Ricky 2nd bounce back with comfortable away win Stevenage 184/10 RCC 185/4
Akshay shines on debut
It's always a pleasure to arrive at Stevenage and be greeted by the large clubhouse and one of the flattest outfields in the league. And then you head off past the childrens play area and into the local park for the game itself. Standing in the lee of the Stevenage Leisure Pool and the local Lidl it's often the local youths who cause more trouble than the opposition and so it proved as Ricky started with a sharp run out of skipper Welch after just 3 overs. Young Akshay doing a tidy job of whipping off the bails with both batsmen stranded at the same end.
Hopcroft and Derrick then put on 67 for the 2nd wicket, however not in quick time and though 220 still looked on the cards with such a solid base, it was a relief when Derrick stepped across a straight ball from Kammy and played all round it for a plumb LBW. Though the remaining batsmen put up a little fight, it now became the Mr Bobby show as his in-swinging yorkers did for no's 2,4 and 5. When Akshay returned to bowl out Barton for 1, Stevenage had collapsed to 128/6 and Ricky's tails were up. In the intervening overs Brett had bowled tightly as ever, giving little away and Raz also delivered 6 overs for just 2.5 runs an over. Stevenage had played themselves into a fix by batting slowly, whilst Ricky had fielded well and the field positions were perfect as ball after ball went straight to the fielder. Despite a flurry of shots from the tail-enders, Bobby and Akshay bowled straight and were rewarded with more wickets each. A few more bowled, a catch by Paul at gully and then a final wicket, Bobby's fifth, with a good outfield catch by young Akshay. 3 wickets for the 20 year old and a catch was good reward on debut.
Just like last week, Ricky needed a solid base to relieve any pressure and this was comfortably achieved with Paul (17) and Kasser putting on 60 for the first wicket before Paul was bowled by a decent in-cutter. Bobster joined skipper Kasser at the crease and Kasser continued to play a superb array of shots before clipping one onto his pads that flew to first slip. However his 70 was a sublime innings and with the score already on 136, for just 2 wickets, the game was already in the bag. Stevenage resorted to changing the bowling incessantly and also giving the batsmen a torrent of what was termed 'banter'. Bobby (44) chipped a ball to mid-off just as it looked like he would post another half-century but Raz played with calm authority for 23 not out to hold an end. Despite Kammy departing for 11 off just 5 balls, Matt Atkins finished with 6 runs to close the game off with plenty of overs to spare.
So disappointed were Stevenage that they even forgot to phone in the result so their 10 points became only 5. Whilst Rickmansworth's 30 puts us nicely in 3rd place at the half-way point of the season. Next week it's Potters Bar and hopefully some revenge for the 2 run loss we suffered in Game 1.
Man of the Match - could easily have been Kasser for his 70, or Bobby for 5-fer and 44, however the victory was indeed won in the bowling and fielding and therefore for making such a difference in both departments it has to go to Akshay Padki. The young man certainly strengthens this team even further in the push for a top 4 finish.