This has been a challenging fixture to get played and getting eleven players out has been been a challenge. Even today we had a delayed Jack (great effort on getting him to the game Andy), Highgate school changing an away game to a home one (thanks Jane), Danny arriving in a taxi after initially not being needed, Nikhil turning up late and Edwin breaking his arm earlier in the week. Apart from that we have had the fixture postponed four times with two of those at Mill Hill School and one at Osterley. Thanks to the parents for making your valued offspring available on each occasion.
When we eventually tossed Osterley had 8 and we had 9. Nathan called heads and decided we would have a bat. The pre-match huddle emphasised the wonderful team spirit that the boys have developed over the six years of playing in the same team no better displayed than by having Gabriel Basden supporting from the sidelines.
It’s fair to say Osterley are a very strong side and a decent bunch. The fact that both teams managed to get a game on was largely due to the cooperation of their management and ours. They have five county players, of which three were on the North Circular and remained so until the last ball was bowled.
Alex and Tom opened the batting and the score was helped along by extras and the open spaces but the running was good and the hitting decent to take the score to 32 before Alex charged and his stumps fell. Tom ran well and his prods and paddles were interspersed with the occasional boundary. Nathan left with the score on 71 and a good base was set. Tom was out nicking behind scoring 41. Nico and Will set about the Osterley attack to much noise from the boundary, a very important 35 run partnership. With Will and Nico out Sacha and Nikhil had seven balls to add to the total. Nikhil (glad you got to the Midd eventually) flicked a huge six off his pads to great cheers from the watching parents, fifth eleven skipper and odd first team player.
We felt that we were 20-30 short as they are such a good side and maybe we hadn’t made the most of the space in the field.
The Osterley openers walked out (one with a 100 one his shirt) to be faced with Tom and Will. The fielding was sharp and the bowling tight against the Middlesex Second XI player and the truth is they struggled to really get the bowling away. Nikhil and Harry took over while their openers edged towards the 50 runs and retire target. What happened next we didn’t see coming although Harry has been one of our best performers, taking their top wicket and finishing with two wickets the second of which sending the stumps into Crouch End. Jack’s fielding and throwing really adding to the pressure created by the bowlers. The game still had a long way to go and even Sebbie was surprised to be thrown the ball by the skipper. It’s fair to say his first over was a little wayward but this was followed up with three wickets for 26 off his four. Nikhil bowled a maiden with three overs left and the win looked in the bag, Tom returned taking a sharp caught and bowled and the game was over.
A great team performance with bat, ball and in the field with constant encouragement and nous by the skipper Nathan (excellent work today).
Man of the Match – Tom well batted and helped provide a good base to accelerate from on a tough pitch
Lime and Soda moment – that gorgeous flicked six by Nikhil
Richmond next in the County Final at our place – date to be confirmed but will be either 24 or 26 June