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Match 16 (21st scheduled) 2021: July 29

Rainway Taverners CC vs Pimlico Strollers CC

Strollers smash their way to another victory as Taverners are railroaded
posted: July 30, 2021

Strollers vs Railway Taverners, 29 July 2021

Following Sunday's sensational win against the Highgate Taverners, we made it four in a row with victory last night over the Taverners of the Railway variety with another thrilling performance at Highgate CC, in the last of our scheduled T20 matches for the season.

Having won the toss, the Railway Taverners unsurprisingly opted to make best use of the evening sun and bat first on the artificial track but were halted in their tracks when Gaurav struck in the first over, bowling Lalwani. However, from there on things looked increasingly ominous as Fowles and Dixon set about building a massive second wicket partnership – both striking the ball cleanly and firmly to the boundary with alarming ease. After the first ten overs the Taverners had stunningly put on 109 at a run rate in double figures.

The carnage continued with both batsmen notching up fifties until, following the change of ends, Gus was brought on and duly had Dixon caught on 69 by Davie G lurking at midwicket. Gus followed that firstly up by bowling Mulligan for 6 and then, finally, Fowles fell in the same way having made an excellent 75. However, the Taverners' run rate remained undiminished and after 18 overs they had made 180 – exactly ten per over. Our goal was simply to keep them under the dreaded 200 mark and thankfully this we did – Spencer was brought on at the death and claimed the scalp of Nawagamuwa and, with Spee run out on the final ball, the oppo closed on an imposing 197-6.

Not long ago, the prospect of chasing down a total of 198 would have seemed too sizeable an ask – but not for the Strollers class of '21. Remembering that we had smashed a staggering 262 in our previous T20 there is something of a swagger about us Strollers these days and, although we unfortunately lost Avnish and Abhik early, Ron – promoted to open as a pinch hitter set about the Taverners bowling in swashbuckling style, effortlessly clipping almost everything over the square leg boundary.

Spencer, who had joined Ron in the middle, watchfully began his innings with trademark caution but it wasn't long before he too hit his straps and turned up the heat with a flurry of glorious boundaries over long on. With the Taverners offering up nothing but regulation slow to medium deliveries all night, despite the fading light both Strollers batsmen got their eye in and kept up with the required rate without difficulty.

Having eased past the hundred mark, Ron notched up a well-earned fifty but unfortunately fell shortly afterwards when he was finally bowled by Vale. Gav, in next, didn't last long when he was deceived by a lofted delivery from Winter, but Fenil – making a surprise return with his flight to India having been rescheduled – gladly came in next for one last hurrah and ably supported Spencer as he continued his charge, having also passed 50. Having made it within twenty runs of victory we suffered a late wobble (of course) when Fenil – having looked utterly untroubled on his way to 22 – holed out to Dixon. Gaurav was next in but, having lofted a cheeky ramp shot to the fine leg boundary, was bowled by Emil, as was Davie G a couple of balls later with only six required for victory.

Thankfully any fears of a calamaty were crushed when Ali, in next, stoically stood firm to farm the strike to Spencer who crashed one last four through extra cover. Finally, with two wides streaking down leg side in the penultimate over, victory was ours with Spencer unbeaten on a superb 86 not out. To reach a target of 198 in a T20 is no mean effort but somehow we had made it look effortless and we celebrated yet another well-fought win. And, although we have tougher opposition ahead of us for the remainder of the season, we can confidently say our mojo is truly on fire!

Gavin Richardson

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