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Match 05 2023: May 28

Pimlico Strollers CC vs Battersea Bohemians CC

Bohos edge past Strollers to steal victory at NLCC
posted: May 29, 2023

Strollers vs Battersea Bohemians, 28 May 2023

Following Thursday night’s tense T20, when we held our nerve to seal a close win over the Irregulars, the tables were turned as we were sadly unable to keep the Bohos at bay yesterday as the oppo pipped us to the post, knocking off the 215 required for victory.

With the sun bathing North London CC in glorious sunshine for our first home game of the season, George had no hesitation in choosing to bat first upon winning the toss. Gav, still struggling with dodgy knee issues, declined the offer to open so it was over to Abhik and George to get us underway and what a start they made! Exploding out of the blocks like a firecracker, Bob smashed 18 off the first over with a quartet of searing fours and, with George getting in on the act in the next over, we’d piled 29 off the first two.

It surprised everyone then that, having sprayed each of his previous deliveries wide of the mark, Bohos opener Hyde sent down a wicked inswinger and from nowhere Abhik was beaten all ends up and he trudged prematurely back to the pavilion for a fiery 23.

At this Matt, happily making his long-awaited return to the side after 18 months out with a persistent shoulder injury, made his way to the middle. By this stage though, the Bohos had located their radar and were bowling a frustrating line down leg but just inside the blue tram lines painted on to mark where wides should be called, making it almost impossible to score.

So began a war of attrition and, after the slim pickings over the following overs, with some annoyance George tried to drive one that wasn’t there to drive and was bowled by Kohler for 10. Tim was up next and carried on where he left off on Thursday, nurdling the ball around as best he could, although he too was frustrated by the lack of scoring opportunities and couldn’t quite put Rob Archdale’s loopy slow stuff away quite as fluently as he normally would.

At drinks we were 80-odd for 2 and George urged messrs Morgan and Sturm to press on. Progress remained slow, however, until the introduction of Mortuza and Stoop into the attack and we began to find some rhythm. With a quick single through cover Matt notched up his 50 – a great effort after such a long absence – but managed only ten more before he mistimed one to point and was caught off Meier.

George shuffled the deck and sent Harry in next to light the touch paper to our innings and he duly helped us over the 150 mark in swashbuckling style – at one point hammering a huge straight six (our only maximum of the innings) over the pavilion and into the car park. Sadly Tim couldn’t stay with him and was stumped for a well-made 40 by Steve Phillips, guesting with the gloves from the Tetherdown Trundlers.

It was with a sense of some relief when Spencer, in next, finally carded his first runs of the season following an inexplicable dry spell and joined Harry’s charge to take us over the 200 mark until Brown Jnr scooped one up to cover, handing Meier his third wicket. With a couple of overs remaining Varun got in on the act to add a few more and we finally closed on 214-5. Respectable enough but far from out of sight.

Having enjoyed the buffet fare on offer at tea time, our moods darkened at the prospect of facing Kyle Pittman – ex-Beamer and bane of many a north London bowler – who strode out to open for the Bohos and duly spanked Abhik’s first delivery for four through the covers.

But, much in the same way we had found, after a couple of loose overs to start with our openers found their line and the oppo’s scoring dried up. After six overs, Gaurav came off and was replaced by Harry who instantly found a good rhythm and was rewarded with the wicket of Buller who couldn’t get down fast enough to a fizzing yorker.

Howard Spratt joined Kyle in the middle and played a supporting role to help his side to fifty without further loss and had made it to 16 before he attempted a hoik off Spencer – now operating from the far end – and was expertly caught at deep long off by Gaurav.

Drinks arrived with the Bohos score dwindling in the low seventies but, despite that, we knew that as long as Kyle remained in the middle so did the threat. Pittman had just made it to an ominous 50 but we hollered in joy when he snicked one behind from Spencer where Tim took a superb reflex catch.

The relief around the field was palpable knowing the oppo’s star batsman was gone. Unfortunately this opened the door to complacency and Richard Meier, in at six, punished us with a brace of boundaries through extra cover. At the other end, Hyde rode his luck surviving two big calls for catches behind off Spencer and an LBW shout that looked very adjacent, and the score raced past 100.

Despite our best efforts, with the returning Gideon and Rohit now into the attack, the breakthrough just wasn’t forthcoming and concern mounted as the 150 was reached without incident. Despite having a full XI men at our disposal for this first time this season, the field was peculiarly spread far and wide and the oppo found the gaps far too easy to find.

Gaurav offered us some cause for relief when he managed to trap Meier plumb LBW for 45 but the Bohos marched on regardless comfortably meeting the required run per ball. Hyde notched up his somewhat fluky fifty and with 18 needed from the last three overs, your hobbling writer chastised himself as he failed to keep out an expensive four byes off Harry at fine leg.

With 8 balls to spare Mortuza lofted a drive through the extra cover boundary and, with that, the Bohos sealed a hard fought victory. As Rob sportingly conceded afterwards, the result could easily have gone either way… but on this occasion the spoils were the oppo's. A good game nonetheless and with Matt the Cat back in the runs and Gid defying his years with his efforts with the ball it was great to have some vintage Strollers back in the fold with, at one stage, even the erstwhile Guy Barker showing up to cheer on his old team mates from the boundary. Let’s, as they say, take the positives...

Gavin Richardson

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