Indian Gymkhana vs Teddington 4th XI, 21st May, 2016 @ Northwick Park, South Kenton, Wembley
The 4s played Indian Gym in this league fixture. After receiving a phone call on the morning to tell us that we had a new venue for the game, Matt hastily made arrangements for the team to go to Kenton.
It was a big place and quite a nice place to play cricket. The square was reasonable and we had a nice view of the arches of Wembley where Palace were about to lose what looked like a good FA Cup final to Man Utd. But back to cricket!
Matt lost the toss and Teddington were promptly put into back in overcast, cool conditions. It looked like it was going to be a tricky place to get a decent total. Dilan opened with Patrick Crossley, but Dilan got a slight nick behind in the first over and we were 2-1. Patrick hit four boundaries before he was cleaned up for 19 (the banner at the top of this report actually captures the moment before that happened - you can just see the ball mid-flight, if you zoom in). We were 36-2 after 10, so it was a slow start.
Garry Meredith and Matt O'Toole then knuckled down and tried to build a partnership and managed to take us to 76, before Garry was trapped in front. 76-3. Faz pushed at one on the final ball before drinks, despite being told by Matt to make sure he survived until after the drinks break (you had one job, Faz!). Matt produced what can only be described as a golf shot for 6, then holed out to long on, trying to do the same thing. Hasan Mufti came and went quickly.
At this point, we were 90-6 and it wasn't looking great. Then it became the 'Taus' and 'Shakey' show as Neil D'Mello and Tauseef Khan managed to add 50, most of them coming from Taus and we found ourselves on 140-6 after 37 overs, before Neil was out for a sensible 16. Taus continued to beligerently bludgeon almost everything he could reach (you can see some of these shots on our Youtube channel), but he did actually hit a few along the floor and also produced the occasional forward defensive (look! I've got photographic evidence below).
Taus then pretty much single handedly helped take us to a very decent looking 198-9 after 50 overs, after Matt decided against declaring, even thought the runs in the final few dried up rather after Tauseef had departed for a muscular 69 (9 x 4s and 2 x 6s). Still, 199 to win on that deck looked a pretty tough ask.
Matt then asked Taus to continue his one man show with the ball and we were looking okay for a good while. After 21 overs, we had them at 67-6. Taus had bowled a good line and been rewarded with 3 wickets. This period also included a great spell by Harry Polhill who had been a very late call up was playing his first game for 6 years! He took 2 wickets in his first over for 1 run and ended up with figures of 6-0-20-3. That's three weeks in a row now we've had debutants produce a great performance (he was good in the field too). When we had them 7 down, it looked like they were stuck either in a position of either having to gamble and go for a win or just accept 1 point and block out the remaining overs. However, they then put on a good 8 wicket partnership which meant that we were in danger of giving them 4 points as were running out of overs and they were steadily getting towards the 167 they need for a winning draw. 1 over to go and Matt got the umpires to get their calculators out before the final over to agree the target with the other captain (a nice chap called Nandan). They were on 156-8, so needed 11 to get 4 points or an impossible 43 to win. We needed 2 wickets. First ball. Blocked. Matt asked their batter what he was doing and was told that he was following instructions. It proved to be a ruse, though, as Faz's next ball was put back over his head for 6. 5 off 4. This was beginning to look like an IPL finish. Matt brings everyone right in. They get a couple. Dammit. 3 off 3. A single. 2 off 2. New bat now facing tho. They go for a single. Garry quickly collects and gets the ball back to Matt. Out! So after almost 7 hours, it all came down to the last ball. Their No. 11 needed to score 2 off the last ball to get them 4 points. We needed to get him out to win or to stop them getting more than 1 run. Faz is told by almost the whole team to bowl at the stumps. The ball is delivered a foot outside off (you had one job, Faz!), a swing and a miss and Teddington pick up 4 points for their efforts. Not what we would have wanted from the position we were in but we're still unbeaten so far this season, so all in all a great start. We're currently 2nd in the league! :)