London Fields (262-2) beat Bloomsbury Royals (170 all out) by 92 runs
by Ben Sanders
London Fields batted first on a wonderful day to commence the 2013 cricket season. The sun was out and there was a healthy smattering of sun-seekers lounging in the park to watch Ben Sanders and Adam Graham (AG – making his full LFCC debut) stride out to open the innings.
A rather sedentary start to proceedings was brought to an end in the eighth over when Ben, rather unfortunately, was bowled by an ankle biter and Arthur Smart strode to the crease. From here on the run rate accelerated as 'Smarticus' took a fancy to the Royals' bowling and regularly deposited the ball beyond the boundary. AG, with a slightly more finessed approach, was also accumulating runs and by the time halfway drinks arrived London Fields were set fair at 122 for 1.
Some rather awry Royals bowling bolstered the score via the extras column but the defining knock of the innings was Arthur's. Backed up by AG, who retired after a confident and encouraging 61, Arthur - now having found his range and sharpened his focus - demoralised the bowlers with his driving and biffing. The couple of chances he offered were not taken and, with the support of a solid Tim Stacey, Arthur brought his hundred up with consecutive sixes. A run-scampering Jack O'Connor replaced the centurion (who'd amassed 105 from 117 balls including 7 maximums) and saw London Fields' innings through to the close on 262 for 2.
The Royals innings started brightly with some crisp driving and lofted drives characterising their reply. The openers were up with the run rate and looked set to lay a decent platform to push on and surmount LFCC's total until the ball was thrown to Rob Harries. With encouraging shouts, from the three merry partisans on the sidelines ringing in his ears, Harries removed one opener and the Royals number three in his first over: a double wicket maiden! To the delight of the crowd, 'Bomber' Harries' beguiling pace and variation proved too much.
Chris Skinner with his 'balls-to-the-floor' effort ball removed the remaining dangerous opener and then O'Connor secured Skinner's second wicket by taking a stunning catch as he made good ground and managed to get a hand to the ball as it continued its journey over his shoulder and to the boundary. By now the Royals' pursuit of the total was faltering and the Fielders grew in confidence.
Steve Fernbank's every bowling change brought more wickets tumbling, including another notable catch, this time by Richard Phillips at square leg off Sanders' slower ball. Phillips initially palmed the ball up off one hand before catching the rebound. The return of the opening bowlers in the form of Ryan Dunn and Phillips saw them take a wicket a piece and end the Royals innings at 170, securing a comfortable victory for LFCC.
A good all round performance and a delight to finally get the season under way with a win under the belt. Let's hope the sun stays out and the rain stays away.London Fields Batting
262 for 2 in 40.0
|Adam Graham||—||Not Out||Unknown||61|
|Arthur Smart||—||Not Out||Unknown||105|
|Tim Stacey||—||Not Out||Unknown||27|
|Jack O'Connor||—||Run Out||Unknown||12|
|Chris Skinner||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Rob Harries||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Steve Fernbank||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Dave Krohn||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Richard Phillips||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Ryan Dunn||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
170 for 10 in 30.0London Fields Bowling