Played at Highgate Woods
Report by Steve Hamilton
The venue for our first season of the season was more like
Hellgate than Highgate.
This match against Black Rose started
an hour later than scheduled and the overs were then cut down to 30
instead of 40 due the heavy rain at the start.
probably the most difficult batting pitch in our calendar, not
helped by it being another dark gloomy day with constant drizzle.
But in fact the weather gradually improved. Despite rain being
expected throughout the day, the sun actually came out in the late
We won the toss and elected to bat. We started off
at a snailís pace. After nine overs we had only scored 2o runs. The
conditions were virtually unplayable. The wicket had no bounce, the
batmenís feet stuck in mud and the ball just plugged wherever it was
hit. Together with the thick grass and long boundaries, it was
almost impossible to score runs.
By now this fixture would
have been cancelled, but thanks to the enthusiasm (madness?) of both
teams, we continued.
Believe it or not, our final total was
probably above par, considering how last time we played Black Rose
we were all out for 78 batting in not dissimilar conditions,
although we went on
to win by 11 runs in a low-scoring classic.
fifth-wicket partnership of 53 between Umair (19) and Waseem (40)
was the glue that held our innings together. Waseem hit seven fours
as we went from 50 for 4 to 103. But then we lost our last five
wickets for just six runs as the innings collapsed.
I have to
say that once again I was definitely the golden boy. I was bowled
first ball! I blame the pitch as I couldn't move my legs, as by then
the wicket was like quicksand. So I had an excuse for being trapped.
We finally closed our innings all out on 109 for 9. We were
playing one short, after one of our team decided to leave after
seeing the playing conditions, as well as managing Ė out of the blue
- to get a last-minute ticket for the FA semi-final at Wembley -
surely a believable explanation for leaving... 🤔
With Black Rose
only chasing 110, winning the match wasn't going to be easy. But even though we were a man
light in the field we were quietly confident, with two debutants
on display ready to show off their skills - Redwan Ahmed and
Our confidence was rewarded and the wickets
fell frequently. As the sun broke through the clouds all our bowlers
shined. Waseem, Redwan and Asad
all took two wickets each, Azaz took one and Santhosh took three.
Black Rose were dismissed all out for 69.
It was a
comprehensive win by 40 runs to get our season off to a superb