Following the previous weeks’ drubbing of Richmond, the 1XI had another top of the table clash in the form of Southgate.
After captain Keightley lost the toss again, Southgate chose to bat on what looked like a good batting track. Timmy A started up as ever full of enthusiasm and bounded in to deliver the first ball of the innings. Steel struck a few early boundaries which led the captain to bring himself on in the 6th over and with his first ball found the edge of Steel’s bat to send him on his way for 15.
Pollock came on at the other end and picked up a couple of wickets which gave Knappett three early catches to his name. At 54-3 in the 19th TCC were well on top with Southgate’s Sahota and Morton scratching around and giving the TCC slip cordon some much needed slip catching practice. Armstrong continued his cracking form in the slips this season with an impressive juggling display much to the delight of Nish Patel as two went down in consecutive deliveries. Following the second effort, Patel came close to giving the crowd a rendition of Michael Holding’s demolition of the bowlers end stumps but managed to show calmness beyond his years to control his rage.
Haydan Morton, Southgate’s overseas, was now on his 5th life graciously given to him by TCC. Morton now became a new man as he started to flay the TCC bowlers to all parts on his way to a run a ball 100. The change between his first 20 and last 80 was quite remarkable and helped Southgate to a competitive 239 off their 50 overs.
Opener Twinney was looking to maintain his fantastic run of form this season however succumbed to a spectacular bit of fielding from Southgate’s overseas, again another miraculous recovery from his somewhat slow start to the game, and was run out for 0.
Keightley and Fear attempted to steady the ship before JK was caught at long on off Southgate’s lightening quick opening bowler. After Fear went for 9 caught at mid-on, in form Armstrong and Williams set about looking to rebuild at 70-3 off 25 overs.
As the rate moved closer to 7s and 8s, TCC started to look to accelerate with Williams pulling out his full array of sweeps including one scoop into his chin which left him with a nice gash prior to his midweek trip to Ibiza. Whilst Doctor Patel relaxed on the side line, Knappett rushed to Williams’ aid and patched him up. Much like the transformation in Southgate’s batsman earlier in the day, Williams then proceeded to dispatch the Southgate bowlers to all parts ending on a match winning 106 not out off 60 balls. Armstrong also played his part with a handy 76 however tiredness led to his ultimate demise just prior to victory.
The result left TCC top of the table with 1 game to go away at Stanmore and a second league title in 3 years within touching distance.
(Author: Alasdair Pollock)