Ricky 2nd lose to Weston but retain top spot
By Paul Blackwell
The wheels came off, but we are still on the road
Rickmansworth's batting collapsed like an Old Owens sightscreen on Saturday, however some dogged resistance from the middle order and tail enabled Ricky to score enough points to stay top of the table.
Unfortunately it was a calamity of errors that cost Ricky the game, starting with dropping their opening batsman, Henry, twice in the first over. He was also dropped a handful of other times - none of them easy catches incidentally - that enabled him to post the inevitable century. He and his Dad put on over 140 for the first wicket as his Dad also survived lobbing the ball up in the air, a dropped catch or two and a missed stumping. It wasnt Ricky's day.
The spinners exerted some control, and once wickets started to fall, the weakness of the Weston batting was exposed. Indeed from 150/1 after 25 overs, Weston would have been disappointed to only post 246 on a decent track and postage stamp ground.
In reply, father and son opened the batting, and got off to a brisk start at 4.5 an over before Paul chopped onto his own stumps. Bobby then showed great caution before running himself out trying for a second run, when the ball held up in the long grass. With Asghar and Sohail both departing cheaply, along with Waheed, Ricky were floundering at 6 down, Harvey having gone to a smart caught and bowled by Henry (who not only opens the batting but also the bowling!).
With only Usman Rai and Harvey reaching double figures in the top 8, this was a bad day at the office for Rickmansworth, who had previously showed great resolve when chasing down decent totals. Azhar Shah showed a welcome return to form hitting 36 whilst Usman went to his 2nd successive 50. Whilst perhaps the strangest quirk of the day was that when Nasser came to join his dad at the middle for the last ball, Ricky had faced the first ball with a father and son at the wicket, and then faced the last ball with a different father and son at the wicket. Surely this must be some kind of first, certainly for Ricky and possibly in local Cricket.
Weston played very well in conditions they know well. Ricky were outplayed in all but a few areas and we need to regroup if we are to stay top of the table as we approach the halfway stage of the season.