We won the toss and elected to bat and even generously offered the 9 men of Sydenham one of our eleven to even things up. Mitch our new Overseas player kindly volunteered. Opening partnership of Keys and West picked up where they left off last season on the road of Aston Rowants wicket, racing to 66 in 9 overs helped by some wild bowling. Before West was bowled for 14 and soon after also Keys for 44 and our innings then fell into a more sedate pace, crawling to 108 for 5 in the 25th over. At which point we were worried we might not make it to 130. But to the crease strode the colossus that is JVF. Who well supported by Stan the man and Kerr Senior plundered 60 from the last ten overs including 35no for himself to give us a competitive total.
There then followed the most impressive cricket tea known to man.
Suitably refreshed (barely able to move) we returned to the field and the opening attack of Walker and JVF found the going difficult. The very fast outfield and 10 man fielding side made it difficult to stem the flow. A difficult chance was put down by Keys diving forwards and then the Sydenham opener flicked JVF off his legs straight to Stan (the man) at square leg who clung on low down to give us some hope. To our horror though we saw Mitch (turncoat) Dewar making his way to the middle. With great timing and long levers we suddenly found ourselves alternating fetching the ball from remote boundaries and tidying up singles and it began to look ominous. A change was called for and the early introduction of Gokani, followed soon after by Stan (the man) Angol slowed things a bit. And then miracle of miracle’s Mitch feathered and edge to Kerr Senior standing up and after much hesitation from umpires he walked for a quickly and classily plundered 35. Gradually it sunk in to the stunned field Ct Kerr, Bowled Angol and an end was open. The remaining Sydenham opener continued to thrive (eventually out for 43) whilst their remaining batsmen struggled with the spin twins of Gokani and Angol. Raj joining in with the next two bowled and a catch by Keys before Angol ripped (yes that is right RIPPED) through the tail with bowled, contentious stumped and caught all featuring. Special note for the spin twins combo of Ct Gokani bowled Angol which gave Stan (the man) his fivefr… Batsman flicked it strongly backwards of square leg where Gokani took off like a cat and caught it brilliantly two handed off the ground, above his head and behind him (Kerr said it was reminiscent of Strauss). An over of Leg spin from Cox Junior and then returning Walker picked up the last man. Sydenham all out for 122 in the 24th over.
We enjoyed Stans jug of beer whilst listening to him cackling “5 for 30” on repeat. And Allan made a formal transfer approach to Sydenham for their tea lady. All in all a successful and pleasant days cricket and hoping the rest of the season pans out in similar fashion.
MOTM – Stan (the man) Angol.