Played at Wallsgrove House
Report by Steve Hamilton
On a crest of wave we arrived at the luxurious surroundings of
High Beach CC, located in the grounds of the neo-Classical
Wallsgrove House on the edge of Epping Forest. Horses and sheep were
grazing in the distance and the weather conditions were perfect,
with a subtle southerly breeze and temperatures hitting around 21C.
We won the toss for the fifth consecutive game and chose to bat
first, a decision validated by our batsmen delivering in bucket
Waseem Furqan destroyed the opposition bowlers using
the whole 360 degrees of the ground to dispatch the ball at will. He
was unfortunate not to get his hundred, reaching 93 which included
four monster sixes and twelve fours, sharing a second-wicket
partnership of 116 with Azaz.
Azaz Khalil reached a
well-deserved 52 including one six and five fours. He is looking
more powerful this season and was destructive from the start.
Umair Shahzad was carrying a slight back injury, which luckily
did not seem to affect his batting performance at all! He scored a
quick-fire 40 in 6 overs with one six and six fours, sharing a
third-wicket partnership with Waseem of 54.
Thanks to these
heroics we reached a very satisfactory total of 274-8 off our 35
In reply, we got off to a perfect start when Waseem
trapped Barckley lbw for a duck in his first over.
Srinivasrao removed John for 4, tempting him into a drive that
reached the in-coming gazelle Azaz to take a spectacular running
After five overs, High Beach were 13 for 2 and we were
in total dominance.
Now at the crease were two very familiar
faces, Asad Mushtaq and Jay Uthaman. The pair put on 105 for the
third wicket and gave the home team some hope.
By the drinks
break High Beach had repaired the early damage and were looking
competitive at 117-2 off 19 overs.
But the wheels began to
come off their recovery in the very next over. Fahad Karim removed
Uthaman for 50 with a slight nick behind that rocketed at a rate of
knots into the hands of Jakaria Ahmed who took a sensational catch
slightly above face height.
The following over hammered the
final nail in coffin for High Beach. Nihar Ksainihar dismissed
Mushtaq for 42 with a delivery that tempted the batter into an off
drive that only reached mid-off, where Azaz took a comfortable
From there High Beach crumbled from 117 for 2 to 150
I decided to bring on a golden-arm specialist (who
could this be? Ed.) and was soon rewarded with a wicket in my
first over (aha!) by first clean bowling Khan for a duck.
In my third over I was set for a hat-trick. First I removed
the aggressive Ali for 14. He had smashed me for couple of
boundaries in my previous over. But he was starting to be
predictable, walking down the crease as he tried to wallop me. I
outfoxed him by delivering a fuller ball at fifth stump. He was too
far down the crease and could not get near the ball, due to the
extra pace. Jakaria had no trouble picking up the ball and removing
Next ball I took the wicket of Mutzala for a
golden duck. He hit the ball straight to mid-on where Goddalla took
a superb low catch.
But the hat-trick ball was unsuccessful.
I bowled at fifth stump but this time the batsman just left it.
Never mind, I will settle for 4-0-12-3.
Garikapati grew in confidence in his third over and wrapped up the
game by taking his first wicket, removing Yasir for 22. The batter
had hit the ball firmly to short leg where Fahad took an exceptional
catch. A couple balls later Saiteja clean bowled Adnan for 26.
High Beach were all out for 191. They had put up a decent fight
and we had to work hard to get our breakthroughs. We won by 83 runs.
It was definitely a complete team effort.