Things didn’t start well when a groggy stand-in captain crawled out of bed in North London with 'jet lag' 1 hour before the meet time. He duly pulled himself together and won the toss, choosing to bowl on a day when rain was likely to intervene.
1st team veteran Hannah was given choice of ends and he decided that taking on a Force 7 from the bottom end would be a good idea because he 'always bowled from that end’. It didn’t take Elliot long to regret his decision but he bowled well in some of the worst wind seen at Bushy Park. The run rate was low and North Midd were struggling at 43-4.
In came their skipper, Mills, who I can only assume has played at Teddington before. He knew exactly where to go and got stuck into anyone bowling up wind - the 3rd team fielders needed hard hats! JLG and Niall took the brunt of the onslaught and it was the spinners, Euan Munday and Johnnie Smith, who steadied the ship after a tense few middle overs when it felt like the game was about to be dragged away from us. We eventually bowled them out for 218 in 42 overs – Munday and Swan both taking 3 wickets.
The batsmen were full of confidence in the new Teddington motorway and the North Midd bowlers struggled early on. They used 4 bowlers in the first 4 overs and conceded 44 runs in the process, Smallwood and Gardiner tucking into everything with apparent ease. Jasper was caught behind once the bowlers started to find their areas, and we found ourselves at 90-3 after Rob had made a run-a-ball 45. However, the rain came down and the umpires brought us off, which changed the momentum of the game. We were just on the rate but had to maintain it when we went back out, which was not easy as the wicket became more lively. Johnnie Smith and Rich Bennett put on 65 of the 5th wicket, with the former doing an excellent job at keeping to the required rate. They both fell in quick succession (Johnnie 59) leaving it to the ‘finishers’, JLG and TK (Tom Kennedy), to score the last 50 to see us over the line. They moved the ball around well and ran the fielders ragged with 2s all over the ground. We ended up winning comfortably by 5 wickets with 5 overs to spare.
A very confident chase in tricky conditions to maintain our unbeaten run and position at the top of the table.