Sunday XI v Gentlemen of Hampstead 10th June 2018

London Buses as Sunday X1 win two in a row

Sunday XI v Gentlemen of Hampstead 10th June 2018
16 Jun
Sunday XI v Gentlemen of Hampstead 10th June 2018
Posted by: Mat Armstrong
Year: 2018

After a poor start to the season M & B got their second win in a row with a 75 run with against old adversaries the Gentlemen of Hampstead. After winning the toss Armstrong predictably elected to bat, hoping that yet another new opening partnership of Richard Lawrence and Thomas Wilding would get M & B off to a rare good start. Lawrence easing himself back into cricket with an extremely rare Sunday outing and Wilding making one of his usual 2/3 Sunday appearances per year. Lawrence as usual was solid in defence and the majority of the scoring was left to Wilding. The Gents bowlers were tidy although generally too wide of the target, which made scoring somewhat difficult. Quite often de Jaager pitched short and was pulled with ease to the boundary by Wilding. The plethora of extras helped the scoreboard to tick over as well. The M & B openers though managed crease occupation for a change, as M & B's problem has been batting out their overs. The Gents first change bowlers were both of the slow variety with Wilding striking two boundaries off Saunders to reach the 40's. In his next over Wilding thought he would be able to clear the short straight boundary but only found deep mid-on as he perished for a well made 47(including 8 4's) in the 19th over with the score on 77. Wilding was replaced by Gunbarul, this week playing primarily as a batsmen. Drinks were taken at 90 for 1 in the 20th over with Lawrence undefeated on 19! Lawrence did enquire with the skipper that he was happy to retire if required, to which Armstrong said rotate the strike as target is 210 off 40 - run a ball from now. M & B did better than that as they raced to 44 in the next 5 overs, as the runs began to flow from Lawrence's bat and Gunbarul scored quickly. When earlier Lawrence's shots hit fielders he now began to pierce the field with his drives and his pull sweeps. Gunbarul scored off the back foot, straight and to leg, as the left hander disrupted the bowler's line. Gunbarul hit the high point by taking 18 off 4 balls in one over, which eventually went for 22, which included one high six over the net and into the neighbouring gardens over mid-on. The M & B batsmen continued to pepper the boundary as well as rotate the strike easily. Gunbarul went to a deserved 50, before holing out off a skied shot to cow corner for a quick 57, which included 7 4's and 2 6's. The partnership yielded 122 in 14 overs leaving M & B in a strong position with the new batsmen able to hit out. Next to fall was sadly Lawrence 5 short of a deserved century as he placed a delivery into the out stretched hand of a walking in mid off, his innings lasted 38 overs and included 12 boundaries. Tusher Dhaliwal & Roshan Balijaa played useful cameos and it was left to Ben Ward to get M & B beyond the captain's target of 255 to eventually finish on a season's high by quite some margin, of 259 for 5 off their 40 overs, courtesy of two fine stands for the first two wickets.

After sampling the delights of Brian's tea Ambar Moorthy and Roshan Balijaa opened the bowling for M & B. Opener Lewis, as in previous years, was solid and compact and good on the ball short and wide of off stump. Earlier on Moorthy was too short of a length but eventually found his length. Balijaa bowled a nagging line to a ringed offside field making scoring difficult. Moorthy eventually made the breakthrough as Nelms swung at a widish delivery and was well taken in the gully by Balijaa to leave the Gents at 47 for 1 in the 11th over. Balijaa finished his spell with figures of 7/1/17/0 and Moorthy finished with figures of 8/1/31/1. Armstrong and Swapnil Manchanda were the first change bowlers for M & B. At drinks the Gents were almost identical to M & B at 89 for 1 after 20. Armstrong made the crucial breakthrough by dismissing Lewis with his first ball after the drinks interval as Lewis turned a ball straight to Moorthy at square leg as he departed for a well made 36. Opposition captain Matt Bell was quickly on his way as umpire Pete Meade was quick on the draw with a Manchanda appeal as Bell tried to sweep across the line. Armstrong made another decisive inroad into the Gents batting by dismissing left hander Cleaves for 39, with a ball which pitched and left the left hander and was well grabbed by Wilding at first slip. This was swift revenge for Armstrong as the batsman had smashed him for 6 over mid-off three balls earlier. Only the strong leg side hitting of De Jaager stood between an M & B victory. Manchanda's figures were unfortunately ruined in his final over as de Jaager smashed 18 of it including a six into the practice nets, leaving Manchanda nursing final figures of 8/0/50/1. Armstrong had finished his spell the over before recording an analysis of 8/0/29/2. With plenty of runs to play with Armstrong entrusted the death overs to monsieur Le Clerq(with a silent Q) and bar manager Benny Ward. Ward purveying his customary flighted filth was smashed behind square first ball for 4 by de Jaager, who then hit a custard pie to cow corner where Balijaa gobbled it up, to leave de Jaager wondering how he could have been dismissed by absolute garbage, as he trudged off shaking his head for a well struck 35. From then on it became the Le Clerq and Ward show. Le Clerq running out Saunders with a direct hit from point and then castling the well set Potter with a yorker. Ward took a good catch at mid-off off LeClerq and even tin man Tifler got in on the act, taking a catch off Ward. Le Clerq finished with proper figures of 5/1/16/2 while Ward finished with lucky figures of 4/1/21/2, which included a wicket maiden to end with ! In the end the Gents finished on 184 for 9 off their 40 overs, having been in the game until the last 7/8 overs.

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