The Village twos were at home playing on the wicket at the front this week, in which the indifferent weather had done little to change the personality of the track we're all familiar with. Downsey won the toss and elected to bowl in which the opposing captain had admitted was not a problem as they wanted to set a target for us to chase in the first place. Conditions were very cloudy with a consistent amount of wind (not very heavy but enough to affect the bowling).
opened the bowling (4-11), with Lee Crocker
(1-14), from the Cowfield end bowling down the slope and found immediate success, and before we knew it Cockfosters were 6 down with 24 on the board. This was due to the good start by the bowlers, tight fielding, along with the quick work of Rory McLeod behind the stumps which included a stumping, catch and a run out. Lee was soon replaced by Graham Burton (0-17) at the Pavilion end after taking a wicket, caught at first slip by Graham's safe hands.
At this point the village were dictating proceedings and it was a matter of how quickly can we finish the game. The Cockfosters batsmen at this point seemed as though they were playing for a draw with only half an innings played in the whole game, but with the unpredictable weather this wasn't such a bad idea.
With Ajay Bhatia
(3-13) bowling at the Cowfield end the innings was at a stand still with minimal runs being scored off the deliveries outside off stump and the straight ones being defended. Ajay's Rambo head band soon told the story of the Village attack and the annihilation Cockfosters suffered after he ended up taking 3 wickets to wrap up their innings of a well below par score of 53 all out. Being at least 100 runs short against a team that has only lost one game this season did not bode well for a team with only 10 men.
Tea was not taken after both captains agreed to continue with the game.
Rory McLeod (4) and Jon Bird
(13) opened for the Village in which their attempt to chase the score was interrupted by a surge of rain in which both Village umpires were ignored in their attempt to continue, to find the Cockfosters team escape the field for shelter in the pavilion. The rain lasted 20 mins to which the players returned to the pitch and continue the game. Both batsmen were faced with medium/slow pace where R Gautam (0-12) from the further end was bowling left arm over with medium pace. The swing the left armer was generating was decent and into the batsmen but due to the lack of spikes and control of his run up, nothing of any danger was bowled. At the other end the right arm slow/medium bowler, S Westbury (3/33) received a bit of a spanking until he managed to take the wicket of Rory caught behind. This brought Sanket Shah
(5) to the pitch in which he smashed his first ball for 4 to set the tone to which Jon responded with a fluent drive over the bowlers head. Sanket looked good before being bowled by the same bowler who took the wicket of Rory, bringing Lee Crocker
(22*) to the pitch.
Crocker being promoted to 4 had a point to prove and started up with a cover drive (!!!) for a couple, mixed up with a couple of aggressive shots along with a few attempts that he himself would call defensive shots. At this point the village looked like finishing the game off with both batsmen looking comfortable until Jon played a lofted straight drive slightly early to which a great catch was taken by deepish mid off. Zaf Basit
(0*) replaced Jon and was confronted by a slow left arm bowler, S Babwah (0-1) from around the wicket.
Zaf was immediately caught in front of off stump but due to the wide action of the bowler he survived the appeal due to the ball hitting outside the line. A lucky escape as the ball was on target of hitting the stumps. The game was eventually finished off by Lee hitting a winning boundary with Zaf staying 0 not out and with lee on 22 not out.
Special thanks to Ajay for coming to the ground earlier then last week but still after 1pm (getting closer), Zaf for doing a little dance before catching a the ball off a no ball (called very late) and Darshan Raval
for not getting a duck, albeit not getting a bat.
Also thanks to to the team for reaching the half way stage (game short) and being 6 points short of top spot.
Mill Hill Village IIs 30 points, Cockfosters IVs 2 points.