Ricky 2nds are certainly not winning prettily this year, but they are getting the job done, especially with the ball.
Batting first Northwood started tidily enough with a 20 opening partnership which was scored almost exclusively by runs scored off full tosses. Indeed the very first ball, a full-toss, was dispatched with such power to the fence that the ball was lost for a few minutes! But then Bobby got a breakthrough with a leading edge caught by Sohail and then Brett got an LBW decision against the other opener. Although the Northwood players could all bat, unlike last weeks opponents, they kept losing wickets regularly. An lbw to Faizen followed by a smart run out by Paul, coming out from behind the stumps to run out the player backing up too far. Waqas got his first wicket for the club and then Northwood were 60/6.
However just like 2 years ago when our 1sts played them, the batsmen dug in and played more cautiously. Back then they scored 160 runs for the 7th wicket. This time, a 50 run partnership ensued before Sohail, in ringing the changes, had Neel on and he persuaded the batsmen to chip a full toss (again!) to a deep slip, Waheed. Still the batsmen kept going on what was a flat and slow playing wicket, and eventually 8 batsmen reached double-figures before Northwood were dismissed for 165. Brett, Bobby and Faizen all got a wicket each and Waqas was the most economical bowler.
Batting for Rickmansworth started well, with 8 off the first over, before Kasser edged a ball to a great slip catch behind for 0. This brough Bobby to the crease and he and Paul put on 80 for the 2nd wicket before Bobby was caught behind off the young spinner. Paul went to his 50 with a cut into the offside and then with the score on 112 played a tired looking shot to be out bowled for 55.
112/3. And now Ricky hearts were fluttering as the rate required was starting to creep up to 5 and this was the position last week when we lost lots of wickets. Hailey did depart soon afterwards for 12 as did Waqas for 4 and Waheed for 0. However in the meantime Ali Asghar played some aggressive shots, including a 12 off one over, and so when he was dismissed, Ricky needed only 10 to win. There wa no better time for Prasanth, who is quite the finisher, to be at the crease as he smote some great boundaries to bring up the victory with 3 overs the spare.
It would of course be nice to see a comprehensive victory for Ricky, but where is the fun in that. Everyone gets a bat and a bowl! That is the Ricky way...
Next week an away trip to fellow promotees St Margaretsbury. A good game that will test whether we have improved or not.