Ricky 4's lose to Hatch End 2s
by Neil Raithatha
Captain Ken Brown had some tough decisions with 15 players available, he choose a strong xi including Trigger Mcgill! Trigger claimed the 4s were privileged to have him! On the morning of the game, Trigger was moved to the 3s and young Harvey (Paul Blackwell) came in, a better bowler and arguably a better batsman! Having started with 15, Ronak B Patel then decided to pull out so we were down to 10.
On a well cut top pitch (best this year, thanks to everyone for their efforts!), Ricky 4s wanted to win the toss and bat. We lost the toss and surprisingly Hatch End 2s decided to bowl first. Still with 10, Ronak was called just to bat. The batting order was slightly changed with Rushil Sharma continuing to open, with Hanuman who dropped down from the 3s. The opening partnership failed with Hanuman playing a cross batted shot given plum LBW. Prasanth Subramanian having chosen not to open, came in early. His eye was in with a couple of lusty 4s. At the other end Rushil was playing his natural game defending the good bowls and hitting the bad. He was lucky, dropped at slips, but then eventually fell bowled for 11. Ronak came in to bat, first ball bang 4 runs.
Ronak and Prasanth were in true IPL form, hitting some lusty blows. A quick fire partnership of 40 of 6 overs all in boundaries. Ronak had a clear message to Prasanth - no running singles! When Prasanth did take a cheeky single, Ronak strolling had to dive in and was just safe, still recovering from that single next ball Ronak was bowled.
In came young Harvey Paul Blackwell, with the senior batting on the other pitch. Prasanth, in super form went onto her 50 before being caught. A great innings to watch. At drinks 97-4. Harvey and Neil we’re in. A fast scoring rate, but key batsmen out. The intention was to not lose any wickets for a period and consolidate. As is the case after drinks and in true Ricky style this didn't happen. Harvey went immediately after drinks, smacking the ball straight to the bowler who took a great catch. In came Ketan for his second game at Ricky, which didn’t last long going LBW for a duck. 102-6. Neil was still scoring from the other end but wickets still kept falling, Rory who was looking good played a cross batted shot and was bowled for 13. In similar fashion, Scott Jackson who’d had a heavy night out with the ladies attempted a heave onto the leg side and was bowled for 7.
Captain Ken and Neil R who had seen wickets fall all around him decided with 9 overs to go and one wicket in hand we’d bat the overs through and aim for 170+. With Neil going well, spectacularly he was given out LBW by Umpire Rushil who had a moment of Richard Trigger Mcgill Trigger finger. Without assessing the situation he gave a LBW decision, when the ball had hit the bat first. Only the bowler appealed, the opposition captain at one point was considering calling the batsmen back. Captain Ken, did ask Rushil if he'd considered hearing aids. Ricky 4s ended up 156 all out, with 4 over to spare. The score felt about 20 short, and once again Ricky 4s collapsed losing the last 6 wickets for 58 runs.
Now down to the bowling, with 10 in the field, as Ronak prefer just to bat these days, it's always challenging. Captain Ken, was however fortunate with a lot of bowling options. He decided to open with ever reliable Hanuman and the new opening bowler Callum John Watson-humphreys. Both started well, Hanuman getting a few edges whilst young Callum flighting the ball, and really testing both openers. Eventually, the first wicket fell with Prasanth taking the catch of Hanuman's bowling. With the left handed Richardson playing well, Prasanth and young Harvey came on to bowl. Prasanth, top wicket taker for the 4s had a great day with the bat, but a surprisingly off day with the ball. Some no-balls and leg-side bowling helped Hatch End II tick the score board over. At the other end, Harvey bowled an outstanding spell of 7 overs, 3 maidens, 1 for 18. He was testing the batsman regularly with pace. Although, wickets weren't falling this helped keep the chasing run rate over 5. Ketan, in his second game for Ricky also bowled an excellent spell 8 over 1 maiden 3 for 17.
With 12 overs to go Hatch End had wickets in hand, but were requiring 5.2 an over. It was critical Ricky claimed some wickets fast. To change things up, Rushil, this year bowling spin, came on. In his first over, the batsmen chipped the ball to mid-on, where Prasanth unfortunately dropped a dolly (he won't forget that!). With the nerves kicking in, some poor fielding also took place. Still mixing things up, Callum bowled 1 over near the death, but the batsmen who was dropped by Prasanth hit some lusty blows eventually scoring 47 not out. Requiring 12 of the last six overs, and 7 wickets in hand, defeat was soon to come. Prasanth, did grab 1 wicket taking his tally to 12 wickets.
A dodgy LBW decision, a crucial drop catch, ten men in the field and some poor fielding cost Ricky. That's 2 defeats in a row, however the team morale is strong and no doubt they'll be back stronger!