offered a skied return catch which the skipper took cleanly off his own bowling.

A couple of late wickets caused Acme to stumble slightly as they approached their target firstly with Rohit expertly clinging on to a skier from Ron to dismiss Sandeep. Then Paul took a smart catch behind when opener Bahi –  who had made his way patiently to 36 – thinly edged one from George. But for us sadly it was all too little too late and with Haris and Kethese at the crease, Acme eased their way past the 160 mark in the 27th over to record a 6 wicket win that never really looked in doubt.

As the heavens above finally opened and the rain lashed down, those that remained sheltered under a gazebo that had seen better days. But that didn't let that stop us enjoy a friendly pint and, as Gav assured his forlorn opening partner Joe, better days for us surely lie ahead.

Gavin Richardson

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