After a joyous journey to Sudbury the depleted troops of Teddington won the toss and Hasan, standing in for Matt, bravely made the call to bowl first as he felt the wicket offered assistance for the bowlers – this was definitely true.
Crouching down to keep wicket to the first bowl from Ned with a total of 7 fielders was the brave part of the decision. Luckily within an over or two we were back to 9 fielders. Ned bowled a few absolute beauties and an early edge to a sadly non-existent first slip gave indication of a helpful wicket. Olly at the other end found early swing and made an early breakthrough in which he described afterwards as a viciously lifting delivery from just short of a good length. Most other people thought it was a complete half-tracker at minimum pace which the batsmen somehow managed to glove through to the keeper – however, "caught Jamie Khan, bowled Oliver Khan" had a nice ring to it. Olly then bowled another half-tracker which failed to bounce and clean bowled the other opener to see, by now 10 men Teddington, in high spirits. After a few close shouts Olly gained an LBW to see the oppo 3 down and Ned desperately unluckily not to get a wicket at the other end.
On a hot day both opening bowlers took a well-deserved break and Dilan produced an absolute beauty which reared of a length and caught behind to see the next batsmen walk out with a brand new bat. With a few friendly remarks about ensuring his bat remained unused we then proceeded to watch him smash 101 and take us out of the game with his team mates literally surviving at the other end – only two others made double figures with a highest score of 18. The centurion had a robust but might effective technique, good balls received a straight bat and the killer was when we dropped short and despite rather boringly getting to the stage of having everyone on the boundary - he just hit it over them. We had one sniff of a chance; however, the instruction “stay on the boundary” wasn’t adhered to. When Taus made an appearance to boost our numbers to 11 he made an immediate difference to the run rate and we bought Olly back to get some pace into proceeding to further slow progress and eventually the centurion skied one in the air and was brilliantly taken by Hamza (I think!) – Jag then came onto bowl and mopped up the reminder of the batsmen to finish with 3 for 0 from 0.5 overs including the world’s worse LBW decision to leave TCC chasing 173.
At teatime a friend of mine who lived nearby wanted to come and watch me bat to laugh at me. I told him we were batting shortly and he texted back saying “don’t get all out for 15”. How I chuckled until we were 13 for 6! Luckily we had Jag opening and he calmly watched the carnage at the other end, left anything alone outside off, defended sensibly but also looked to latch onto anything is his areas. Ned appeared at 8 with 3 batsmen on ducks and the next highest score of 2 to settle in and get himself in. Both batsmen played really well and Ned’s 27 hit a number of classy boundaries until he was bowled, we then had another flurry of ducks before Olly calmed walked out and we watched as our two U15’s Olly and Jag put on 50 without looking remotely in trouble. Jag in particular played the shot of the day hitting their left arm spinner (6 for 10) over extra cover until he fell to leave Olly 21 not out.
The youngsters (and Ned!) showed the way for the rest of the batsmen with lessons to be learnt for next time around however we fought well in the field with Olly (3 for 24) giving us a good start. The difference was their centurion and we look forward to our rematch against a good competitive opposition who enjoyed a laugh on/off the pitch. It’s also handy starting a match with 11 players.
Author: Jamie Khan