We had fantastic weather at Rickmansworth and nice wicket prepared that looked like it had plenty of runs in it.
Ibby on winning the toss had no hesitation on batting first, the usual pair of Maz and Taz opened up. Both guys not quite replicating the fearsome opening of last season where they averaged 55 but it’s only week 3!
Maz shah was the first to go for zero playing the correct shot but execution was not quite right, this brought the inform Shami to the crease who has made batting look easy thus far! Taz has not quite find the imperious form of last year where he made nearly 800 runs and was easily the best bat in the division.
He struggled again and was out for 8 runs, he will come good as you can’t keep a man if his talent quite for long.
Shami survived a LBW shout which was given out but the umpire changed his mind due to an inside edge, credit must be given to the oppo for reversing the decision. Unfortunately Shami did not take advantage of this and was out next ball plumb LBW! The skipper walked in next and like his openers has not really kicked off the season so far and so it proved again as he was out for 4. We know how good Ibby is and will clearly come to the party very soon.
So we were reduced to 19-4 , which does not happen....well ever!
At the crease were to young guns Toqeer Hussain and new boy Usman Majeed, they both showed composure and most importantly fight, Usman played very cautious while Toqs went after the bowling and played powerful shots down the ground as well as pull shots. The highlight being a huge six by toqs which landed in the car park! Toqs finished on 88 magnificent runs and surely deserved a ton but ran out of energy due to fasting. Usman ended up on 28 runs in a partnership of 108 but what he did was crucial in rotating strike and letting Toqs go for the runs. We went from 126-4 to 163-8 due to some bad shots and terrible run outs. What we did see in between was magnificent batting from cookie who has impressed from last season. Rickmansworth have a powerful batting order that goes down to number 11. What cookie showed Radlett was that they need plan A to Z cause we don’t stop scoring! Cook finished on 50 and total of 204 which was decent but we know we could have made 300+
Radlett came out with real gusto and started scoring at 6 runs per over from the get go! They lost their opener early to Toqs plumb LBW but the opener looked dangerous as he was scoring freely. Majid Khan was his usual metronomic self but hit great lines and lengths, making the ball move both ways and taking the inside and outside edge, the highlight being bowling the number 4 as he looked to leave! Majid reduces radlett to 66-4 by taking first 3 wickets, radlett to their credit kept attacking while losing wickets. There was some poor bowling too as we lost our discipline but credit must go to radlett too. Our leading wicket taker cooker came on and got into his work taking wickets regular and further reducing Radlett to 163-8!! The game seemed to be done and dusted but Radlett tail wagged and took the score to 200-8 , cookie had bowled really well but it looked like the game was done with Radlett needing 3 runs to win.
Cook bowled, the boys still had fight in them and you could see it all around. First ball a single , second ball a single 202-8. Third ball a lovely off spinning ball the trapped the batsman LBW! It did not help that he played a cross bat hoick trying to go for glory!! 202-9! Ibby sensed this was our chance! He had slip, gully, silly mid on, silly mid off. Fourth ball spun but the young batsman played it well , the non striker cane down the wicket with lots of instructions which may have confused the youngster. Cookie bowls the fifth ball and it’s an arm ball that straightens! Outside edge is taken and a sharp catch taken at first slip by Maz Shah, so you see the match was all about one ball, one edge, one catch!
The boys were jubilant and celebrated as a team!
Senior player Maz Shah said after the game “ we showed again our batting strength and our attitude to never give up, Radlett played good cricket and brought the best out of us as a team. We are still not firing 100% but good things will be happening in the coming weeks”
by Maz Shah