A long trip up to Winchmore Hill's cricket ground saw Teddington 4s play top of the table Hampstead. At least we had 11 players this time!
Despite it being an overcast and warm day, Tooley decided for a change to field to see if we could chase down a total (Hampstead also had one of the best bowling attacks in Div 2). After about 35 overs, it didn't look like too bad a decision as they were hovering around 3.5 an over, but we hadn't taken any wickets and a few dropped catches hadn't helped matters. Then they took off like greyhounds chasing a rabbit and the scoreboard started really ticking over. After 42 overs, they had accumulated around 260 runs for the loss of 1 wicket. Their captain, however, decided to bat on to give their young #2 a chance to hit a ton, as he was in his 90s. However, his teammate then promptly ran him out and they ended up decking for 283-2 off 46 overs, thereby denying us the chance of a winning draw and 4 points, but also causing us to face the task of chasing a big total in a game which we didn't need to win.
4s captain, Matt O'Toole went back to his opening slot this week, along with Dilan 'Boycott' Camball. Lucas Birrell-Gray opened the bowling for them. He's probably one of the quickest in Div 2, if not the quickest and Matt was respectful of good balls and watchful for the first few overs, before he hit a half volley back over the bowler's head into the side of the tennis courts, prompting the slip fielders to describe it as a tennis shot. Bit harsh. Matt was out the next over to their wicket to wicket dull as dishwater #2 bowler to a very thin edge to their keeper.
Dilan, at the other end, was determined, it seems, to give their slip fielders some fielding practice, as he managed to score most of runs with the ball going backwards. During his innings of 46, he certainly scored at least 50% behind square and could have been out about 7 times. Still, you take your luck where you can find it. He had been joined by Rob Eveson and both of them together for a good period put on a 'Geoffrey Boycott' masterclass to grind the innings almost to a halt. At drinks, we needed about 10-12 an over and that quickly became around 15, after a flurry of wickets. For a period of around 14 overs, they had needed a wicket every 12 balls. Our batting certainly helped them towards this target, though and by the last over, we were 9 down and it was left to young Oliver Khan to block it out, as Luke Saunders lent on his bat at the non-striker's end, with the clear intention of going nowhere. He was facing Birrell-Grey who had already taken 5 and was still steaming in. Oliver stood firm, though, and patiently blocked everything, getting forward and demonstrating how to play 6 perfect forward defensives (he must have been watching Dilan and Rob earlier!) - and this was despite Tooley (who was umpiring) generously signalling a wide halfway through the over, so in the end, Oliver had had 7 balls to face.
So we scraped home for 1 point. The effect of this result was really to do Osterley a favour, as they had been 2nd in the table going into this game. For us, it was a long trip back to SW London, pride intact.