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May 8, 2011 Friendly vs London Fields Won by 6 wickets

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London Fields forever: Standing (L-R) Will Ellis, Dan Linde, Will Hopson-Hill, John Shaw, Andy Crawford; kneeling (L-R) Mark Venables, Charlie Davis, Azaz Khalil, Mat Asquith, David Blackmore; reclining: Tim Castle
Many more pictures from the game here... (opens in new window)


Played at London Fields

By Will Hopson-Hill (skipper)

After suffering a narrow loss the previous weekend, the Fallopians were determined to bounce back with a victory in what is usually a tricky fixture against London Fields. After showers overnight, the weather had improved to sunny spells in time for the game, but with the pitch soft and very green the Fallopians' skipper inserted LF in to bat after winning the toss. It seemed prudent to see how the pitch was playing in drying conditions before taking our turn to bat.

Mat Asquith and Azaz Khalil both bowled accurate, zippy opening spells which kept a lid on the LF scoring rate. Khalil was unlucky to remain wicketless after his tidy opening spell, but Asquith was rewarded with two wickets, one caught at first slip off a loose drive and the other caught behind after the batsman gloved a lifter in trying to leave it alone.

So, after around 10 overs LF were at about 40 for 2. The scoring rate then increased as their middle order batsmen got their eyes in and approaching drinks (after 18 overs) LF were about 80 for 2. However, the ever reliable Shaw then pitched one perfectly with the number 3 batsman sweeping to leg and had him plumb lbw, just before the drinks break. When the Fallopians emerged from the break it was to find a number 5 batsman eager to move the score along and play his shots.

A partnership of 50-odd then ensued before David Blackmore, in the midst of another terrific spell, flighted a tempter outside off which the number 4 batsman couldn't resist having a drive at, but it spun back and he was bowled through the gate for a well played 49. This was the catalyst for a LF collapse and with Asquith and Khalil both coming back on to finish their allotted overs, Asquith got his third - bowling the dangerous number 5 with one that kept low - and Khalil picked up two to get the OF through to the tail.

Shaw and Blackmore then picked up another each before Venables came back on to finish the innings with a nicely taken caught and bowled - LF were thus all out for 174.

With a target of 175 to win on a pitch which seemed to be playing better as the sun dried it out, the Fallopians knew what was expected of them. The skipper and Charlie Davis got the innings off to a brisk start with some lusty blows and after 6 or 7 overs, the score was at 40-odd for none. The skipper then inexplicably got a leading edge trying to clip to leg, serving up a dolly to mid-on to leave the Fallopians on 40-odd for 1.

However, number three Venables then strode to the crease to play his usual reliable, run-accumulating innings while Davis at the other end took the role of strokemaker, unfurling some lovely straight drives and pull shots to keep the score ticking over. At drinks - after 16 overs in this case - the Fallopians had reached 90-odd for 1 and were steadily eating into the target. This continued until at around 110 for 1 Venables edged behind to a well-pitched leg break to bring Linde to the crease. He played his role to perfection and once again smote a lightning-fast 25-odd runs to put to bed any lingering hopes LF may have had of claiming an unlikely victory.

Once Linde departed - caught by a blinding one-handed effort in the deep, which seemed to shock the catcher as much as anyone - Will Ellis, who had earlier on once again kept wicket excellently, quickly came and went and Crawford joined Davis at the crease to see the Fallopians home with 5 overs to spare. Davis finished on 81 not out and played a marvellously judged, crowd-pleasing innings to anchor the innings from start to finish, making him this writer's choice of man of the match.

With this six-wicket victory the OFs are back to winning ways and no doubt with that winning feeling instilled in the squad, more will follow...onwards to Chigwell


Red ball: Charlie Davis eyes another boundary                                             Photo: Tim Castle
Many more pictures from the game here... (opens in new window)

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London Fields 174 (35 overs)
Old Fallopians 175-4 (31 overs)
Old Fallopians won by 6 wickets
London Fields
  How out Bowler Runs Sixes Fours
Dave Hickey ct Ellis Asquith 12   3
Chris Rice ct Hopson-Hill Asquith 7    
Killian Toomey lbw Shaw 21   2
Rhodri Evans bowled Blackmore 49   6
Brock Martin bowled Asquith 29 1 4
Dave Krohn ct Ellis Khalil 12   4
Bob Harries bowled Khalil 0    
Ben Davies ct & bowled Venables 13   1
Call D'Eath lbw Shaw 3    
Darrin Lewis run out   0    
Grant Strachan not out   0    
Extras (nb 6, w 12, b 4, lb 2) 24    


* tally was 174
  Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Asquith 7 2 25 3
Khalil 7 1 10 2
Venables 5 0 34 1
Castle 2 0 24 0
Blackmore 7 0 42 1
Shaw 7 0 35 2
Old Fallopians
  How out Bowler Runs Sixes Fours
Charlie Davis not out   81 2 11
Will Hopson-Hill ct D'Eath 18   3
Mark Venables ct Harris 25   4
Dan Linde ct Martin 18   2
Will Ellis ct Toomey Davis 5   1
Andy Crawford not out   0    
Extras (nb 2, w 18, b 8, lb 0) 28    


FoW: 1-44, 2-103, 3-150, 4-167
John Shaw, Azaz Khalil, David Blackmore, Tim Castle and Mat Asquith did not bat
  Overs Maidens Runs Wickets
Davis 7 2 25 1
Strachan 4 0 23 0
D'Eath 4 0 21 1
Krohn 6 0 46 0
Harris 3 0 21 1
Toomey 3 0 12 0
Rice 1 0 8 0
Martin 2 0 10 1
Hickey 1 0 2 0

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