Miles 50 as Sunday XI Draw

Date: 11/08/2019
Opposition: Crossbats CC
Venue: Hampton Wick Royal Cricket Club
Man of the match: Phil Miles
Prat of the match: The sight screens

The Sunday XI took on Crossbats CC in a 70 overs timed fixture this weekend. Timed fixture is not often seen in a Wick Sunday game, with 40 overs per side tending to be the preferred format, but with a later start in place and upon the suggestion from the opposition captain, 70 overs timed was the format with a 37/33 max split for the side batting first. We had a proper Sunday selection in terms of our team composition, with the side including colts, 20 somethings, 30 somethings, and some slightly more experienced campaigners. What was pleasing was to see the two father-son combinations in the XI: the Singhs and the Miles. From the outset, we looked keen, with pretty much the entire team arriving well before the start of play to have a net. The positive omens continued, with Captain Le Feuvre winning the toss and inviting Crossbats to field first.

The mighty duo of Graeme Tong and Tom Simcock opened the batting. Both looked pleasing on the eye, both batting with patience and happily dispatching anything short/wide/air-born. Simcock, adorned with baby blue cap, was bowled for a stylish 21, which brought one of my old coaches, Steve Davis to the crease. Steve unfurled some gorgeous drives both sides of the wicket and looked in good touch, but was removed far earlier than he should have been. James Flint was in at 4, sporting a Kevin Peterson esque 2005 peroxide blonde barnet, and showed good touch with a nice array of shots. Flinty and GTong were combining well, before GTong was removed with a very sharp catch at extra cover just before drinks. James Miles came and went, and unfortunately deprived the crowd of on-lookers of the chance to see a Miles-Miles combination at the crease. 88-4 at drinks, we needed to rebuild. Thankfully Phil Miles joined Flinty at the crease, and any potential disaster was averted. Phil played himself in, and once Flinty was out after a top effort with the bat, Phil combined with Jivraj Singh to push the score onwards in the direction of 200. Having not allowed himself to get too wound up by the wicket keeper taking the bails off at every opportunity, Phil began to dispatch the bowling and Jivraj played a very good supporting role, rotating the strike and showing his potential as an all-round cricketer. The tail wagged, and helped Phil reached a fine half-century before he was dismissed by a superb caught and bowled effort. We were all out for 194 in the 35th over, needing to take all 10 wickets in our stint in the field to win.

Tea – once again, King Ken was on form. He might need to be renamed ‘The Postman’, as his teas continually deliver.

Buoyed by a good effort with the bat and a marvellous feed, the Sunday XI took to the field and were confident. The father/son combination of Singh-Singh opened the attack; Jivraj from the Northern End and Mandeep from the Southern End. Jivraj bowled with real pace and accuracy in a testing opening spell, and the figures returned probably do not reflect how threatening it was with the number of plays and misses and half-chances he coerced out of the batsmen. At the Southern End, his dad Mandeep was straight on the money, bowling a bit slower than Jivraj but with very good accuracy and economy, and got an early wicket to boot. In the field, whilst our ground fielding was very good, our catching did not support the bowlers and 3/4 chances went down early. In years gone by, heads would have dropped, but this Wick side marched on confident. Harry Crawshaw replaced Jivraj at the Northern end after 10 overs and bowled a great 7 over spell, running in hard and not giving the batsmen much to work with. He bowled very straight and attacked the stumps, and was unlucky not to return a wicket from a very good spell. Ben Wilde, who was guesting from the Sunday XI, took over from Mandeep and was phenomenal. If there weren’t many runs from Mandeep’s first spell, there were even less from Ben. Bowling a 12 over spell, the runs dried up at the Southern End, and Ben returned 4 wickets, all LBW, and was very harshly denied what would have been a fantastic 4fer with a declined appeal for a very plumb LBW. At drinks, Crossbats were 71-2, and with quick wickets after drinks, appeared to be shutting up shop for the draw. Bowling options were rotated from the Northern End, and when Harry was finished, Mandeep bowled a short and accurate spell of leg spin, before Jivraj returned for a final push to claim the remaining 4 wickets but was desperately unlucky not to get a wicket. His second spell, I felt, was better than his first and he was simply too good for the lower middle order at times. GTong, who had been heard earlier recalling his tenure as 1st XI captain, was sum mounded for a 6 ball burst to try and cause some late carnage, but alas to not avail. Having bowled 35 overs in just under two hours, Crossbats finished 119-6 off their 35 overs, and a (probably) winning draw was secured for the Wick. If we had taken our catches, or if the captain had agreed to limited overs, the victory would have been ours but hindsight is a somewhat poisoned chalice. All in all, it was great fun, with both sides playing in good spirits and everyone getting a chance to play.