Bohemians CC vs OCC – 13th May
Saturday. The rain is pouring. The bank holiday sunshine felt a long time ago. Fears for tomorrow grow…
Sunday morning. Clouds are gathering. No rain. Game on. Let’s go. CRICKET! And cricket at North London CC, on the main pitch no less. Cricket indeed. The team is made up of newbie and veterans, Naman and Matt M making debuts and Benjy heroically driving down from Derbyshire to enter the fray.
First news was of Kartik’s tyre woes. So he, along with Vish and Gokul (aka our batting line up, including captain) were going to be late. Never fear, vice captain Lowcock was an able stand-in and agreed with the oppo for us to bat first.
Harsh and Lowcock (OK, so we had some batting) opened up. The pitch, suffering from the weekend’s rain, was slow and the ball stuck quite a bit. Both got off the mark with beautiful strokes. Alas Ed went to the demons in the pitch and Harsh followed a few heavy blows later. The batting was a mixed bag. Benjy took his rare appearance to join the duck trophy standings, and debutant Matt went stumped. Our other debutant Naman, coming in at number 3, went for 47 well-made runs. However, his wicket brought with it a flurry as the spinners took charge. Skip was given for a plumb lbw, heading back to the pavilion with a golden quacker, and Vish only added 2.
I should note that I was giddy with glee seeing a batting line up that read 6: Gurunathan, 7: Murthy, 8: Selvaraj. You couldn’t ask for a better lower-middle order.
Max and Kartik set about rebuilding, with Mario taking charge and Max playing the supporting role. A half-century partnership got up back on track, and although Max and Shaun felt to some accurate bowling, Kartik reached his century with another whopping boundary. An unbeaten 10th wicket partnership of 43 was quite one-sided, although a Francies cover-drive for four was included; obviously watching his partner. Kartik finishing with 114 not out.
So, 222-9 off our 35 overs.
Adam and Shaun opened up, buoyed by a positive start to the season the week before. One opener fell. A large lbw shout from the bowler only ended when it was realised that the bails had actually been dislodged by the ball. This brought in Bohemian’s dangerous number 3. First ball, a jaffa from Francies just outside off stump. However, a few balls later, he was gone, edged behind to Harsh at first slip. A great catch to hold on to with the ‘keeper diving across.
Naman and Matt both had debut spells, with both impressing, especially Naman who bagged a wicket to go with his tight bowling. Max picked up the key wicket of the other opener when he had him plumb in front. And although there was some lower-order hitting, the target was too much for the hosts. This was made certain with a very tight final over by Benjy, who ended with an economy rate of 2 from 1 over.
Octopus fielding was generally on good form, with Benjy leading from the front with great coverage around the outfield. Max claimed a fantastic run out: batsman went for a single, Max misfielded, they go for a second, and he runs them out comfortable. Very clever.
Bohemians ended on 197-8, an Octopus victory by 25 runs. The Octopus juggernaut rolls on.
OCC vs Plastics XI – 22nd July
Gokul lost the toss and we were inserted. Skip front-loaded the order. Are there many greater sights than seeing Vish and Gokul striding to the crease together? All batsmen contributed, all of the top 5 getting into double digits, but it was the main man, captain fantastic, '6 and out' Gokul who stole the show. After a watchful start, Gokul went to his half century with a maximum and never looked back. There were a couple of scares, including on 99 when he launch the ball into orbit, straight down to an awaiting fielder. Fortunately, it was dropped over the boundary for a four and three-figures were achieved. A sublime 115 off 70 balls. Plastics really didn't bowl badly. But Gokul was just doing Gokul things. Late runs (and running) from Fe got us up to 254 for 6 off our 35 overs.
Our bowling response started well and never let up. All bowlers did well, with wickets shared around. I bowled straight through for a tight 7 overs for 5 runs with 4 wickets. You'd take it. Shaun chipped in with his first catch to give Matt a wicket, and then snared one of his own. Possibly the moment of the match was when Plastics number 8 ramped Yuv for a well-executed boundary. The next over he did the same! Some gentle goading from Zach in the field got the batsman to try the trick one further time. Alas, it was one too many and Yuv had his man! Adding to that two catching from the returning Daddy Bruss, it was a good day in the field and Plastics were done and dusted in just under 30 overs.
So, an Octopus win by 129 runs, and time for a few jugs after the match. Hot day, friendly oppo, flowing beers and a timely win.