Played at Fairlop
Report by Steve Hamilton
The first week of September and things were finally beginning to
click into gear. We were greeted at Fairlop with impeccable weather
and majestic blue skies. The scene was set.
against local rivals who we had never beaten on their home ground
was going to be a challenge.
I won the toss and decided to
bat, as the wicket did look a bit flat. We had a solid start, but
then we lost our openers to the intimidating burly, bald headed,
bearded pace man, known only as T. Ali.
However, their early
success brought to the crease the powerful Junaid – a player who has
become a different batsman this season and is now our leading run
scorer by a mile! A man with a change in temperament, an inner
calmness and playing according to the situation. Joined by Azaz
Khalil, the pair put on 100-odd runs for the third wicket, Azaz
being the dominant batsman, favouring the leg side for the majority
of his runs and reaching his 50 in rapid time.
partnership there was an unfortunate incident when Junaid was
attempting a quick single and collided with Parkonians captain
Vijay. Only one person was going to come off worse, but fortunately
we had Doctor Khalil on board to attend and help the semi-conscious
patient back to feet after an anxious 10-15 minutes.
was a one-man show from Junaid using brutality and class,
demolishing the ball to all parts of the ground with booming on- and
off-drives, savagely fierce cuts and pulls, and an exquisite
straight six. It was a destruction of the opposition bowling which
included 15 boundaries as Junaid reached 98 for the second time this
season and was unlucky not to get his hundred!
At the halfway
point we had accumulated 250 runs in 40 overs and were well in
command of the proceedings!
Our opening bowlers Umair and
Syed showed no mercy. Umair, our most economical bowler this season,
removed both openers leg before with unplayable in-swingers. There
was also was incident a few balls earlier when surprisingly I
dropped a catch off Umair's bowling - I think the sun was in my eyes
(!) - though I was told the sun was behind me (!!). But it didn't
matter as the batsman was out the next over.
back after a two-year absence, came on as first change bowler and
completely annihilated the Parkonians batting order. He took a
"fifer" (7-0-22-5) with a variety of slower balls, yorkers and a
caught & bowled to firmly put the game out of sight for the home
I took a stunning wicket near the end after putting
plenty of revolutions on a ball which pitched outside off and
hitting the top of leg stump. I think even Harbhajan Singh would
have been proud of it!
Azaz took the final wicket and we won
the game comfortably by 97 runs!
Their captain has now fully
recovered and, despite his close encounter with the human
runs-machine, has invited us back for a rematch next season.