Medium or medium strong, these are the perils of trying to arrange a fixture via the Club Cricket Conference, as our original opponents, North Maidenhead, pulled out on Thursday due to a re-arranged cup fixture. Wilkinson Way, East Molesey or The Golden X1 were the choices. Having both scored and played at East Molesey in my younger years - indeed I played there when Mace the Ace took all ten there in the 80's -- I tried them but M & B was too far to travel and they were now not bothering to play on Sunday. So not really fancying calling Mohammed at The Golden X1 I decided on(hobson's choice)Wilkinson Way, apparently founded in the 70's and based in The Heathrow area. Having spoken to Everton Bailey the fixture was agreed, Everton saying they had 2 or 3 good players. At the time I thought we were strong but getting a text at 6.43pm on Saturday from useless Yusuf saying owing to work commitments can't play weakened the side some what!
So Sunday arrived and chatting to Cameron about his five wickets for Henley the previous day and his A level results(congratulations on getting your grades, so it's off to Sheffield, as far away from Maidenhead as possible, so the Yorkshire leagues for Cam, Sheffield Collegiate or Pudsey Congs - I'll get my mate Butler to have a word or twelve about his Yorkshire leagues experiences!). Cam was shocked to see the guy who got five wickets in 22 overs for Kew, the day before, turning up to play for the opposition, none other than Rahul Panta, club coach at Kew and Uxbridge legend, having previously played ten years of pro cricket in India.
Having lost the toss, Armstrong was not surprised that he was asked to bowl first, as the wicket was a dust bowl and not marked. Speaking to Charlie later it transpired I used the wrong wicket, should have played on the wicket used in the social game earlier. As it was probably best we did play on the chosen wicket otherwise the Anstis' house would have been minus a few tiles and a number of broken windows, with the number of balls that cleared the River End net.
Opening bowlers Ambar Moorthy and Joesph Blackett bowled reasonable opening spells and kept the scoring in check, until Panta decided to cut loose. One full length ball from Moorthy disappeared clean over the net and so began the first of many trips into the neighbouring gardens for Armstrong and his teammates. Moorthy didn't find the newish ball but another reasonable one so Armstrong decided to use this, which wasn't to Panta's liking as it marked his bat ! The replacement ball got M &B a wicket, alas it wasn't Panta's, after a few more balls over the net and replacement cherries Armstrong was dismayed to hear Appavoo didn't like the ball it was too small to bowl with! Batsman doesn't like the ball bowler doesn't like the ball, one of those days! With the time progressing, club chairman, John Hewitt, suggested reducing the already shortened game(37 overs each) to 35, which was rejected by the skipper as you can't change overs mid-game(if not affected by weather conditions). Amongst the carnage chief Sunday spinner, Chris Butler, managed to return the relatively decent figures of 8/0/36/1, out foxing the no 3 bat. That said much like the 2nd's game the previous day, the old adage of catches win matches again rang true as Panta did give a chance at square leg which was shelled by the young Joesph Blackett, who mulled over it for the rest of the game ! What really annoyed Armstrong was Panta's insistent on farming the strike at all costs on a Sunday fixture, and we thought Cheema was bad ! I guess that's Panta's prerogative having been a former professional ! As with Sunday cricket everyone is given a go, unless you are Panta's batting partners, and so it was that Mace the Ace was thrown the ball, after bamboozling the batsmen in the early social game , alas Panta was a different kettle of fish, and two overs was the limit of Mason's comeback. Wilkinson Way(Panta) finished on 255 off their 37 overs with someone called Rahul Panta
Obviously 255 off 37 overs is a difficult task, but if anyone can Rahul Cheema can. Indeed it was the same 255 which was chased down a month ago when Cheema posted 169 no. Armstrong was surprised to not see Panta opening the bowling! Openers Cheema and Cameron Jacobsen actually got M & B off to a cracking start posting 52 in only 8 overs. Cheema was again prolific on the pull and cut and Jacobsen, as always, strong on the leg side, albeit he can play on the offside, all those throw downs from Charlie didn't go to waste! Jacobsen was first to go to be replaced by John Hewitt, who made his intentions clear by cutting, rather than driving, his first ball to the Church boundary. Whilst Cheema and Hewitt were together M & B had a chance( adding 64 for the 2nd wicket and putting M & B on 116 after only 15 overs), unfortunately grim reaper, Tony Brooke, said M & B were going well, and not long after Hewitt was stumped, advancing down the wicket to hit the spinner inside out over extra cover and missing. Without wanting to be too unkind the dismissal of Hewitt brought the game to an end, with the only subplot being whether Cheema could score another Sunday hundred. It was not to be though as his innings was brought to an end on 75 by someone called Pantas, who got Cheema out hooking off his quicker ball. To be fair to Wilkinson Way by then they knew they had won and gifted M & B a few runs to get then up to 203 of their allocation. In the end the opposition's all round bowling strength was to hot for M & B to handle and they ran out worthy winners.
M & B ended their Sunday season with a win to bring the curtain down…
Mat Armstrong - Sep 27, 2017
About Maidenhead & Bray Cricket Club
The Cricket Club is situated in the beautiful village of Bray, Berkshire, on the banks of the Thames, overlooked by the Church of St Michael. The main ground is widely acknowledged as one of the most picturesque in the country.
Est. in 1798 and a member of the Morrant Thames Valley League, with three senior teams and a thriving colts section both boys and girls
Address: The Pavilion, The High Street, Bray, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 2AA
Goyals is a schoolwear outfitters based in Maidenhead in Berkshire
Goyals is a family owned business that has been supplying school uniforms in the Berkshire and Buckinghamshire area for more than 40 years, including Maidenhead, Windsor, Slough, Burnham, Taplow and Marlow.
Berkshire Cricket is the governing body for ALL cricket within the County of Berkshire and one of the leading non-professional Counties in England, recently enjoying substantial success on the field with both men and women's County teams.
Welcome to Marlow Cars, we buy and supply prestige marques, specialising in Bentley. We stock over 60 prestige motors cars at any one time making us one of the largest independent in the UK, this includes Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, Porsche, Range Rover and Mercedes. Established for over 30 years offering wide model choice and variation, our extensive market knowledge, resources and customer care provides an unrivalled service.
Omega Electrical Services are an independant company that can offer a wide range of electrical services at any location throughout the UK. We are based in Maidenhead with a 2000 sq ft manufacturing facility that has easy access to both M4 & M40 motorways.
DOC Building Facilities Ltd (Degrees of Comfort) began in 2005. We have grown from strength to strength since then and believe our success is due to our commitment in providing high quality and cost effective solutions to our clients.
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phone. 01628 622669
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