After the record-breaking heatwave of June it was a relief to see more usual temperatures for the crunch match at the halfway stage at home against Ealing. However, some familiar selection issues in the bowling department had been raised midweek and after Simon Hicks withdrew on the Friday with injury it became the theme and deciding factor.
Having, of course, won the toss our Skipper had felt on recent results/collapses from Ealing that insertion was the order of the day. It was, on balance, the correct call but as Mike King pulled up in his first over he joined a growing roster of walking wounded F King (shoulder), Cassady (ankle/weight), Heap ( head - ongoing). Hicks and with the evergreen Willis unavailable after the spell of the season, the size of the challenge became extremely clear.
So it was with great skill that Teddington wrestled an advantage after Ed Snodgrass (gout) dived to take a difficult strangle down the leg side with great aplomb and the opening bowling partnership of the injured Mike King and Tom Bangs pegged them back to 85/4. However, bowling options and injuries then took hold and they put on over a hundred runs for the 5th wicket. With Ferg nursing a shoulder tweak and the outside edge of their innings' talisman finding Mike King resting at slip twice in one over but without the right result, it looked like they would make us pay.
Ealing went on to finish on 245 off 52 overs. Commendable bowling from Tom Bangs and Mike King who in particular bowled 40 overs between them through the pain barrier to give us a sniff.
The cameo of Ealing Afghanistan international Mr Wahab had not gone unnoticed and when he took his run up from near the sight screen it was apparent that we had an uphill task on our hands chasing 245. With Cassady having some issues locating his support staff to ferry a suitable helmet to the crease he was quick to be sweded by the verbals for batting in a cap as the first few balls were either wided or no balled as they took aim at his head.
A cool head and some grit were duly required and after Cassady and Austin had succumbed meekly (7/2), Captain Nick Lockwood arrived at the crease to show that coin toss skills can be translated into batting ability. It was a true captain's knock and he showed great class to see off the new ball, cutting and pulling Mr Wahab diligently to demonstrate what was needed against this competent bowling attack. The fact that he finished on 61 after occupying the crease for 34 overs with only 7 overs left to bat and 100 runs short perfectly illustrated that with 8 batsmen not contributing we would have come very close with a tighter finish in the field and more application with the bat.
Teddington finished 141 all out after 40 overs. Outplayed on the day, but we won't be ambushed like that again and with half the season left only a fool would write us off.
Excellent contributions from Tom Bangs 3/75 off 22 & Nick Lockwood 61
Author: Tom Cassady