RCC 2nds win 4th in a row with win over Hatch End
By Paul Blackwell
HECC 160/8 RCC 164/8
With the game brought forward to enable the football to be viewed, Ricky turned up at Hatch End hoping for 2 victories. Unfortunately Raz lost the toss, for about the millionth time this season, and Ricky were put in the field on a scorching hot day under the midday sun.
Brett and Taqadas opened the bowling and both were a little wayward before Taqadas bowled a beauty to dismiss Richardson bowled for 2. For the next few overs, Ricky appealed a lot but nothing seemed to be going our way until Brett got a stright one on middle stump that kipper Williams missed and it was given out LBW. Much to Andy’s dismay. Davies and Singh rebuilt before Faizen produced a good ball that most players believed was edged to the keeper. But not in the opinion of the umpires, however 2 balls later he popped the ball back to the bowler and all was forgotten
Grace was run out by Brett Harvey after a mix up in calling and the next batsman was out for a duck to a sprawling catch by Faizen. It was great to have him back. He then bowled Sherman and Hatch End were 60/6. Possibly an early finish was on the cards. However Howard and Amit built the innings again beautifully with Davies going arial, but getting away with it. Around the 40th over, Amit dropped the ball at his feet and decided to run. However he had forgotten that Blackwell was standing up to the stumps and an easy run out was taken. The remaining batsmen enabled Hatch End to post 160 which was possibly about 40 runs short we all felt. But we still had to bat.
All the bowlers had good figures, but Faizen with 2-14 off 9 overs, including 6 maidens, showed what a good spinner he is becoming.
The Ricky reply didnt start well, with Azhar getting caught out for a duck and then on 43, Blackwell skied an attempted leg side shot that was well caught on the boundary. Bobby and Raz then steadied the ship and with just 55 needed to win, Raz got a snorter which cut in and leapt up to hit his gloves and cannon back to the stumps. The ball was starting to deviate and play to different lengths which made it harder to score runs. Ali Asghar was bowled for 6, getting a lot of verbal abuse along the way, and then Ronesh was out in the same way as Raz to a ball that leapt off a length. And when Bobby was caught at point for 46, the Hatch End celebrations were matched only by those of Kane and co on the TV earlier. 33 needed and only 4 wickets left, including 2 youngsters.
Waheed was just the man for the job we hoped and after young Faraz (15) had hit a boundary and then got out, it was Waheed’s cool head and good running with Faizen that kept the board ticking along nicely. After all, we only needed 4 an over. We just must not lose wickets. Hatch End brought on their quick medium bowlers which Faize blocked nicely whilst Waheed hit boundaries to anything loose. Then with 4 overs to go Waheed launched Sherman for a massive straight six, a boundary four and Ricky needed 1 run to win. But then, he tried to repeat the 6 and instead hit it straight to mid off. Was there another twist in the tale ?
Brett carefully negotiated the next few balls and then with Faizen on strike in the next over he waited patiently for one he liked and then crashed it for 4 through mid on. The game was won.
Great work by the team again, though a little less comfortable than last week. However, we completed the double over a team we usually find hard to beat, and registered our 4th win in a row, all chasing, which puts us firmly in 3rd place, waiting for St Margaretsbury or Datchworth to slip up. With 2nd playing 4th this coming week, it may be possible for Ricky to go 2nd with a win. So good luck to the boys.