Baldock Town fails to stop Raz’s Ricky 2nd XI juggernaut
by Paul Balckwell
The latest visitors to Park Road to try and stop Raz’s Ricky 2nd XI juggernaut was Baldock Town. A team with very little form and only one win all season – unfortunately at the expense of Rickmansworth over at Baldock. Was that an unexplained blip or did this Baldock team have something special in reserve. We had also lost to them last year.
Raz won the toss and despite the oppressive heat he chose to bat second and chase whatever was scored. The opening bats started well, though were lucky that balls popped in the air were not aimed at fielders. 48 was on the board in no time before Kammy came on and got a nice lbw to the skipper. Next to go was the no3 to the safest pair of hands in the club right now – Raz himself. Then in a controversial moment the left handed opener who had scored 53 already, was seemingly stumped, but seemed determined not to walk. The square leg umpire initially nodded but then kept his finger in his pocket. Eventually the game recontinued and, as often happens when a batsman gets away with a close one, he played an uncharacteristically big drive on the up and the ball nested in Ali Asghar’s hands at deep mid-on. 78/1 had become 78/3 and now it became the Adeel Khan show. Anything he pitched on the wicket was unplayable as every trick turned to gold. He bowled one player round his legs, and beat the bat on innumerable occasions. The Baldock team were just scoring off anything loose, but getting tied up in knots by the turning ball. Mind you, how many times has it happened to Ricky as well, where we tumble out to a spinner.
Adeel finished with career best figures of 6-23, Kamran took 3 wickets and Faizen the other meaning ALL 10 WICKETS fell to spin. This long hot dry summer is proving a god-send to the tweakers and flippers.
154 was the target. In days gone by, a potential banana-skin, but this is a 2nd XI brimming with confidence and a backbone of steel. Indeed it was something of a surprise when Paul got a ball which jumped off a length and took his edge to carry to first slip. But 72 was already on the board and when Sohail was out for another half-century (54) and Ali Asghar for 12, Ricky were still able to cruise home with Waqas crashing 41 (36 in boundaries) to win the game. Indeed 75% of Ricky’s runs came in boundaries, such is the confidence of this team.
After the game, Ricky were delighted to learn that Hatch End had bowled out Datchworth for just 100 and won, meaning that the runaway leaders, with 8 wins on the bounce earlier, were no longer top and just 3 points above RCC. With Radlett also winning, the title-chase is getting really hot now.