London Fields (139-9) lost to Stoke Newington CC (140-7) by 3 wickets
by Arthur 'Smarticus' Smart
Much like the contributions of London Fields top five’s contribution to the scorecard this report will be short and sweet, though actually really rather bitter.
The pitch; grassy and well rolled yet still moist under a grey sky, encouraged Stoke Newington's captain to bowl first. Though admitting he would have bowled had his tossing been more productive, captain Miller sent out McCrindle and Graham with a butch looking batting order to follow.
Without too expansive an autopsy, it is fair to say that Stoke Newington's two opening bowlers, the wily swinger and the sharp young tyro, took this strong looking top order apart inside a five over spell of high quality bowling. At 6/5 with McCrindle, Graham, Smart, Fernbank and Utz all describing their particular downfalls to the counseling ears of the watching injured "fast" (apostrophes editor's own - ed) "bowler" Paul Turley, Fields were staring down the barrel of a 3 o'clock pint and a alarmingly binary scorecard.
Next into the shooting gallery was the ever-classy Stephen Donelan and captain Miller. Finally a partnership of more then four balls had begun. Nuggety defence and flashes of brilliant cutting and driving saw these two stalwarts set up a passably respectable total. Donelan fell for an excellent 62 and Miller a gutsy 26. This added to some lusty hitting and scampering from Krohn and Barath and an enjoyable last ball wallop from debutant Goodwin, gave Fields a total of 139/9, a way below par effort but a significant recovery from the calamitous start and at least half a sniff of a chance with Stoke Newington having to chase this low total on a wearing pitch and against an alarmingly abnormal shaped ball.
Utz and Sanders opened up, their six overs each giving London Fields the tight start required. Utz’s consistent lengths and Sanders late movement caused problems for the opposition batsmen, with a fine catch from Goodwin accounting for the dangerous Ali. Both bowlers regularly beat the bat and deserved much greater rewards than the two wickets they shared.
Change bowlers Barath and Krohn, though occasionally erring, continued to maintain a disciplined spell of bowling in the lead up to drinks. Supported by the ever-exemplary ground fielding of Fernbank, brave keeping of Graham, and 'cage rules' skills of Krohn and Utz, the game was still very much alive at drinks.
Solid partnerships shared between Stoke Newington's Ali (50), Winston (16) and Abdul (20) began to swing the game their way with a number of clean strikes. Some difficult but catchable chances were shelled which on another day would have memorably stuck. Wickets for the bustling Barath, Krohn and two in two balls for the excellent Goodwin kept Fields in the hunt. Fernbank bowled well but without luck, the distinct low light of his spell being a deplorable decision to not award a clear lbw. An excellent piece of fielding saw the run out of Ali which gave a glimmer of hope but as the scoreboard clicked closer to Fields total the ball found the gaps and Stoke Newington crossed the line, finishing seven down.
So it ended. With cans, fags and disappointment. Huddled on the windy boundary the team consoled themselves by reflecting on how well the bowlers bowled and how well we had protected the low total.
Onwards and Upwards.London Fields Batting
139 for 9 in 36.0
|Dave Miller||—||Caught & Bowled||Abul||27|
|Dave Krohn||—||Not Out||Unknown||12|
|Tom Goodwin||—||Not Out||Unknown||5|
140 for 7 in 32.0London Fields Bowling