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August 2, 2020 Friendly vs Epping Lost by 3 wickets

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They lost to Epping
Keeping in formation: (standing L-R) Fahim Pathan, Umair Shahzad, Asad Mushtaq, Steve Hamilton, Anthony Banks, Laurie Roberts, Azaz Khahil; (kneeling L-R) Jakeria Ahmed, Mo Junaid, Graham McGee,
Suhail Shahid.                  

 

 

Played at Lower Bury Lane, Epping
Report by Steve Hamilton

 This was our first encounter against Epping, established as a club in 1865 but with their first reported game dating back as far as 1768!

The weather and setting were perfect. It was a pleasant summer's day with a marvellous neatly rolled green wicket, freshly watered by the pre-match sprinklers.

I won the toss and elected to bat, confident that with our powerful batting line-up we would post a competitive total. A special mention at this point for Fallopian legend Peter Frisby who came to support us and umpired for 20-odd overs.

Our openers Sam Shahid and Jakeria Ahmed settled in nicely. Shahid was soon hitting the boundaries and landing some meaty booming blows until he was trapped leg before half-way down the crease. Our ever so neutral umpire (Mr Frisby) in a theatrical manner waved his finger in the air and sadly our number one opener departed.

Soon to follow was our stylish and in-form batsman Jakeria who scored 70 not out last game. Unfortunately hit the ball straight to long-on's awaiting hands. Next up was our top scorer of the season Junaid - definitely not a shrinking violet and oozing presence every time he approaches the crease. His partner in crime was Laurie Roberts, who is actually looking younger as each year passes by!

This pair put on 53 for the third wicket, displaying a contrast in styles, with Junaid using his brute strength and power, including a massive six driven straight into side screen; while Laurie - more a touch player - used his finesse and constant rotation of the strike to make the most of every slight error from the bowler. All good things come to pass and first to go was Junaid after he mistimed his stroke, hitting the ball with the toe end of his bat straight to first slip for 34.

Next to arrive at the crease was the mild mannered yet unpredictable Azaz Khalil, who started well with two boundaries. But then Azaz struggled a bit and never quite clicked into gear, hitting fresh air at times. This was despite unthreatening deliveries which were more like defused hand grenades thrown over the barracks and climbing 10 to 15 feet before they landed. But with a defensive field spread around the boundary it was difficult to score. Eventually Azaz, unbeaten with his wicket never in danger, kindly retired on 36, not out of frustration but in order to give other players an opportunity to bat.

In came Graham McGee, hungry as ever and he didn't disappoint! He scored freely, ran hard and accelerated our score to a competitive total of 213-5 off 40 overs and was undefeated on 33.

After the interval and some delicious pukka homemade parathas from Jakeria and some freshly brewed old-fashioned Pakistan-style tea from Junaid we were ready for the challenge.

Our opening bowlers Asad Mushtaq and Anthony Banks worked hard but were out of luck, missing the outside edge numerous times and definitely deserving some reward. Banks disguised some lovely slower balls which bamboozled the openers. Asad had control and venom! In hindsight I wished I kept him on, but I wanted to rotate our bowling as we had decent strike force!

Our first change bowlers didn't fail and bowled a tight line. Umair Shahzad provided laser-beam accuracy with in- and outswingers, landing the ball on a sixpence. This was just what we needed to keep the run rate down as Umair went for a measly nine runs off his four overs. At the other end Junaid continued his turn to the dark side, disdaining his former threatening pace to instead flick in his leg spinners (hopefully he will see the light!).

But wickets remained absent from the scorecard as the Epping openers dominated the game, looking at ease and fully in control. At 98 for no loss after 17 overs we were in deep trouble ... until the entry of a cunning wise old fox [who might that be, we wonder? - Ed]

I took the wicket of the Epping captain Sayed Hasan off my third ball. I knew he had a dodgy back so I bowled a full delivery to where one might place a 5th or 6th stump and had Hasan over-reaching for the ball which took an eternity to come to ground. He was already midway through his stroke by then and just nicked the ball with the outside edge of his bat straight into keeper's hands. Finally, a breakthrough! Maybe a glimmer of hope. Were we back in the game?

The answer was yes! One stroke of luck brings another and a few overs later I tempted the new batsman with a flighted delivery. He came charging down the wicket and he middled it well. But unfortunately for him he hit it straight to long off and probably the safest hands in the business - Azaz - who took the catch nonchalantly about 10 yards inside the boundary rope.

At the other I was well supported by Fahim Pathan. Playing in his second weekend fixture for OF and looking fitter this season, Fahim bowled with control and accuracy and only went for 11 off his three overs. I'm definitely looking forward to what's to come from him in the future.

Finally our talented allrounder Jakeria came on and changed the game in our favour, with a devastating spell of fire which clean bowled Raj Rejender with a full ball yorker and trapping two more batters lbw. Jakeria was unlucky not to get a hat-trick and ended up with figures of 3 for 37 off nine overs. Junaid at the other head was finally rewarded with a wicket, taking a brilliant one-handed catch off his bowling.

With tensions rising, Umair came back on with devastating mini spell, including a wicket maiden in his last over and only going for 16 runs from his seven overs. Umair also bowled Epping's young opening bat Stan for 107, who almost won the game single-handed. Stan played brilliantly but was also very fortunate, as I nearly had him three or maybe four times earlier on, and I'm not bitter at all!

At 210 for 7 off 39 overs Epping needed three off the final over. Any thoughts we had of victory being within our grasp were quickly blown away by Kranthi - incidentally, the most annoying batsman I've ever come across, consistently shuffling back and forth when the bowler is about to deliver the ball. This very same Kranthi clipped the ball to deep midwicket for four and that was that, they think it's all over - it was then and it is now!

We lost a well-fought game and it was a privilege to play at such beautiful venue with its history and welcoming hospitality and - best of all - we are invited back next season!
 

Scorecard

Old Fallopians 213-5 (40 overs)
Sam Shahid      lbw  b Stan   15
Jakeria Ahmed   ct ? b Stan    8
Junaid Mohammed ct ? b Rahul  34
Laurie Roberts  ct ? b Rahul  28
Azaz Kahlil     retired       36
Graham McGee    not out       33
Umair Shahzad   st ? b Kranthi 8
Asad Mushtaq    not out        9
Extras (b 8, lb 4, w 7, nb 4) 23
Total                        213

Stan    6-0-23-2
Salim   5-1-19-1
Raj     6-0-25-0
Haider  3-0-15-0
Rahul   5-1-28-2
Trevor  6-0-33-0
George  6-0-41-0
Kranthi 3-0-18-0

Epping 214-7 (39.1 overs)
Hasan   ct Roberts b Hamilton  34
Stan    b Shahzad             107
AJ      ct Khalil  b Hamilton   7
Raj                b Ahmed     20
Haider  lbw        b Ahmed      0
Rahul   lbw        b Ahmed      0
Salim   ct and     b Junaid     6
Kranthi not out                10
George  not out                 0
Extras (b 4, lb 8, w 4, nb 14) 30
Total                         214


Asad Mushtaq   3.1-0-16-0
Anthony Banks  3-0-28-0
Umair Shahzad  7-1-16-1
Mo Junaid      8-0-48-1
Fahim Pathan   3-0-11-0
Steve Hamilton 6-0-27-2
Jakeria Ahmed  9-0-37-3

 

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