Ricky post first league win
Teamwork pays dividends
It was a very fine, largely dry and clear, albeit, slightly, overcast day at Park Road for Rickmansworth 1st Eleven’s first home league of the 2017 season game against Redbourn. The Ricky boys seemed to be fired up, determined and uncharacteristically focused, in trying to get back to winning ways, following, last week’s disappointing loss to Cockfosters. The skipper seemingly was relaxed having won the toss and chosen to bat on what seemed to be a very good, hard and light green wicket. It was clear from the outset that the skipper had made the right call to bat first on a wicket which clearly looked as a fine batting track.
Outstepped, the regular Ricky opening pair of Maz Shah and Sohail Bashir (or as they are more colloquially known as, Greenidge (Bashir) and Haynes (Shah). The Redbourn opening bowling attack consisted of pace, bounce and movement. Whilst the opening overs from the Redbourn openers were lively with the ball moving in the air and lifting of the hard track, Shah and Bashir, quickly got into their batting stride having seen off the early movement and shine of the ball. In particular, Maz quickly took the lead and in his customary fashion, smashed the openers all over the ground, in classic cricket shots. Wherever the Redbourn openers put the ball, it was dispatched with eloquent ease. Bashir, played his classic opening role of anchoring his position, whilst Shah took the lead in scoring the opening runs. After 10 overs Ricky were on 44 with no fallen wickets, and Shah had scored the vast majority of the runs. In the 11th over, Maz was very unluckily dismissed, having smashed a wideish delivery straight to 2nd slip who took a brilliant catch to dismiss him, just as he looked as if he was going to go on and get a very big score. Shah’s departure, brought the classy Taz Shehabi to the crease. He settled in quickly and carted the ball all over the park with charismatic class and elegance, as only a left-hander can, taking the score to 88 for 1 off 17 overs. Bashir continued to provide support at the other end but was then dismissed for 19 runs, having been bowled, followed shortly after by Shehabi who was well caught. Ricky then had a middle and late order collapse, which is as old as the ‘Lord Mayors’ show, going from 88 for 1 to 117 for 5 off 28 overs. Raz (0 – duck), Tahir (11, given out caught behind to a ball that didnt seem to touch anything), and Jez Riddlestone (a rather sumptuous 20). Majid Khan then came to the crease and hit a quick fire 25, with some classy long range shots, helping Ricky finish on 183 all out after 43 overs. Once again Ricky had failed to bat the full 50 which would have probably seen them well over the 200 mark. It's a lesson that must be learned for future games.
At Tea, the Ricky boys initially felt that the total was a bit on the low side given the start we had and, also, given the fantastic batting track that was available. Nevertheless an inspiring team talk by the Skipper after tea rejuvenated the Ricky boys and we knew if we bowled well and got early wickets we were in with a real chance.
Who better to open the bowling than Maj Khan and Amit Pau, who did so with real discipline, pace, movement and generally good lines. Tight bowling, good fielding and early drying up of the runs, lead to early breakthroughs with Pau taking the openers followed by three extraordinary comical run outs, due to the pressure of the bowling from M Khan and A Pau. Young Tahir bowled two spells of very fine pace bowling, with real pace and movement. The lad has far to go. Wickets kept on falling for Redbourn at regular intervals and the Ricky total never looked a realistic target for Redbourn. Redbourn’s only meaningful batsman was Patel who scored 29 with no less than 8 remaining Redbourn batsmen scoring a grand aggregate total of only 32 runs. Extras assisted the score and again Ricky have to try and cut out the wides as gifting 25 or so each innings will not help the cause. Shah took the final Redbourn wicket, with Redbourn being bowled out for 137 runs off 43.3 overs, and thereby giving Ricky their first league win by 46 runs.
Smiles all round Park Road after the match, as some of the boys tucked into John Smith’s and others, into Lamb Bhunas and Jelfarazee’s at Taste of Lahore.