It’s always a delight to visit the Green. Good deck, quick outfield and a bigger crowd than usual given the circumstances made for a great atmosphere as HCC 2s made the journey down South of the river. I reminisced in the car about my last journey to Twickenham, where I was 25 mins late for the start (thankfully delayed by rain). No such issues yesterday as traffic was clear, arriving at 10:40. Coffees and Bacon later (thanks Cafe Pera) we were ready to go. A hot day, and great to be back playing league cricket.
Toss won, and decision taken to bat first. Rags and Adarsh looked solid in the face of some testing opening bowling - both with the lines & lengths the openers bowled, but also the number of times actions were stopped! After a few shots through the Third Man V, Rags was adjudged caught behind (the first of seven caught behinds), bringing Jonny to the crease. Adarsh and JDS came and went, both - you guessed it - caught behind and the scoreboard read 36-3. Normal service resumed for the Magoos!
Danny got his eye in as Jonny began to play more expansively, until Jonny perished for a well made 31. Sadly the middle order, with the exception of Adnan (20) were unable to provide support for Danny, who batted beautifully through the innings for a chanceless 54*. Full of deft touches and precision timing, it was a classy knock and clawed us back into the game, with the board reading 160 all out from 43.3 overs.
Tea was taken al fresco of course, and Steve and Max took the new ball. Steve bowled fantastic lines & lengths, rapping the pad 6th ball with no shot offered. Sadly the finger didn’t go up despite a booming appeal from both bowler and slip cordon, and that perhaps set the tone for our bowling innings. Great areas, but just not that slice of luck that we needed to break through early and get the middle order in against the new ball. Steve bowled 9 unplayable overs for 15 miserly runs picking up their number 3 with a smart caught & bowled, and Max thundered in with 8 overs (2-29). The spinners then wheeled away to keep the game in the balance, with wickets picked up at regular intervals - Addy and Danny particularly impressive, beating the bat with some regularity.
Sadly, we were just 20 or so short with the bat, and despite a significant amount of pressure on the lower order as well as a flurry of late wickets, the Ts eased home with 9 balls to spare, owing much to the calm head of captain Vishvanath under pressure. We showed great character in the final few overs to take the game so close. Ultimately, a great game played in a good spirit and a shame to come out on the wrong side of the result. We go again against North Midd next week.
Your Correspondent: Johan de Silva