After dicy week of inclement weather, we were not sure if we would get a game in but turned up in hope as we welcomed Mill Hill to Park Road. The last encounter was a good one as Mill Hill probably gave us our best challenge thus far….
Mill Hill Skipper won the toss and decided to bowl first which is a good thing as Maz Shah wanted to bat! The batting partnership of Taz Shehabi and Maz Shah were united again and hoping to get back to normal service at the top of the order. The wicket looked green and as usual there was inconsistent bounce…
Maz Shah decided to set the tone and hit the very first ball for a four! Which is normal service ? but we were starting to see gremlins in the wicket as a few got up and a few shot along the floor, Taz who was fast approaching 800 league runs looked in good form as he got a couple of four’s away but he was to be undone by one that kept really low and got through his defences! Out for 10 runs which is a shocker for a man averaging 60+
Maz and Shami then put in a decent partnership of 40 runs before shambo was caught in the slips to a decent ball that nipped away slightly, shami fast approaching 400 runs is an excellent return! Young gun Toqeer Hussain joined Maz at the crease fresh from his 86 last week and he looked in good touch smashing 4 fours on his way to a quick 25 on a really difficult wicket on another day that 25 could be worth 50+ unfortunately he was bowled by another carpet crawler! Another young super star joined Maz at the crease Tahir Hussain who at the tender age of 15 has shown great promise and he displayed this by smashing a six straight away! So much talent in this youngster, he helped the skipper put on another valuable 28 runs before getting caught for 14 valuable runs.
The score was reading 130-4 and with the skipper still batting he figured 170/180 would be enough on this wicket but it would require some hard graft. The last of the youngsters joined Maz at the crease, Raunak Khanduja who just got 10 A* in his GCSE’s!! fantastic effort, so the middle order for ricky was made up of a 17 year old, 15 year old and a 16 year old and this has been the story all season! Maz had just brought up his 50 (52) and the score on 144-5 before a mix up and being run out.
We then had a mini collapse with Raunak and Majid both out in quick time! We went from 144-5 to 144-7 and 170/180 looked a long way away…. Enter Naghman Latif aka Cookie who has shown great promise with the bat and is turning into a genuine all rounder who will for sure be making big scores in the higher divisions, he patiently put on 44 run partnership with Usman who also showed great grit and determination which sums up our team this season. Cookie finishing 22 not out and Rickmansworth 193-9 off their 50 overs..
Mill Hill started well in reply by getting to 40 off 10 overs, the skipper Maz Shah decided to change thing around as the usual gun pairing of Toqeer Hussain and Majid Khan not getting a wicket early on (very unusual) The wicket was still tough to bat on but the bowlers were not quite consistent enough with their lengths, young raunak replaced young toqeer and was moving the ball a lot! So much so that he bowled 5 wides in a row but the skipper was more excited about the movement rather than the extras and knew Raunak would get it right! He duly did by bowling the opener with one that nipped back and then getting a LBW with serious swing in the air, Raunak is only 16 but he is showing great skill and composure and for sure next season this youngster could be leader of the pace attack. Majid was bowling well at the other end and finish his 10 overs 0-20 which was what we needed from one end. The skipper sensed something again and took Raunak off and replaced him with Usman Rai who has been a great addition this season, very popular member of the team and always smiling. Uzi had simple orders from the skipper bowl within the stumps and hit the seam! He decided to drop it half way and got hammered for a four! He then decided that it was better to pitch it up and hit the seam, he cleaned bowled the batsman next ball with a beauty! Cookie came on at the other end. We have been very lucky to have cookie back with us and he has shown amazing control with his off-spin this season, he has also been miserly with runs and formed a great partnership with Zaf Shah. They are both the best spinners in this division and will be the best spinners in the next division too.
Mill Hill went from 52-2 to 87-7 in the space of 15 overs thanks to Uzi who bowled beautifully by taking 4-20 and cookie 3-5, the contest was well truly over before Tommy the gun steamed and bowled a vicious bouncer that the batsman could only fend into the keepers gloves!
Mill Hill were all out for 90 ! skipper Maz Shah said afterwards “ Today we showed that were are a team of grafters and when it gets tough we don’t bottle it, Uzi bowled with really good control and cookie was amazing with his flight and turn. We never got to use our gun bowler zaf shah! Which tells you the strength at our disposal, we have one more game to play and I will be asking the players to finish the season off in style and win the division”