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July 19, 2020 Friendly vs Hobgoblin Nomads Lost by 1 run

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Lost narrowly to Hobgoblin
Pipped at the post: Old Fallopians raise a smile despite losing by a whisker. (Standing L-R) Rizwan Mazhar, Mo Junaid, Jack Turner, Jakeria Ahmed, Nikhil Kalyanpur; (kneeling L-R) Syed Hussain, Azaz Khalil, Dhammika Perera, Asad Mushtaq.
Click here for more photos from the match                                                                                  Photo: Tim Castle



Played at Hilly Fields, Brockley
Report by Jack Turner

The truncated 2020 season continued on a grey and mild London afternoon as Old Fallopians travelled south of the river to face Hobgoblin Nomads. A crowd of three gathered on the banks of Hilly Fields expecting another close-fought contest between the two evenly matched sides, and they weren’t disappointed.

Tall, handsome, moustachioed Fallopians Skipper Jack Turner (who’s writing this stuff? – Ed) – hungover and reluctant to lead the side (that’s more like it! – Ed) – continued the long-standing tradition of duly losing the toss and being asked to field with the team two short of a full XI.

Armed with a criminally (??) strong bowling attack of Syed Hussain, Asad Mushtaq, Azaz Kahlil, Junaid Muhammed, Jakeria Ahmend and debutant Nikhil Kalyanpur, it wasn’t long before the breakthrough came. Asad gamely tore in up the slope and ripped through the defence of opener Hankinson, who clearly had been shaken by the pace of the previous over from Syed.

The Fallopians weren’t made to wait long before a second breakthrough came. Again it was Asad, dashing in from up the hill, forcing Saxena to chip tamely to Jakeria at cover for just five. Nomads were 14-2 from their opening seven overs – an incredible opening strike partnership between Syed and Asad in which Sayed bowled three maidens on the bounce with the majority of the Hobgoblin runs coming from the sloppy glovework of a lethargic Turner (must have been that hangover – Ed).

First change bowler Azaz was next to strike with a wicket-maiden first over, removing Bilal Ansar with a vicious in-dipper through the gate, and took another scalp in his second over, repeating the trick to Char, beating the batsman all ends up. Nomads were teetering at 38-4, and OFCC were looking dominant.

However, the expected deluge of wickets was abated as a steady partnership in the middle order halted the fat lady’s vocal exercises, and the Fallopians were run ragged in the field as P.K and Niz shared a 90-run partnership through the thick of the innings. Jakeria, Junaid and Nik toiled gamely away, a few chances went begging, and an unfavourable umpiring call on a smart stumping from Turner (it’s all going wrong! – Ed) threatened to turn the atmosphere sour. Oh for DRS!

The Fallopians were made to wait until the 28th over before another breakthrough, when a rare spell of spin from the usually pacey Junaid led to him unpicking P.K’s defences and disturbing his woodwork with a fine leg break.

Asad and Syed returned for second spells, and a Herculean effort of eight overs from Syed returned figures of 8-3-16-1 – rewarded with the scalp of Erik at the end.

At the changeover, Hobgoblins had posted 200-8, requiring 201 for a famous victory in front of the baying, though still sparse, crowd.

A steady start from openers Jakeria and Asad saw Fallopians progress without peril to 18-0. Asad’s glance to the scoreboard to see the rate ticking over at 2.4 an over may possibly explain his decision to lift his head above the parapet and attempt to smite a good length ball halfway to Hertfordshire, miss, get bowled, shrug, and stroll off. We may never know, and may he never change.

The demise of Asad’s innings brought your friendly neighbourhood bruiser Junaid to the crease, and he was in no mood to nudge and nurdle his way towards the target. Forming a lovey juxtaposing partnership with Jakeria, the big man smoked 15 boundaries and one six into orbit as the pair swashbuckled their way through 70-plus runs of the Hobgoblin total. For all of Junaid’s power, there was the deft touch of Jakeria, manipulating the field and running between the wickets sharply. When Jakeria fell, caught off the bowling of Saxsena, Fallopians were 89-2 and still a long way from the promised land.

The fall of the second wicket brought experienced all-rounder Azaz to join Junaid at the crease, and the two most senior Fallopians set about dispatching the Hobgoblin attack to all parts, a series of cuts and pulls from Az, and a bevvy of straight hits and square drives from Junaid on his way to a fine half century whittled away the total required. By the time the 37th over came round, OFCC were 180-2 and victory was within reach.

It wasn’t until wily spinner Hankinson’s seventh over that game once again began to turn in the Nomads’ favour. A slow non-spinning off-break pinned Junaid in front of the timber, and umpire Turner (him again? – Ed), with his heart sinking, had no choice but to lift the dreaded finger, triggering his star batsman for a sublime and talismanic 98.

The final three overs saw Dhammika and Azaz push for quick ones and twos, with Azaz eventually caught short coming back for a second and being run out for a vital 36. Syed followed shortly afterwards, another desperate run out in the 39th.

Debutant Nikhil joined Dhammika in the final over, with the equation for victory being six required from three balls. A dot ball followed. Six needed from two. Nik connected with a long hop and the batsmen scrambled a double from the penultimate ball. Four needed from the final ball, three for a deserved tie.

Hankinson wheeled in again. Hobgoblin fielders were mere specks through the gloom on the horizon, posted far and wide, hanging on their heels to protect the all-important boundary ropes. The delivery hung in the air, pitched, and was met on the half volley, the thwack of willow meeting leather made the dreaded clothed “this ain’t going to the rope” sound. The ball skidded into the outfield, leaving no time to for batsmen to get the three required for the tie. Hobgoblins had won. By the barest of margins. By the barest of all margins.

A commendable effort from all the bowlers, and a brave and daring show of skill and strength from our batsmen on a very tough wicket. A fantastic game to be a part of, and another thrilling chapter added to the rivalry between these two sides.

Scroll down for more photos and the scorecards.

Confidence at the crease: Mohammed Junaid on his way to 98.                              Photo: Tim Castle
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Socially distanced delivery: Azaz Khahil reaches for a wide                                      Photo: Tim Castle
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Hilly Fields
Cloudy skies: The match nears its end at Hilly Fields                                                                Photo: Tim Castle
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Hobgoblins card
Just too many: Hobgoblin batting                                                                                               Photo: Tim Castle
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Old Fallopians batting
Not quite enough: Old Fallopians batting                                                                                  Photo: Tim Castle
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Hobgoblin Nomads 200-8 (40 overs)
J.Hankinson              b Mushtaq  4
D.Saxena     ct Ahmed    b Mushtaq  5
B.Ansari                 b Khalil   1
A.Char                   b Kahlil   5
P.Konecy                 b Junaid  50
Ben          ct Junaid   b Hussain 47
Niz          ct ?        b Mushtaq 25
Will         ct Ahmed    b Kahlil  14
Erik         not out               16
C. Kingsnork not out                1
Extras (b 14, lb 4, w 10, nb 4)    32
Total                             200

Syed Hussain     8-3-16-1
Asad Mushtaq     8-0-34-3
Azaz Kahlil      8-0-34-3
Jakeria Ahmed    5-0-26-0
Nikhil Kalyanpur 4-0-27-0
Mo Junaid        7-0-50-1

Old Fallopians 199-5 (40 overs)
Jakeria Ahmed    ct ? b Saxena 28
Asad Mushtaq          b Ansar   9
Mo Junaid        lbw  b John   98
Azaz Kahlil      run out       36
Syed Hussain     run out        2
Nikhil Kalyanpur not out        4
Extras (b 4, lb 3, w 12, nb 3) 22
Total                         199

Ansar  8-2-18-1
Mehta  4-0-25-0
Konecy 5-0-12-0
Will   7-0-27-0
Saxena 8-0-47-1
John   8-0-27-1


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