Played at Cavendish Recreation Ground, Eastcote, Ruislip
Report by Steve Hamilton
Our first ever visit to the home of the Gubbays proved to be an
exhilarating battle on a bright day with extensive sunshine and a
gentle north-easterly breeze.
We won the toss and chose to
bat. However, the pitch was not very accommodating. It had an
unpredictable bounce, mostly low at times, and we struggled to get
the run rate above 4.5.
At the halfway stage of our innings
we had reached 71 for one off 17 overs. Our leading run-scorers
Junaid and Jakeria looked settled and ready to accelerate.
Unfortunately that didn't happen as Jakeria mistimed a shot
immediately after the drinks break and he was caught at mid-wicket
for a well constructed 34.
A minor collapse followed. Junaid
was unfortunate to be given out lbw for 35. Debutant Fahad Karim was
caught behind for a golden duck. A mix-up in the next over resulted
in the run out of Hemant Patel. Now we were stuttering at 120 for
five from 27 overs.
Talal Ali kept his nerve, continuing to
impress with the bat. He scored a valiant 25, which was a very
useful contribution in our modest total of 160 for seven off 35
It was time for food and the good weather to revive
our spirits. It was a pleasant afternoon with the sun beaming down.
We sat under the trees and tucked into delicious biryani and chicken
kebabs, washed down with cups of chai, all kindly provided by Junaid
to mark his birthday. Suitable refreshed, our minds now turned to
whether we could finish the perfect day with a win.
to be fully focused for this uphill task as we were down to 10
players and the opposition only needed 4.6 runs an over!
Mushtaq and Shahzad set the tone with the new ball which I had
obtained from Readers, a much better quality ball then we had been
previously been using. They made good use of it, swinging it both
ways and the openers struggled to read the movement. The batters
were hitting fresh air as the ball regularly beat the bat and flew
straight into reliable hands of Junaid at keeper.
reached 37 without loss off 14 overs, a rate of 2.6 runs an over.
Our opening bowlers Mushtaq and Shahzad had done their job perfectly
and were rewarded with superb figures of 7-0-12-0 and 7-0-21-0
Our first change bowlers had to keep up
pressure and it was that man again, Talal Ali, who cleaned bowled
the left-handed Vishal for 22 with his third ball. At the other end
Fahad Karim also succeeded and took a spectacular caught and bowled
to remove the tall dangerman Neal for 34. Both bowlers ended their
spells with controlled figures of 6-0-30-1 and 6-0-29-1
After 25 overs we had the opposition tottering
on 89 for four, with Dadu retired hurt due to cramp.
the real test. We were a man short in the field, while at the crease
the Gubbays captain Ash looked set. We needed to be on our toes for
everything - which we were.
First up, Umair hit the stumps
all the way from deep long on with an amazing throw to run out
Akshar for a duck. Anthony Ambadipudi stopped numerous boundaries
and constantly returned the ball back quickly with his strong arm.
Up next were our second change bowlers Jakeria and debutant
leg-spinner Raja Razzaque. Both did a magnificent job at the
critical stage, with the opposition only needing 35 off seven overs.
It was getting very tense as every ball counted.
securing two more run outs, Ash was hitting hard and looked on
course to win the game single-handedly. But at the crucial moment
Jakeria delivered the perfect yorker, hitting the off stump to
remove Ash for 46 and secure a hard-fought victory.
excellent bowling and fielding meant Gubbays had fallen short of
their target by just 13 runs.
It had been a tense struggle
against a strong outfit who played the game in right manner. They
clearly want their revenge as we have been invited back next season.