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August 22, 2021 Friendly vs Ilford Catholics Won by 5 wickets

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They beat Ilford Catholics
Everyone a winner: (L-R) Ashan Faraz, Mo Junaid, Mohammed Rashid, Asad Saleemi, Talal Ali, Steve Hamilton, Jakeria Ahmed, Dhammika Perera, Umair Shahzad, Asad Mushtaq, Sam Mole



Played at Barkingside Recreation Ground
Report by Steve Hamilton

This fixture against Ilford Catholics was made at short notice and proved to be our most competitive match in recent encounters.

The conditions were grey and cloudy with the odd disruption from rain. It was slightly humid after the downpours with temperatures around 20c. But it was probably the most satisfactory wicket of late, as it had a fair amount of bounce at both ends, even after the previous dayís rain.

I had the luxury of putting my feet up and observing from the clubhouse as I felt rather fragile from the night before. "I wonder what caused that?"

Ilford Catholics elected to bat and we took control immediately. Umair Shahzad bowled a flawless opening spell, full of unplayable deliveries and swinging it round corners at times. Neither opener could get close to playing any positive strokes. The ball beat the bat numerous times and he only conceded five runs off four overs including two maidens.

Ashan Faraz supported him from the other end. Playing only his second game for Old Fallopians, he showed his variety with plenty self-control. He also delivered the ball on a sixpence and was soon rewarded with the wicket of opening batsman Sudhadker, clean bowled for nine. He finished with immaculate figures of 6-3-16-1

Debutant Saad Ahmed was a revelation and delivered promptly. He removed Vasanth for a duck in his first over. Later on he dismissed Arun for 48, caught at cover by the "ever vocal" Mohammed Rashid. Saad finished with impressive figures of 6-0-32-2

At the halfway stage of their innings Ilford Catholics had only reached 66 for 3 off 20 overs and they needed to up the ante! This was a scoring rate of just 3.3 per over.

But they did precisely that and stepped on the gas. They scored 143 off the next 20 overs and took their total to 209 for 9 off 40 overs.

Mohammed Rashid bowled excellently trapping Suresh lbw for 18, plumb in front of his wicket.

Dhammika Perera is now a familiar face around these parts and didn't disappoint as he clean bowled Jagan for 11 with a full-ball yorker. Well that's what I saw from 100 yards away, others said it was a full toss. Nevertheless, the batsman was out. Dhammika finished with tidy figures of 5-0-18-1.

There was superb fielding all round, with two run-out assists for Jakeria Ahmed and Rashid and some great diving stops by Asad Saleemi. But the most magical moment of the day was Umair's one-handed catch off his own bowling. The ball was smashed violently back at him at head height and he casually stuck out his hand and made an extremely difficult catch look simple!

Now at the break we once again had the luxury of some homemade delicious Pakistani cuisine! A massive pot of chicken biryani was kindly brought in by Mohammed Rashid as we all helped ourselves. The room became silent for a while as we all got stuck in! And to follow was another delightful treat, a mouth-watering milk cake kindly brought in by Adnan Walayat. After that lavish spread, fit for kings, we were ready to chase down that competitive total of 209.

After just three overs DISASTER STRUCK! The rain came down and caused a 30-minute delay as the covers came on and it began to look doubtful that play would continue.

But after that temporary set back and plenty of sawdust, we were ready for the challenge. Our openers Jakeria and Asad Mushtaq soon took control and we raced to 54 off just eight overs. Jakeria started off in ferocious fashion including two sixes and four fours, before being trapped lbw for 41. The impact from the ball caused a mighty swelling just above his kneecap, not a pretty sight for those who saw it!

Asad has now scored 300 runs so far this season and was looking in full control, scoring freely in his usual graceful manner, with his trademark elegant drives. I assumed it might be his day for a big score. Unfortunately, a spectacular catch at long on, taken low near the ground by Arun, forced his departure for 27.

Asad Saleemi was pushed up the order, but never really settled. After a couple of edges that went past the slips, he was clean bowled for 3 by Suresh.

Next in was the free flowing yet unpredictable Umair. He got off to rapid start and reached 18 in just a couple overs including three consecutive fours off Suresh. Sadly, after that brief excitement he departed after a fine nick went straight into the keeperís hands.

Now we needed to show real gumption as we were in a mini crisis. We had gone from 54 for 0 off 8 overs to 84 for 4 off 18 overs. Some 126 was needed off the remaining 22 overs, a rate of 5.7 per over for victory.

Alex Ferguson called it "squeaky bum time". Now it was moment to stand up and show what was required in these pressure situations. We needed batsman with big cajones who thrive on these challenging tasks!

Well never fear, Junaid and Sam are here! The previous time this pair batted together they knocked up a 118-run partnership against South Loughton. Could that happen again?

Now what can I say, which has not already been said before? Once again Mo Junaid delivered another match winning performance, scoring 77, including two sixes and eight fours, as well as running superbly between the wickets making ones into twos!

Sam Mole didn't show any signs of rustiness after a two-month absence. He batted confidently, showing class, and using his ruthless cricket brain at every opportunity. Sam remained unbeaten on 39, including four fours to his average to 49.

These two definitely had a telepathic understanding and their contribution of 117 for the 5th wicket won us the game with 4.2 overs to spare!

Ilford Catholics were a warm friendly bunch who are competitive and play the game in the right spirit. We will definitely be coming back as our invitation has already been accepted for next season!

Covers go on
Rain stops play: The covers go on at the start of the Old Fallopians' innings              Photo: Steve Hamilton


Ilford Catholics 209-9 (40 overs)
Sudhadker            b Faraz     9
Vasanth   ct J Ahmed b S Ahmed   0
Arun      ct Rashid  b S Ahmed  48
Regesh    run out               14
Jagan                b Perera   11
Suresh    lbw        b Rashid   18
Manoj     run out               11
Soundar              b Ali      29
Sakhthi   not out               40
Mathan    ct and     b Shahzad   1
Shiva     not out                4
Extras (b 6, lb 1, w 14, nb 3)  24
Total                          209

Umair Shahzad   6-1-24-1
Ashan Faraz     6-3-16-1
Saad Ahmed      6-0-32-2
Talal Ali       6-0-35-1
Dhammika Perera 5-0-18-1
Asad Saleemi    5-0-37-0
Mohammed Rashid 3-1-12-1
Sam Mole        3-0-25-0

Old Fallopians 210-5 (35.4 overs)
Jakeria Ahmed lbw        b Sakhthi 41
Asad Mushtaq  ct Arun    b Suresh  27
Asad Saleemi             b Suresh   3
Umair Shahzad ct Vasanth b Suresh  18
Mo Junaid                b Sakhthi 77
Sam Mole      not out              39
Talal Ali     not out               3
Extras(b 5, w 1, nb 3)              9
Total                             210

Sakhthi   8-1-19-2
Suresh    7-0-45-3
Arun      6-0-35-0
Mathan    7-0-44-0
Shiva     5-0-40-0
Sudhadker 2.4-0-29-0

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