London Fields beat Navestock CC
by Alec McCrindle
Skipper James called ahead. By some fine chance storm Hannah, which had been battering the UK with 82mph winds, had not dumped any rain on Navestock's ground. Game on. After a merry train journey, we arrived to discover her winds still strong and chilly.
James won a beautiful toss and decided to bat, while the rest of us put as many layers on as we could find.
Given the ridiculously cold and won’t conditions, some of us started tea early, watching from inside with warm mugs as Luke and Paul went out to open the batting.
Facing a pitch with some steep, slow and yet inconsistent bounce, they got to work against the oppo opening bowlers - young McCarthy bowling accurately on a great length and R. Scott with decent out-swing.
PA played to his strengths, combining watchful blocking with the occasional gentle punch through cover, balls leaving his bat at a very ungentle speed.
Lucas, employing the type of textbook front-foot defence not seen in LFCC colours for some time, got to 20 with a few classical cuts and drives before getting bowled trying to accelerate.
The author joined Paul just as their 15-year-old left-armer Castro came on to bowl a series of quick wides, beamers and the occasional deadly yorker.
Paul dealt with him and first change spinner T. Patel sensibly. A few lovely drives, late flicks and the odd hoick later, and PA had his fifty. Then he unselfishly got out to give someone else a turn.
And boy, what a great treat Paul organised for us. Vijay came to the crease apparently still in form from his 80 the week before. If he wasn’t coming down the track to play powerful lofted shots, he was leaning into sumptuous drives or deftly placing touches away from now somewhat chilled fielders.
Spinner gradually hit his lengths, and from the other end, replacement seamer Gates got some decent bounce. VJ and I kept the score ticking over. After I got my 50, I was yorked by the returning left-armer.
Vidal joined for a few lusty blows including one huge 6, followed by Dhawal, who, after waiting patiently for ages on the side, came in and timed one beautifully to get caught on the fence. Skipper James joined the party and added a few more boundaries. At the other end, VJ was in a fine groove. He hit three 6’s in a row off returning opening bowler McCarthy, and then paddled one delightfully for 4 when a yorker appeared.
James got out in the covers, Troy soon followed. George and VJ closed it off, and we got to an excellent total of 278.
A tasty and welcome tea later and it was our turn to brave the arctic blast in the field.
Hugh started our bowing effort off, relying on accuracy with a ball that didn’t want to swing. Ty opened on the other end, unveiling a few fancy variations that soon accounted for opener Bunce.
No. 3 B. Patel came in looking to score. With fast hands and a big bat, he bagged a 4 and 6 in quick succession. Great lengths from both our openers soon bogged him down until he was bowled by Ty with a beaut (after being dropped off Hugh). Ty bowled the no. 4 batsman before Troy and Dhawal came on to keep the strangulation up.
Dhawal, bowling big spinning off breaks and mixing his pace well, nipped out a couple in his first two overs - one bowled, one lbw. From the other end, Troy was Troy, and sent down 6 impeccable cross seam overs for 3 runs (along with three maidens).
Facing an early shower at 50 odd for 5, NCC opener K. Scott decided to drop anchor. Together with no. 6 McCarthy they steadfastly faced out over after over.
The game gradually lost momentum. George came on to bowl his looping leggies and Lucas replaced Troy. George’s smart, tempting variations and Lucas’ fast in-swingers failed to find a wicket at first - but after several accurate overs, a breakthrough! Lucas bowled McCarthy through the gate. Vidal replaced Lucas to bowl some pacy accurate seamers himself. George persisted from the other end and finally took a well-earned wicket.
NCC opener K. Scott was left on 49* as the overs came to an end before we retreated to the clubhouse for a few post-match drinks. A win for LFCC in a game played in the great spirits we’ve come to know from our gracious hosts in Navestock. Extra shout out to Jason for umpiring all 80 overs, a cracking effort in the cold!London Fields Batting
277 for 7 in 40.0
|Paul Alexander||—||Bowled||T Patel||58|
|Vijay Shah||—||Not Out||Unknown||81|
|George Sargent||—||Not Out||Unknown||1|
|Ty Graham||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
|Hugh McNaughton||—||Did Not Bat||Unknown||0|
85 for 7 in 40.0London Fields Bowling