September Cricket is the One
|Opposition:||Old Rutlishians 5s|
|Man of the match:||Ian Lambert - Old Ruts 5s skipper. Thanks for inviting us!|
|Prat of the match:||Connor Hewitt (misfielding the captain’s bowling) and Tom Dunmore (declaring he was going to order a Korma at Prem that night).|
Old Rutlishians – 217/5 (won toss and chose to bat). The Wick – 203/9. Wick lost by 14 runs.
Whenever your scribe plays cricket in September, it is usually on a diabolical track, in the rain and fielding in two jumpers. Saturday 12th September proved the complete antithesis to this. If ever you needed evidence of climate change being real, look no further: south west London was baked in 25 degrees heat, blue skies and a day built for cricket. In a change from the usual array of grounds we play on, Dunmore’s Good People XI (2020), were treated to a game on the main deck at Old Ruts, which was a fabulous ground. Whilst being slightly short on one side, the pitch looked fast and hard with a bit of grass on top. Ted Goodwin was absolutely salivating to bowl at full pace on this deck, but sadly the on watching crowd of one (Dean Hewitt) was denied this. The skipper conceded the toss, Old Ruts chose to bat and we donned our whites in anticipation of a good contest ahead.
A pair of Tom’s opened the bowling: Dunmore from the Southern End and McMahon from the northern end. TD put in his best opening spell of the season and bowled with real venom, clearly enjoying the opportunity to bowl on a deck with some life in it. He regularly beat the outside of the openers and was unlucky not to take what would have been a deserved wicket in this spell. McMahon was slightly wayward initially, but delivered trademark turn and bounce, and bowled their No.1 bat with a variation straight ball. Old Ruts then looked to turn up the heat and increase their run rate, so the Skipper called upon his overseas pairing of Jack Le Feuvre and Ted Goodwin to fight fire with fire. Goodwin got some sharp turn and dried up the runs from the Northern End, whilst Le Feuvre (bowling from a Southern End for the first time in 2020, something he is allergic to) relished the chance to bowl on a pacier deck. His five overs conceded only 10 runs and claimed two wickets, the highlight being a back of a length ball being gloved behind to be pouched by one of his oldest friends, Imran Dhalla. This proved a great highlight to both, and will no doubt serve to be the dominant sporting highlight in the Old Reedonians Newsletter this year (not the call up of Le Feuvre’s former roommate – Phil Salt – to the England ODI squad, part timer that lad).
The upper hand was with the Wick at the lack of drinks, and at 76-3, a big last 20 overs were on the cards. Sadly, Old Ruts had plans for a big last 20 over their own and put on 125 for their 4th wicket. Despite this, Euan Cole and Erin Goodwin bowled incredibly well, only conceding 17 runs in 7 overs between them, with Erin very harshly being denied a wicket despite a batsman middling the ball to Dhalla behind the stumps. McMahon claimed their No.5 for a very good 76 thanks to a good catch by Le Feuvre in the dying overs, but the challenge had been laid down. Set 218 to win, the Wick considered their course of attack over an alfresco tea including the novel offer of a protein shake from Old Ruts. Clearly our athletic prowess was noted.
Mandeep Singh and Dean Hewitt Jr opened the Wick response. Both played very sensibly and despite Connor being given an early life, looked to punish some accurate bowling whenever they erred from their otherwise tight lines. Both ran well between the wickets, and put on 85 for the first wicket before Connor was bowled for a very good 53 trying to hit a 15 year old into Morden. This brought Rishi Sturm to the crease, who once he located his timing combined well with Mandeep and looked to kick on. However, when Mandeep fell for a well constructed 42, a trademark Wicklapse looked on the cards with Erin and Euan both falling for ducks. This only served to bring about another Old Reedonian partnership at the middle with Le Feuvre and Dhalla united, set upon winning the game. They ran hard and looked to take the game towards Old Ruts, until Dhalla was well caught at leg slip (a very good bit of captaincy I might add verbatim). Supreme Leader Dunmore was then winched to the crease, sight set on seeing the game home. Dunmore played a captain’s knock, despite nearly being driven into cardiac arrest by his younger partner at the non-strikers end, and was looking very good until a bit of poor communication between the pair (all the fault of the skipper) saw Dunmore run out. Le Feuvre perished soon after, reported to still have tears in his eyes from the captain’s departure. The tail did wag, with Ted and Tom providing 30 runs between them, but we ultimately fell just short in a very enjoyable encounter.
Reflections in the bar after were positive – Old Ruts were a good side, but the Wick had put up a very good fight and a more than respectable performance. The difference between the sides was the Old Ruts keeper, whose 76 with the bat and impeccable keeping – being stood up all game – proving the point of difference. Old Ruts were humble in victory and good hosts, with plans laid for a reverse fixture. September cricket is definitely not one to be missed.