Highgate travelled to Alexandra Park for a familiar Sunday fixture, having played several friendlies against each other in the last couple of years. A thrilling encounter ensued but Highgate ultimately took the victory with just two balls to spare.
AP won the toss and chose to bat first in glorious conditions at the Racecourse. The pitch looked good but looks can be deceptive, very tricky to bat on with balls keeping low and generally uneven bounce. Our 2s overseas Gus Hazleton opened the bowling and soon had the openers (and keeper Danny Blyghton) hopping around with some impressive pace - they simply could not cope and he ripped out the cream of their batting with 3 wickets in his first 4 overs. Vivek Menon shared the new ball and bowled very tightly - AP were going nowhere fast. The first change bowlers Isa and Ayteo continued the good work with more miserly bowling and after 20 overs AP were really struggling on 45 - 5. We were in danger of bowling them out very cheaply so I changed the bowling around and set some generous fields to try and make a game of it. Nutan Shah bowled a great spell with a couple of wickets and Carew bell also bowled a good line. The score inched up slowly and they were eventually bowled out for 146 off 34 overs, extras top scoring for them with a well made 46.
After a good tea we opened up with Rob Gillham and Vivek who started watchfully against some accurate bowling. The first wicket fell at 40 with Gillham slightly unfortunate to be trapped LBW and Vivek falling soon after for a well made 39. With John Brown falling second ball our 'gun' middle order of Ayteo and Danny Blyghton were also wiped out within 2 overs, Danny shaking his head in disbelief as he slapped a full toss straight at mid off. This sudden clatter of wickets caused mayhem in the dressing room with the on-field umpires rushing back to pad up and new colt Duncan, playing his first senior game, marching out under all sorts of pressure at number 7 with AP on 62 - 5. He played a great little knock of 17 when we needed it, growing in confidence with every stroke. At the other end Hazleton produced some blistering shots to keep the target within range, making an excellent 49 before falling LBW. With 8 wickets down and Carew and Fletch at the wicket we needed 10 off the last 3 overs. Some good bowling left us with just 2 to win off the 40th and final over and we just managed to get over the line with 2 balls to spare. The game was played in an excellent spirit with all our younger players contributing to the victory.