Stragglers of Asia vs Northchurch CC at Northchurch.
Result: Stragglers of Asia won by 90 runs
A fine victory by 90 runs was recorded by the Stragglers that took the field at Northchurch Cricket Club on Sunday 2 July for a forty over match. There was a carnival atmosphere in the beautiful, sun-drenched ground as many spectators gathered to enjoy what promised to be a succulent event with several tantalising matchups. On the home team, Straggler Matt Suckling captaining an enthusiastic bunch, including several bowlers queuing up to have a crack at Tom Calder, who left NCC this season after many years. In the Stragglers XI, Tom Vila, Northchurch’s club captain, and guest Pete McGiffin, father of the home team’s visiting Aussie, who was also taking the field. Hooper, Brown, M Cavanagh, Allsop and Trapani drooled as they inspected the hard, flat pitch and were thrilled when, very sportingly, Northchurch were persuaded to let us bat first.
Hooper joined McGiffin snr in the middle. Fifteen overs later, number three Allsop was in the unfamiliar territory of still having his pads on and watching an unbeaten century opening stand from the comfort of the pavilion. Erstwhile Queensland player and now professional coach, McGiffin demonstrated that class is permanent by striking an elegant 80, three years after playing his last match. Only a direct hit from deepish mid-off, after an ambitious call for a single, could send him on his way. Meanwhile, Hooper had compiled a very smart 40 before one brought two and he top edged to the keeper.
Allsop missed out on the fun by nibbling an off break that went straight on and, in doing so, sent Matt Cavanagh out to meet Conor Brown. Another fine partnership developed before Brown, having hit some lovely clean straight drives, was smartly caught by a tumbling Australian running forward at long off. Cavanagh soon followed, having established an excellent platform for the duo of Tom Calder and guest Dave Pearce to increase the rate and take the Stragglers well past the 250 coveted by the captain.
Seamers Vila and guest James Deas worked hard to extract what advantage might be gained from the new ball and it was left armer Deas who struck first, a very full ball straightening to trap Suckling lbw in the third over of the Northchurch reply. Replacing Vila, Hooper found some swing while, at the other end, Tom Calder got some grip with his off spinners. The sideways movement slowed the run rate and when trying to break the pressure, the Northchurch bats holed out at a regular rate.
McGiffin jnr, although not as fluent as his father, looked determined to contribute the majority of the runs and, after a watchful start, began to cut loose. When joined by the experienced Mike James, the run rate increased alarmingly and the captain took some time to reconsider the strategy while on the roof of the pavilion retrieving a maximum.
Dhiraj Patel, entering the attack and whirling in off one pace with his skiddy leg breaks, pushed up the rate required to 10 an over and there was no let up from the other end as Deas, Calder, Vila and Hooper rotated. When Allsop took a neat catch at backward point to dismiss the charging Aussie, the writing was on the wall for Northchurch and two junior players, though taking the opportunity for some middle practice, succumbed
A superb day at lovely ground and against a spirited but great fun opposition. Although an untraditional limited-overs-against-club-opposition fixture, all agreed that we should request a re-run next year.
Team Batting First: Stragglers of Asia
|1||Tony Hooper||Ct Suckling+||Sweeten||38|
|2||Pete McGiffin (G)||Run Out (J Smart)||81|
|3||James Allsop||Ct Suckling+||Steve McGiffin||2|
|4||Conor Brown||Ct S McGiffin||Mike James||47|
|5||Matt Cavanagh||Ct J Smart||Mike James||38|
|6||Dave Pearce (G)||Not||Out||51|
|8||Nino Trapani +||Did Not Bat|
|9||James Deas (G)||Did Not Bat|
|10||Dhiraj Patel||Did Not Bat|
|Tom Vila*||Did Not Bat|
|Extras: 5||TOTAL: 268 for 5|
Team Batting Second: Northchurch CC
|1||James Smart||Ct Deas||Tom Calder||13|
|2||Matt Suckling||LBW||James Deas||13|
|3||Ryan Smart||Ct Deas||Tom Calder||22|
|4||Steve McGiffin||Ct Allsop||Tom Vila||73|
|5||Jack Fantham||Ct & Bowled||Dhiraj Patel||3|
|6||Mike James||Ct Cavanagh||Tony Hooper||28|
|7||Matt Dawson||Bowled||Tom Vila||0|
|8||Ollie Johnson||Bowled||Dhiraj Patel||6|
|9||Charlie Sweeten||Bowled||Dhiraj Patel||0|
|11||Calum Lindsay||Ct Deas||Matt Cavanagh||0|
|Extras: 15||TOTAL: 176 all out|
Scorer(s): Barbara Egglesfield