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June 6, 2021 Friendly vs South Loughton Won by 2 runs

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They beat South Loughton
Close shavers: (Standing L-R) Ryan La Croix, Talal Ali, Salim Mithani, Mo Junaid, Bradley Prospere, Kemet Barrington, Fahim Pathan; (kneeling) Steve Hamilton, Sam Mole, Asad Mushtaq, Jakeria Ahmed, Salim's son



Played at Roding Valley Recreation Ground
Report by Steve Hamilton

This was a thrilling match which had everything and more on a overcast muggy day with a flat wicket and a slow outfield.

We won the toss and chose to bat. Considering our unbeaten record so far this season, I was confident I had made the right decision, particularly as the rest of the team were in agreement!

South Loughton are a tough premier team full of talent, with a few 1st XI Herts and Essex league players thrown in for good measure. I wasn't too happy about their line-up as we have never beaten them before. We lost by nine wickets on our two previous encounters. But this was our sixth fixture of the season on the sixth day of the sixth month - could this be our lucky omen?

Talal Ali was thrown into the deep end and opened the batting for the first time, but he didn't disappoint. Together with Jakeria Ahmed he got us off to a solid start, with the pair delivering a 95-run partnership before the first wicket fell after 19 overs.

We needed to up our run rate slightly to reach a competitive total of at least 200 to put pressure on the opposition and have any chance of winning.

Talal held his nerve and reached a well deserved 51 with sixth fours and three monster sixes, before being stumped. After two more wickets we had made 116 off 25 overs and it was time to accelerate. Mo Junaid and Sam Mole did exactly that, adding 118.

Mo scored 89 with five fours and five sixes, knocking down tree branches and wrecking bird nests, with ball also landing with an almighty thud on the club house.

By contrast at the other end Sam scored 44 with deft touches. Very much the nurdler, Sam ran swiftly between the wickets and pushed the singles into twos. His defence was like a rock and when the time was right he hit hard, including two explosive sixes both struck with perfect execution, one over long off and the other a pull over midwicket.

At the halfway stage of the match we had reached a well-constructed total of 239 for 6 off 40 overs. Also - believe it or not – there were none of the usual alcohol beverages from the bar at this stage for myself.

South Loughton needed exactly six an over to win. Given that their team featured some big guns, our mission was not going to be a walk in the park, it was going to be fully blown bloodfest (I exaggerate only a little)!

Our openers bowlers Asad Mushtaq and Talal kept the run-rate below what was required. Asad continued where he left off from last week, firing in deliveries the with pinpoint accuracy.

Asad was rewarded with the wicket of their number one batsman Soomro for 34. It was a vital dismissal as Soomro is an awkward leftie and South Loughton’s top scorer this season who has terrorised us on previous occasions. Asad had delivered a tempting outswinger which had Soomro swishing through to drive the ball towards the midwicket area. But he only managed a thin outside edge that raced like a missile towards first slip where Fahim held a spectacular reaction catch above his head.

Salim Mithani bowled superbly with perfect control and took the wicket of the other opener Kathuria for 18. The batsman drove hard towards silly mid off and Super Glue hands Sam took a breathtaking catch without a moment’s hesitation! Salim finished his spell with respectable figures of 8-1-32-1

Now the next two South Loughton batsman begun to up the ante. Ahmed and their captain Stokes started to dominate the bowling, putting on over a hundred between them. After a few fumbles in the field, our tensions were riding high. Also, with three slightly injured players including myself with a slight side strain from throwing the ball, the game was now in balance.
We desperately needed to keep the run-rate under 10. But the game was starting to slip away from us. The home team had two batsman set at the wicket, needing 85 runs off 10 overs with seven wickets in the locker. We were in dire need of something special to change the direction of the game.

Change duly came in the form of a masterclass in bowling from Jakaria. It was the best bowling spell I've ever witnessed from an OF player! He delivered a devastating spell of aggressive bowling, filled with pure venom that completely altered the course of the match!
First he removed Ahmed for 61 and then Stokes for 55 with Malinga-type yorkers that clean bowled both batsman.

Then Talal came back to bowl his final two overs and took a wicket in each. First he had D Smith was caught behind for seven by our keeper Mo Junaid, who dived forward to take a tremendous low catch. The next over Jakeria shot another laser-beam yorker which clean bowled Ishan for a duck.

The following over Talal delivered a perfect ball to remove Davey for 17, with more than equal praise due to Mo behind the stumps. Mo dismissed the batsman with a spectacular one-handed catch nonchalantly taken above his head that looked as if he had just causally stuck his hand out to stop the ball.

Then a great piece of fielding ran out the opposition’s dangerous young colt H. Smith for 18. The game was now clearly back in our favour, but the hosts - on 228 for 8 – required only 12 with two overs remaining.

But Jakeria put another nail in their innings’ coffin, removing Mann for a duck with yet with another full-ball yorker. Jakeria conceded just three runs in his final over and ended with super figures of 6-0-50-4.

Now just one over remainded to be bowled. Only one man was up for job and nobody was going to get in his way, as our keeper Mo took off his pads and gloves. He bowled a tidy over for just 6 runs, meaning we had won the game by 2 runs.

There were great contributions in the field from Fahim, Ryan La Croix and Bradley Prospere.

A special mention for Kemet Barrington who provided a valuable contribution after a three-year absence. He bowled with natural control, delivering the ball regularly at that nagging length with the occasional movement. He kept the run rate down and ended up with neat figures of 6-0-33-0, with an economy rate of just 5.5!

It was a big relief to finally beat and conquer the mighty South Loughton. Victory definitely tasted sweeter as a few of us adjourned to the clubhouse afterwards.

Scorecard below



Old Fallopians 239-5 (40 overs)
Talal Ali        st Stokes b Xavier 51
Jakeria Ahmed              b Ravey  24
Mo Junaid                  b Ravey  89
Asad Mushtaq               b Smith   4
Sam Mole         run out            44
Salim Mithani              b Ravey   0
Bradley Prospere not out             0
Extras (b 10, lb 4 w 8 nb 5)        27
Total                              239

Mann   8-1-35-0
Fouser 4-0-31-0
Ravey  8-0-47-3
Smith  8-0-40-1
Xavier 8-0-29-1
Ishan  4-0-55-0

South Loughton 237 (40 overs)
Soomro   ct Pathan b Mushtaq  32
Kathuria ct Mole   b Mithani  18
Ahmed              b Ahmed    61
Stokes             b Ahmed    55
D.Smith  ct Junaid b Ali       7
Ravey    ct Junaid b Ali      17
H.Smith  run out              18
Ishan              b Ahmed     0
Mann               b Ahmed     0
Xavier   run out               3
Fouser   not out               4
Extras (b 4, lb 3, w 2, nb 1) 10

Asad Mushtaq     8-1-30-1
Talal Ali        8-0-52-2
Salim Mithani    8-0-32-1
Kemet Barrington 6-0-33-0
Ryan La Croix    3-0-27-0
Jakeria Ahmed    6-0-50-4
Mo Junaid        1-0-6-0

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