Played at Holtwhites Sports & Social Club, Enfield
Report by Jack Turner
On a searingly hot day in Enfield, one of the great cricketing
rivalries continued between Old Fallopians and HT Libraries. It
seems a close finish is guaranteed every time we both face off, and
this match was no exception.
With captain Steve Hamilton
winning the toss and electing to bat, the Fallopians were spared the
worst of the early afternoon sun, but it was not long before the
heat was turned up by the Librarians. In just the second over of the
match, HT’s Uday, with a metronomic line and length got one to hold
up in the pitch and Asad Mushtaq was gone for a duck from a leading
edge, looping a catch to short cover. Waseem Furqan followed shortly
afterwards in the 4th over, after an aggressive stroke was caught in
the outfield, as Uday again worked his magic to leave the Fallopians
at 13 for 2.
Sreekanth Surendran and Azaz Khalil came
together and steadied the ship. Azaz counterpunched with some crisp
boundaries and smart running, and Sree hit a lovely four through the
offside before unfortunately falling LBW for 6, again to that man
I joined Azaz in the middle, keen to support an Az
innings that was quickly becoming crucial to Fallopians’ fortunes in
the match. I contributed 17 to a partnership of 24 before being
bowled by Uday, attempting an inexplicable pull shot to a ball that
was essentially half-volley length.
This brought Jonathan
Stebbins to the crease, fresh from a midweek half-century to join
Azaz. The experienced pair put on 57 together with a mixture of
classic timing, powerful hitting, and scampered running. By the time
Jonathan departed, missing a straight one from Jones for nice cameo
of 26, Azaz had brought up his 50 and was looking increasingly
eyes up a smash
Photo: Jack Turner
Goddalla ‘Sri’ Srinivasrao strode out looking in the
mood to up the tempo, and he did not disappoint. He struck two giant
sixes down the ground to go with his five boundaries. Sri’s efforts
swung momentum back to the Fallopians and it was a pleasure to watch
the young all rounder’s 40 runs. Azaz at the other end was no doubt
grateful for the support, as boundary hitting at this stage far
preferable than quick doubles, given he had been batting for 27
With the score at 166, Sri was caught in the deep and
Fahim Pathan came to the crease looking to support Az to his
century. Batting steadily and patiently for a classy 15, Fahim
almost saw Az through to his century, but the number 3 fell
agonisingly short on 90, finally bowled by Mihir. What an innings
from Az once again – 13 fours in a knock of genuine class that
showed grit, timing, power, and touch.
Azaz swings on his
way to 90
Photo: Jack Turner
Fallopian royalty Steve Hamilton and Peter Frisby
combined in the death overs of the innings for a last wicket
partnership of 17 which was to prove incredibly valuable around
three hours later. Frisby swept a beautiful four, and Steve’s 9 not
out included one delicious cover drive boundary, and another driven
four a little straighter through mid-off. Hamilton’s shot locker is
deeper than he lets on! Fallopians completed their overs with a
tally of 239.
The Fallopians' own
royal couple - Steve Hamilton and Peter Frisby
Photo: Jack Turner
I will be honest here, lads. It took me three weeks
to get around to writing this report, and the opposition’s scorecard
looks pretty, but it isn’t exactly accurate or fully completed. So
here is my best effort based on my patchy memory (my fault) and the
opposition’s lack of detail (their fault).
HT’s reply got off
to the worst possible start. After a pedestrian opening five overs
that yielded only 10 runs, opener Kevin Tew called through a single
from the non-striker’s end and ran himself out. The above
description does not do justice to the fielding from Sreekanth
Surendran down at fine leg, who threw the stumps down from fully 40
yards with a bullet arm.
Opening bowlers Waseem and Asad
bowled very tidily without any luck at all in the wickets column as
Mark D and Evans scored consistently, but without urgency. Fielding
was key during the first half of the HT innings, and every Fallopian
played his part superbly. Peter ‘Iron Ankles’ Frisby in the covers
saved countless runs, Fahim, Sri, Sree and Jonathan raced around the
outfield saving boundaries – every bowler was well backed up by the
men in the deep.
Sri was on the money during his 8 overs, and
was unlucky not to have Evans caught behind, after his appeal was
given not out despite what appeared to be a clear and obvious inside
edge. Sri eventually got his man for 26, feathering a beautiful
outswinger into my gloves behind the stumps.
By the time
Gareth G joined Mark D in the middle, things were getting tense. It
took an inspired fielding change, suggested by Waseem, to bring
mid-off up for Azaz’s bowling and it paid off. Mark D was well set
on 85 and looking well on his way to winning the game for HT. Then
Azaz swung one in that was scooped high into the late afternoon sky
and pouched at mid-off by Jonathan. The game was once again in the
The tide turned towards Fallopians thanks to some
more fantastic fielding. A miscued drive from Dave G went to extra
cover, Az collected with a one handed pick up and fizzed it in to me
to whip the bails off for the second run out of the innings.
Gareth G was hanging around and looking dangerous. Fallopian nerves
were not helped by a missed stumping opportunity. The batter charged
a flighted Sreekanth delivery that gripped and turned sharply, but
Jack ‘Frying Pan Hands’ Turner (yes, me!) clanged the chance and the
game looked close to gone. Nerves were settled shortly afterwards as
Sri returned to mop up Mihir after a lobbed drive was expertly
caught by Waseem at mid-on.
More chipping away at the total
left HT Libraries needing 13 from the final over of the innings.
Asad took the ball, and the first three deliveries were close to
A scampered two off the first ball left 11 from 5
needed. The 2nd delivery was top of off and a dot ball. 11 from 4. A
single from the third delivery left the more experienced and well
set Gareth G on strike.
Gareth was on 75 and clearly the
danger man and 10 from 3 was eminently gettable for him. Asad sent
down the perfect inswinging yorker and cleaned him up, sparking wild
Fallopian celebrations. What a delivery at such a crunch time in the
match! Cometh the hour cometh the man.
The final two balls
were both sent to the boundary, but in truth, after that 4th ball of
the over, the result was never in doubt. A brilliant batting display
from Azaz, Sri, Jonathan, and Faheem, plus a tail wag from Peter and
Steve set up what was a superb effort in the field from everyone.
Cricket was the winner … scratch that, Old Fallopians were the
winners … by one bloody run.
What a game.