EGCC 4th V Ardingly 4 August 2018
Checklist for last Saturdays game against Ardingly :
Win the toss ✓
Put them into bat ✓
Bowl them out for under 120 ✓
Get the required runs in 15 overs ✓
Bag 30 points ✓
Extend lead at top of the table ✓
Now to put some ‘meat’ on the impressive bones of this story – Ned and Oliver opened the bowling and both had good solid stints; bowling with accuracy and pinning their openers to maximum of 2 runs an over . The pressure on the run rate built up until it was all too much for their number 2 bat (who look decent) who flashed at one ,spooning it high over mid-wicket. Ash, fortunately enough was tracking back twisting and turning like a gazelle being chased by a cheetah across the Serengeti, managed to just hold on to the ball after giving us an impressive juggling display – so impressive I was half expecting him to swallow a sword or pull a rabbit out the hat for his next ‘trick’.
We then looked at Rohan and Avi with the remit of getting wickets, rather than keeping the run rate low. Avi did well to hit the stumps twice and then Nabil also came in with a couple of wickets during his stint but it was Kevan who took the highest wicket haul – using the dryness of the pitch to best effect managing to get their leading run scorer (who was 6 runs shy of his 50) out with one that just tickled his bail and then having two caught by close catching. All round though it was a hugely impressive, disciplined, fielding effort that left the oppo 113 all out by tea.
Getting 114 is normally relatively straightforward for our batting unit but you do need someone to keep their heads and get on with the task in hand. So when myself and Mark walked out to the square, I mentioned to him that we should probably do just that – what a shame I didn’t take my own advice : trying to smash a wide full toss I got an inside edge that took out my off stump in the first over!
Fortunately for us, Mark did play a much more responsible and solid innings clocking up a well deserved fifty and carrying his bat to see us over the line.
In the intervening period, Jason got out play back to a decent ball, having moved up the order, and Bhav played a supporting role to Marks innings.
So all in all, another excellent result, for the 4’s. However, as we gaze down at the table from our lofty position we know that we mustn’t be complacent : with our two closest rivals having a game in hand we need to be as sharp and energetic as ever for next week’s crucial, top of the table, clash against Forest row.
Batsman of the day : Mark 65 not out
Bowler of the day – Kevan 3 for 18
Fielder of the day : Ned, good catch and stopped everything in his path
EGCC 4th V Scaynes Hill away – 28 July 2017
After a small hiccup last week, the winning juggernaut that is East Grinstead 4ths kept rolling on this Saturday, at picturesque Scaynes Hill.
It’s a relief to see my brief flirtation of winning the toss has come to a shuddering halt, and we were put into bat, on a wicket that had finally seen some overnight rain, after a 2 month drought.
Things couldn’t have started better : myself and Avi clocking up around 10 runs an over for the first 5 or 6 to give us quick fire start before their bowlers got back on track with some decent on target bowling for the next few overs.
Avi was run out by an excellent one handed pick up and direct throw from Scyanes Hill’s mid-on. Simon K flashed at one outside his offstump which tickled the bail just enough to see it meekly dropping to the ground and sending in Bhav, who played a great innings – starting off patiently enough, before pushing the run rate forward unfortunately being caught just after getting a well deserved fifty. Prior to that, I had succumbed trying to blast one through mid-wicket but got a top- edge caught which heralded the return to the creases (for the first time this year) of an old fourth team regular, Will Goodwin – who seemed to enjoy his return to the fold, by scoring a valuable 23.
It was then left to Ned and Oliver to go in, both ending not out, after Anuj got caught trying to push hard to get some extra runs on the board. Although we could have stayed out for another couple of overs wishing to ensure we had the best chance of getting them all out (and maximum points) I declared after 45 overs.
Setting them a target of 209 for victory things, again, started brilliantly with Oliver and Ned making fine use of the new ball – getting their skipper out for a duck. In truth, we could have had at least one more early wicket but for some confusion between slip and gully – but c’est la vie.
Their other opener did a splendid job of anchoring their innings, as well as smashing anything that was short of a length or just off line. As hard as we tried, changing the bowling attack didn’t bring any luck – although it was pleasing to see Avi and Anuj both bowling very consistently from either end but, even that, didn’t make the breakthrough that we badly needed. A change of tact was needed firstly to allow the opener to carry his bat if necessary as long we got out the other ten and, secondly, to find a bowler who could get some serious wickets at all costs – enter Rohan Patel – who turned into a wicket taking machine. He played a blinder by getting no less than 5 wickets in about as many overs : skittling out, not only their tail enders, but also taking the scalp of their main batsman, to bring the 30 points back to Grinstead and leaving us sitting pretty as division leaders.
Big thanks to the supporters who made the trip down : especially Steve and Julie Rowland for helping out with the umpiring and scoring respectively, Richard ‘ Blowers’ Goodwin for his excellent TMS commentary and Kevan Burns for stopping by on his ‘day off’.
Batsman of the day – Bhav Patel for a well timed 50
Bowler of day – let’s just say the surname Patel will be whispered in hushed tones around the mean streets of Scaynes Hill from now on – Rohan Patel
EGCC 4th V Hurstpierpoint – 7 July
After a bye week last week, we had our first ‘return’ leg match of the season against Hurstpierpoint on another beautifully sunny day at Fonthill.
The coin toss is turning out to be bit like busses for me – nothing comes along for ages then suddenly two turn up at the same time – a win meant that I stuck the opposition into bat.
Their openers looked solid enough and got the scoreboard moving along pretty nicely in the first few overs before our opening bowler, Avi, (back having his first 4ths game of the season) took the scalp of their number 2 batsman: producing a well-judged Yorker, before following up with the wicket of their number 3 a couple of overs later. Jake Lingard had a nice spell from the other end keeping the ball consistently outside off and trying variety to get the break through and, ultimately, was unlucky to come away empty handed.
We then turned to first change bowlers Oliver and Rohan to try and get their opener out who looked like he was going to be their key batsman. Oliver stepped up to the mark and bowled a beautiful in swinger that came off the seam and cut him up like ‘hot knife through the proverbial butter’ before careering into his middle stump. Oliver took another couple of wickets before Rohan used his off spin to great advantage against their left-handed skipper who, by that time, had started to whack some boundaries before he tried to turf one over cow corner but, being the wiley campaigner that he is, Rohan saw what he was up to and flighted one that turned and took out his off stump.
The last two wickets were a mix of bizarre and brilliant: The bizarre being Nabil’s off spinner that pitched came back and hit the pads of their batsman with the only person appealing on our side being Oliver (standing at deep square leg for good measure) and it being given out LBW. The brilliant was an excellent darting catch made at silly mid-off by a fielder I couldn’t possibly mention (without blowing one’s own trumpet) to send Hurstpierpoint back to the pavilion on 125 all out.
Due to the world cup football, we decided to go straight into bat and delay tea. I opened with Nabil. The first over I managed a couple of boundaries and then it was over to Nabil: on one of his first delivers he faced he very nearly got caught and bowled. For some reason this seemed to switch a light on inside his head and was the catalyst for some amazing shot making. I was merely a passenger down the other end as Nabil starting smashing 4s and 6s with equal ease – so much so that we managed to get to 100 in about 8 overs and with Nabil in such masterful form (and victory looking like a forgone conclusion) I retired in order to let the youngsters have a bat. Unfortunately, for Avi and Liam, their innings didn’t last as long as would normally have been the case, so Peter came in to hold the fort for irrepressible Nabil to push through for an excellent 69 not out and get us over the line in about 10 overs. The only disappointment was that neither of his parents (who I can’t recall having ever missed a match before) were unable to be there!
Batsman of the day: no contest there – Nabil Youssef
Bowler of the day: I know I may get accused of Nepotism, but he did get the most wickets and blinder to get out their opener – Oliver Cannell
Fielder of the day: Laim, did an excellent job stepping up to be wicket keeper at the last minute
N. Youssef 69 not out
O. Cannell 3 for 31 off 6 overs
EGCC 4th V St Andrews Burgess Hill – 23 June 2018
I looked down at the ground with a stunned expression pinching myself – could it be really true, was this a dream ? Had I finally won a toss? Indeed it was. We decided to put top of the table St Andrews into bat on a sun baked Fonthill ground.
Trying to make the best of the new ball Liam and Toby both bowled well during their opening stint and, whilst certainly deserving of more wickets, they managed to keep the run rate to minimum – not an easy task on such a quick outfield.
Given the conditions, the ball was then passed over to our main two spinners for the day David and Nabil. David’s figures of 4 for 22 speak for themselves and, in fairness, many of his deliveries were too good for the batsman. Producing plenty of turn keeping wicket keeper (Bhav) darting across past the leg stump to retrieve the ball. But it was Nabil who made the first major breakthrough: a well -flighted off spinner that caught their opener out LBW. It was a key wicket, as he looked well set for a big score. David then applied the pressure resulting in them going from a strong looking 47-1, to a rather more modest 69-5.
It was clear they were now pushing to use up all of their allotted 47 overs in order to give their number 4 batsman the best possible chance to getting some decent runs on the board. He played some really nice shots, especially off his favored back foot, but our bowling unit soon wised up by making him play forward and he eventual got caught on the boundary soon after getting a fifty. Liam did a great job of sweeping up their tail Enders and was unlucky to end up with only two wickets on the day.
Having got over 200 runs in all of our games this season I was quietly confident that we would chase their total down with some overs to spare. I must having been think more about the total than how to play a cricket shot as I generously gave up my own wicket in the third over. Just as I was in the changing rooms trying to take my pads off, another roar went up and a sinking feeling went down into the pit of my stomach – a batting collapse was on the cards. There was no need to fear : fourth team stalwart, Bhav Patel, holding a new bat that he picked only hours before, stepped up to the plate. Playing an innings of maturity and calm he pressed on making sure that the scoreboard ticked over and pushing the game away from St Andrews. Soon after he was joined David Burton and the two of them really set to work on the St Andrew bowling attack, David scoring a well-deserved fifty which included some excellent shots making use of the quick outfield. Both batsman helping us cruise over the line with 20 overs in hand.
Now we are half way through the season it’s a good time to reflect on what has happened and I think we can take some real positives out of our performances so far this season: notably twice getting almost 150 more runs than the opposition and one win by 7 wickets. In fact, if it hadn’t been for having to concede one game (due to availability issues across the club) we would be well ahead in our division by now – so many thanks to all the players for their excellent efforts so far this season.
With some excellent new recruits joining the fold, player availability looks strong; both our batting and bowling have never looked so good and we can now look forward to the second half of the season with increasing confidence and excitement.
Bowler of the day : David Burton’s 4 wickets clearly stood out but honorable mention also to Liam
Batsman of the day – Bhav Patel, kept his head when other were losing theirs. David hit an excellent 50.
Fielder of the day : Peter Kinnear, despite being injured and unable to bowl, kept going and put in extra effort in the field
East Grinstead figures highlights :
Burton 4-22 & 64 runs
Patel – 39 runs
EGCC 4th v Forest Row 2nds – 9 June 2018
What a difference a week makes – after last week’s frustrating draw, this week we had an absolutely thrilling victory against Forest Row – a game which which demonstrated what a brilliant sport cricket is.
Having lost the toss again (my luck’s got to change soon) we were, unsurprisingly, put into bat. Their opening bowlers were accurate enough to keep us at about 50 after the first ten overs without any loss. Knowing that we only had a ten person team losing 3 wickets in reasonably quick succession was a major blow, and one that could have been fatal, but as the saying goes ‘cometh the hour cometh the man’ – cue stage right Kevan Burns. Evidently Kevan’s been watching a fair bit of IPL lately as he went straight out of the blocks with some quick fire 4s followed by an hour of some phenomenal batting, dispatching both bad balls and good ones, with ease, earning him a very well deserved 50 and for sure the stand out innings of the day.
Having learnt our lesson from last week we made sure we declared as early as possible (at just shy of 250), giving us plenty of time, and 50 overs, to bowl out 10 of the finest batsman forest row 2’s could muster.
At tea a quick head count of bowlers indicated that we were heavily reliant on spinners so we immediately turned to our trusty old hand, Jason Riley, to make full use of the new ball. An excellent spell ensued, with some great deliveries and he really deserved a lot more than the one wicket.
Soon after we turned to the ‘Nagpal’ attack from both ends with Parth unsettling the right handers with his excellent left handed off spin . Unfortunately for us, their number 4 was a left hander was ,unsurprisingly, able to deal with the onslaught a little better than the right handers and he made an excellent 85. In truth, he looked set and had it not been for a brilliant direct hit run out from Anuj I’m sure he would have gone on for a much bigger score. This gave us the impetus we needed to push forward for victory.
It certainly wasn’t over, though, as their tail enders dug in with dogged determination such that with 1 wicket left to get they had 3 overs to survive. In the vain hope of trying something new I was bowling at the tail, trying to hit the stumps on the understanding they may miss a straight ball or two. This trick worked once, but getting their last man out was proving more elusive, until the ‘cunning fox’ that is Bhav Patel devised a plan to bowl a couple straight ones then send one in short in order to tempt him in to a hook short – first one didn’t work, but the second one worked like a dream and sure enough I bowled it short and their batsman top edged into the safe pair of hands of Jason at silly mid-off. Thus sealing a well-deserved victory with just 10 balls remaining.
Everyone played great, but notable performers for me were :
Bowling : Jason Riley 10 overs, 24 runs
Batting : Kevan ‘fireworks’ Burns
Fielding : Simon Kinnear – took an excellent catch and was super athletic in the field stopping everything in his path all day.
Highlighted figures for Grinstead :
P. Nagpal – 3/54
Burns – 69
Cannell – 102
EGCC 4th v Ardingly – 2 June 2018
It’s a very rare occasion where I would be accused of copying a quote from a football pundit but our match down at Ardingly on Saturday was, for sure, was a classic ‘game of two halves’.
Losing the toss and being put into bat is never easy in 90 over (W/L/D) cricket – so getting north of 250 in just over 40 overs really shows why we have been one of the best batting side in our division over the last couple of years.
Debutant David Burton opened up with myself and we started to make some solid progress on their seam attack before David was caught at mid-on for 19. Ashok (our designated master spin player) really started to let rip when he came in a number 4 and he scored a quick fire 50 before being bowled out by an off spinner. Both Oliver and Bhav got caught trying push the run rate forward and I went the same way fairly shortly afterwards trying to hoof one for six over cow corner. Which left Jason and Ned as the two men standing when we declared on 258 after 42 overs.
Giving ourselves 48 overs to skittle them out seemed like a very doable task (we managed to get them out in 35 overs at the same fixture last year) and everything seemed to be going to plan after Liam took a couple of quick wickets in the first few overs. However, enter Ardingly’s number 4 batsman (or Geoffrey Boycotts nephew as he was soon referred to) and it was soon apparent that he had been given a brief to play on the ‘cautious’ side and battle out for a draw.
To say that the tempo of the game slowed somewhat is being polite and after about 25 overs (and a total score of 4 runs off his bat) things got so dire that some of the away supporters were seen counting how many leaves were on a nearby oak tree which seemed somewhat more preferable to watching another forward defensive stroke.
That said, I think the whole team showed real grit and persistence and finally we had a breakthrough when super sub David got 3 wickets in one over and we really felt we had a chance. The whole field came alive and we put the youngsters back into the bowling attack. Despite some excellent efforts from the kids bowling and some imaginative, and at times, uber aggressive field placings we couldn’t quite get the final 2 wickets and they just held on for a draw by the skin of their teeth.
Ultimately, and rather ironically I guess, we were outdone by our own success. If we hadn’t have got such a big score in the first place the opposition wouldn’t have raise the white flag after 10 overs and potentially we would have had a better chance of bowling them out. That said, I think we can certainly take some real positives from the game – namely that we know as a unit we can, and very often do, get over 200 when batting, and secondly, that in the field even despite adverse condition we (especially the younger guys) remained focused, positive and determined throughout which was great to see.
Big thanks to all the support we had as well – it was great to see so many families there. Julie (Ned’s Mum) even turned up on her birthday, passing the champagne round to the other supporters and keeping their spirits up.
Notable Highlights for Grinstead –
Ashok : 57
Cannell : 139
Burton : 3 for 0, off 6 overs