Taz shines as Ricky draw in the sunshine against London Colney
another creditable performance against a top 3 team
Rickmansworth 1st XI made the trip over to London Colney on a sunny Saturday afternoon, ready for what promised to be another competitive and thrilling early season match. The hosts went into the match unbeaten and with impressive batting totals already posted in their league matches so far, but Rickmansworth were on a high following last week’s victory and also went into the game with confidence.
Ricky won the toss (a scarcely believable 9 from 9 so far for Phil as captain…) and elected to bat on what appeared to be a good wicket with a quick outfield, however aggressive and accurate opening bowling from Cole meant that it was a stuttering start for the visiting side. The early wickets of M. Shah (9), Nawas (1) and Bashir (3) had Rickmansworth’s innings on the ropes inside the first half hour or so at 27-4, however batsman number 3 Shehabi remained comfortable while others fell around him. Assisting his innings was the lower middle order, who each batted with patience and discipline to finally stop the wickets from falling, providing some much needed stability as well as chipping in with valuable runs along the way. Shehabi got to his 50 and just kept going, gradually building his innings (albeit with the help of a few drops!) and increasing his personal tally until he made it to the magical 100 mark – much to the relief and delight of his teammates. He stuck around for a short while after, before finally getting out on a very impressive 122. That wasn’t it, however, as the lower order continued to take the bowlers on by striking boundaries right until the end and bumping the total to 240 all out with only a couple of overs of the innings remaining. It somehow turned out to be a good score considering the start they had, and gave them something competitive for the bowlers to defend.
The opening bowlers Khan (2-42 from 15) and Funge (0-17 from 8) kept it very tight in the early overs, helped in no small part by the fielders who were all excellent too. After a dropped catch in the 2nd, the first wicket fell in the 3rd and Ricky were undoubtedly on top – keeping the score to just 19-1 from 10 overs and 42-2 from 20! The home side knew they needed to kick on if they were to have any chance of winning, and their number 3 Seymour took the responsibility on to start scoring some runs. He and Hadley (48) built a solid partnership to increase the run rate and swing the pendulum back in their direction however the introduction of the Shah spin partnership – Zaf (2-55 from 13) and Maz (2-32 from 7) – caused wickets to start falling and before the home side knew it their whole middle order had come and gone. Seymour remained, however, passing 50 and then 100 in what was admittedly a very good knock with few real chances given. The flurry of wickets saw London Colney’s game plan noticeably shift from going for the win to playing out the draw, meaning that with the exception of a late wicket which gave Rickmansworth a glimmer of hope, the final overs the game somewhat petered out a little. Seymour was there at the end on 106 not out, which in truth was most probably the difference between a Rickmansworth win and the draw which we ended up with.
A good result against a strong team in the end, made even more impressive given the recovery which was needed after a shaky start. It would have been very easy to have lost from the position Rickmansworth were in, however as remarkable as it may seem it was most probably they who came away from the match more disappointed not to have won.