Sun 1 Sept Barnes Drawn (but close)
They: 233/6 in 42.2 overs (Rakteem Katakey 109, Chris Chambers 49, Kit Smith 28, Neeraj Nayar 2/73)
We: 227/8 in 40 overs (Tim Keleher 63*, Harsha Gandadi 50, Stefanos Nayar 38, Neeraj Nayar 29, Ralph Harvey-Kelly 6/47)
Report to follow
Fri 26 July Barnes – T20 Won by 11 runs
We: 155/7 in 20 overs (Tim Keleher 70, Nav Sidhu 21, Andrew Doherty 1/20, Alex Jenkins 1/23)
They: 144/10 in 16.1 overs (Andy Stephens 67, Simon Auteri 20, Neeraj Nayar 4/33, Seethal Tharakan 2/20, Nav Sidhu 2/22)
KCC have been playing at Lonsdale Road for a number of years now and it was still flattering that Barnes CC invited us to play a 20/20 as part of their Centenary year celebrations. This to be their final game following a week-long melee of fixtures.
Skipper Jamie won the Toss and chose to bat as Barnes were clearly fielding a strong side. Tim Keleher started proceeding by belting his second ball for 4 and when Stefanos smoked an extra cover drive to the fence too, we were 11/0 after one over. Stef then fell to a loose shot in the second over and Tim Russell was yorked in the third. Jamie joined Tim and the runs flowed. Jamie dispatching a short ball for Six and the next one pulled for four. Tim kept entertaining the crowd and the scoreboard by smashing down lust blows and exquisite drives to the fence. Jamie fell after a quick-fire innings, as did Harsha (including a mighty straight six). Nav Sidhu then supported Tim sensibly by stroking the singles and getting Tim on strike. Tim was unlucky to be run out for a brutal 70 from a direct hit. Adam and Nav took the score to a slightly below par 155 /7.
In reply, Adam and Nav started well with the new ball but opener Andy Stephens was particularly brutal and took Barnes’ reply to 111/2 off just 10 overs. The Beers outside the playing area had started to flow and the Music had started blaring on every boundary hit. Surely this game was done, right? Wrong!! In true KCC style – Seethal nipped off two quick wickets and Neeraj (whose first over had been absolutely carted) with one. 132/5 with 21 runs to get in 7 overs; surely Barnes couldn’t mess this up, right? Wrong! They did…. Neeraj swept through the tail. Quote of the day: Incoming batsman asks departing batsman who was just bowled by Neej: “What’s this bloke doing with the ball?” Reply: “Nothing, but he’s ****ing doing Nothing very well”.
Unbelievably, KCC won by 11 runs and Barnes still had almost 4 overs of Batting remaining. Had bets been placed on this game the ICC would most definitely have needed to investigate!!!!
A wonderful evenings Cricket and great post match BBQ arranged by Barnes. Team KCC stayed for drinks and grub and good banter followed. Andy Stephens won the Johnnie Walker as MOM for his 67 and Neeraj picked up the Big Cobra Bottle for his match-turning 4/33.
Sun 2 Sept Barnes Lost by 51 runs
They: 260/7 in 40 overs (Freddie Ayliffe 115, Laurie Cadle 58, Ralph Harvey-Kelley 26, Extras 33, Chetan Singh 3/35, Nitin Chaturvedi 2/14)
We: 209/9 in 40 overs (Rohan Ghosh 64, Amit Shanker 45, Preetinder Singh 29, Paul Welton 3/15, Oscar Welton 2/26)
Despite what the final score line suggests – a 51 run loss for KCC – this game was far better balanced. Perfect batting conditions on the small ground we know so well, having played many a Youths-Vets match there. It was not a toss to lose, but Rohan called wrong and we had to chase a lot of leather for 40 overs.
Most of the opposition were nursing heavy hangovers from the previous night’s end-of-season festivities. Which is probably why opening bats Freddie Ayliffe and Laurie Cadle began watchfully against KCC’s Barreto, up-righting in brightly from the pavilion end. Alas, Eddy’s fitness regime, crafted around a steady diet of Alisha’s delicious pork vindaloo, soon got the better of him – after 4 overs, precisely. Wes Johnson meanwhile was a shadow of his metronomic self, playing his first game of the season. First change Neej and John Behar proved equally ineffective as the warm September sunshine baked the deck dry. All of this meant that, the two openers raced to their 50s at 6.5 runs an over and we were looking at chasing well over 300.
The partnership was worth 148 when 3rd change Tabrez finally prised the door open by clean bowling Cadle. Chetan Singh then smashed the door down in the next over as Wes at first slip with amazing athleticism twisted and leapt backwards to grab the catch off the new batsman. Two more wickets fell to Chetan during this magic spell. 195/4 in the 30th and we were back in the game. At the other end, however, Freddie Ayliffe stood firm and, with measured aggression, soon completed a very fine century. The runs continued to flow despite a run out and a brace of wickets from Nitin, the innings closing on a healthy 260/7.
After an excellent tea Amit Shanker and Preetinder Singh began our reply confidently putting together a partnership of 81 in 15 overs. But in keeping with the one common theme of the game, i.e. wickets falling in clusters, both were dismissed in quick succession. Rohan announced his arrival at the crease with a mighty six over deep midwicket (careful Ro – straight six into the neighbours’ gardens attracts a £100 fine!), and together with Nitin put on a fine 53 run stand in just seven overs. At 137/2 in the 25th, we were still in the chase. Not for long, as 4 wickets tumbled in 5 overs for just 12 runs. Rohan, our last real hope, and Wes tried to retrieve the momentum but the required run rate was rising. When Ro was stumped off Paul Welton in the 35th over for a fine run-a-ball 64, the standout inning on our side, the game was up. We managed to struggle to 209/9 as Paul picked up two more wickets to end the match well adrift of our target.
All that was left for us to do was start drinking the cold Cobras. A rather untidy performance from KCC.
Sun 3 Sept Barnes Lost by 26 runs
They: 201/5 in 40 overs (Laurie Cadle 91, Harshit Kapur 36*, Oscar Welton 29, Ryan Konson 2/49)
We: 175/10 in 38.3 overs (Wes Johnson 54, Stefanos Nayar 32, Amit Shanker 20, Alex Scott 4/17, Dom Sherry 4/27)
We started promisingly despite Neeraj losing a vital toss on this usual run-fest of a ground. Ryan bowled Alex Scott, Barnes skipper and scourge of KCC bowlers in the past, before a run was scored. Wes bowled nothing loose but went wicketless, his 8 overs going for a mere 25 runs. The second wicket fell at 34 but after that Laurie Cadle and Oscar Welton piled on the runs putting on 87 together. Our bowling remained tight with Neeraj and Amit Shanker giving little away. Nevertheless, wickets were hard to come by given the propensity of our fielders to avoid catches! Laurie was unlucky to fall short of his hundred as Oscar, ever alert behind the stumps, held the tickle. A cameo knock of 36 by young Harshit Kapur helped Barnes to 201 after the 40 overs, a score less than par at Barnes so we had high hopes of a good run chase.
Amit and Sid began well with a 41 run opening partnership. Then disaster. Both openers and Preetinder spooned easy catches off stopping balls, and out-of-sorts Kamrul had his stumps rearranged, as was Oscar’s a few balls later. 81/5 with pacer Dom Sherry (4/12) doing most of the damage. Stefanos and Wes set about retrieving the situation, dealing more in boundaries than singles to keep up the run rate. Alex Scott then decided to make up for his duck and whipped out Stef, Regan and Tabby within 7 balls (118/8). Wes, on 15 at the time, decided all-out attack was in order. Helped by a steady Neeraj at the other end he launched an offensive that was breath-taking to watch. In 23 balls he smashed 39 runs, getting to his fifty with two towering sixes. Could we pull off an unlikely win? No, was the answer as Wes inevitably holed out and Neeraj’s resistance ended 26 runs short of the target.
Sun 28 August Barnes Lost by 57 runs
They: 295/2 in 35 overs (Oscar Welton 129*, Alex Scott 108, Extras 38, Chris Chunilall 1/35, Saikat Barua 1/53)
We: 238/10 in 34.1 overs (Jai Singh 75, Matt Syddall 55, Eddy Barreto 21, Oscar Welton 3/24, R.Tegner 2/43)
This was a match that KCC will not remember too fondly only for the way our cricketing standard was so cruelly exposed.
On a grey day with rain in the air San dearly wanted to bat first in this restricted 35 over game. This was not to be as Alex Scott was of the same mind and he duly won the toss. Before taking the field, however, we all lined up to pay a silent tribute to the Barnes Legend Roger Foulds (The “Colonel”), the gentleman of cricket who had sadly passed away a week earlier.
We started well on this batting friendly pitch with Saikat taking a wicket in his second over. Alex Scott and 15 year-old Oscar Welton soon began to get into their stride once Saikat and Wajid were taken off.
The bowling and fielding then got more and more ragged, so much so that our fielders were reduced to fetching balls back from the boundary with monotonous regularity. Extras featured prominently. Alex and Oscar hardly gave a chance as both reached fine centuries and looked firmly in control. The only surprise was when the partnership of 227 was broken by new boy Chris Chunnilall who bowled Alex trying to reverse sweep a high full toss that probably should have been declared a no ball. Oscar soldiered on and guided Barnes to a daunting total of 295.
We always look forward to the Barnes tea and were bitterly disappointed when told that the tea lady was no longer employed. So we had to suffer a Tesco takeaway assortment that included inedible semi-frozen quiches and pizzas!
We started our innings well with both Jai Singh and Matt Syddall plundering a hundred in the first 14 overs, each matching the other in quality strokes. Matt, however, fell immediately after. Stef and Jai kept the momentum going but the asking rate was still rising. When Stef nicked one behind we were left to get 150 in 13 overs – still possible with Jai eyeing a century. Not to be, as Jai was hopelessly run out through sheer bad calling (or lack of it). San promoted the big hitters, Bernard, Saikat and Wajid in an effort to get back on track but the mountain was beginning to become too steep to climb. Wickets tumbled and despite a final flurry from Eddy and Neeraj we finished well short.
Man of the match was undoubtedly Oscar Welton, not just for his fine hundred but also for picking up 3 late wickets. Jai got the consolation Cobra.
Sun 30 August Barnes Won by 7 wkts
They: 174/5 in 30 overs (Dev Puri 104*, M.Ayliffe 29, Nitin Chaturvedi 2/34, Atif Yusuf 1/5)
We: 180/3 in 27.5 overs (John Behar 89*, Varun Sarna 57, Nitin Chaturvedi 14*, Alex Foulds 1/4)
The pre-match build-up has historically been an under-appreciated, and certainly under-reported, aspect of our games. This logistical minefield requires careful navigation and considerable meteorological skill – knowing which parts of the weather forecast to believe and which to ignore, a knack for mind-reading – knowing which availabilities to believe and which to ignore/forecast, etc etc.
Luckily, it is possible to circumvent this emotional roller-coaster by simply ignoring everything until the day before the game and hoping for the best. Indeed, the urge to be more organised can lead to disastrous consequences (as befell us the previous week), and we have enough on-field experience of those thank you very much.
And so it was, we found ourselves a man short for our much-awaited fixture vs Barnes with less than 24 hours to the game. Fear not, for the Oracle of San was at hand to guide the search. “Ask Andy”, he said. Andy couldn’t play. “You may want to check with Alex”, he said. “Hello Alex, would you like to play for KCC vs Barnes tomorrow, as we are a man down”. “Hello Saurav, I am skipper for Barnes tomorrow, and as our first team has just got promoted, I am 2 down myself”. Fabulous.
Cometh the 11th hour, cometh the 11th man, as club legend Neeraj persuaded young Stefanos to play for us. Which was just as well, since club legend Chris Ledger turned up with the unfortunate news that he had hurt his back in an incident reportedly involving a sandwich. This is KCC, folks. Anything is possible. Barnes managed to find their extra players too, so it all worked out in the end.
This brings us to the actual start of play. It was not clear who won the toss (winning and losing – especially winning – is not how we like to view our cricket) but KCC elected to field and the game was agreed to be 30 overs a side. The Barnes openers made a watchful start, as Bernard van Vuuren bowled a thoroughly impressive opening spell, ably supported by Atif Yusuf who picked up a wicket from the other end. However, Barnes steadily played themselves in and eventually found their groove, especially Div Puri who made a brilliant unbeaten ton with lots of clean hitting to hold his side’s innings together. We had our moments of glory, with that man Ledger executing a sharp catch at slip to dismiss aforementioned opposition skipper Alex after making it not-so-sharp by juggling it one-handed a few times, much to the collective disbelief of batsman and fielders. We also had our more classical moments, with skipper Saurav missing a straightforward catch to deny young Stefanos a wicket, and then failing to execute a simple run out on the recovery. We shall also not mention the skier that went above San’s helmet line, leading to a situation where the ball landed safely 5 feet from both San and bowler Neeraj.
All in all, Barnes posted 174, which was a good score considering their slow start and the traditional solidity of KCC’s batting especially after tea, sandwiches, cakes, scones …
The Behar brothers opened for KCC, with David getting out after playing a few characteristically elegant shots. John chose a less delicate approach as he bludgeoned the ball effortlessly to all corners, ably supported by new member Varun Sarna who made a breezy 57. Let the record show that a few threes were run too. Barnes did not bowl badly and did beat the bat on several occasions, but it was KCC’s day as we won comfortably in the end, with John unbeaten on 89.
Match 2: Sun 7 Sept Barnes Won by 4 wkts
They: 198/9 in 37.5 overs (Cameron 53, Scott 40, J.Welton 29*, Ali Bilgrami 3/25, Eddy Barreto 3/26, Bernard van Vuuren 2/41)
We: 203/6 in 35 overs (San Gore 49, Jai Singh 38, Bernard van Vuuren 29*, Saikat Barua 28*, Shahzeb 27, Oscar Welton 2/27)
A fine day for cricket played on a good surface, except for a formidable pebble in the cover region that was to play an unwanted part during the match.
Barnes were not at their usual strength and were down to ten including two young lads. Shahzeb lost the toss and Barnes batted first. Andy Scott got off to a cracking start capitalising on some wayward deliveries from Bernard, scoring 40 of the first 49 runs before tickling one to the keeper. Bernard then found his length and dismissed the next two batsmen to give KCC the edge. But Chambers and Sewell put on a dogged stand of 72 during which the aforementioned pebble came into play. Rohan being hyperactive in the covers dived to save a certain four only for the ball to deviate off that pebble and bounce onto his nose. Blood everywhere. Dr Ali was at hand to provide assistance but when a nose is broke, it’s broke and Ro was taken off the field. Also broken was the partnership by Ali Bilgrami in his very first over. Ali, we now belatedly discovered, was a bowler rather than a batsman who could deliver a very deceiving quicker ball.
Suddenly the innings lost momentum. Eddy was introduced into the attack and he promptly bowled three successive maiden wickets (a Club record, said Chris, which had San later scurrying to the stats to confirm it as true). Eddy and Ali cleaned up the tail and only the young Jack Welton resisted with a defiant unbeaten 29 at the end. Barnes were left on a well-under-par score.
Jai Singh started like a train determined to equal his own record of four successive fifties. But on 38 he misjudged a shot and was well caught. A mini-slide occurred as Ro, despite his bunged-up nose, and Chris fell without further runs on the board (47/3). Oscar Welton turned his off-breaks well but Bharat and San stopped the rot remaining watchful and playing some fine shots. Shahzeb and San were then involved in a 58 run stand but both fell with still some work to be done – 52 required in 10 overs. Saikat and Bernard made light of this target with 5 sixes and 5 fours to see KCC home in style with 5 overs to spare.
Match 1: Sun 1 June Barnes Won by 3 wkts
They: 145/9 in 40 overs (Bachofen 66, Gom 17, Akhi Shailendra 4/18, Neeraj Nayar 2/17, Eddy Barreto 2/37)
We: 146/7 in 32.1 overs (Tim Keleher 40, Eddy Barreto 35*, Sher Babi 28, Akhi Shailendra 16*, V.Mohan 5/14, Hake 2/24)
In recent years, Kensington has dominated the biannual fixtures versus the Sunday Barnes side. This year was not that different, although in true Kensington style, we played our part in making “a game out of it”.
Fielding a mixed side across their 1’s, 2’s and 3’s, Barnes opened with their overseas West Indian pro Mohan. But, unfamiliar with the early summer English conditions, he was all at sea against the swing and seam of an on-fire Akhi hurtling down the slope. Before long, Akhi had both openers snicking behind to young Oscar and No. 4 Ward well caught at short cover by Rohan. At 28/3 Barnes was in real trouble. Whilst No. 3 Bachofen put up a lone fight with a well-made 66, the rest of the Barnes batting folded easily. Aside from some (typical) top-notch banter to complement our (atypical) top-notch fielding (when was the last time we witnessed Steve Thomas pull a full length diving stop at deep square?), standout performances came from Akhi (8-3-18-4) and Neej (8-3-17-2).
After lunch, Tim and Sher launched a severe onslaught on the hapless Barnes opening attack, smashing 65 in just 8 overs. Back by the pavilion, the Cobras were being cracked open amongst the Kensington lot. Victory seemed inevitable. But the introduction of the Barnes pro Mohan into the attack, with his beguiling off spin, soon shattered any hopes of an early dinner at the nearby Miran Masala. A remarkable 5 wickets fell with the score on 89. Such was the dominance of Mohan and his partner Hake, that between overs 8 and 24, we managed to score a mere 40 runs for the loss of 7 wickets! At 92/7, we were in danger of losing the match. Calm heads … well at least one calm head … appeared in the form of Akhi, who together with Eddy carefully saw Mohan out to the end of his spell (8-4-14-5) before making hay once the weaker bowlers resumed. Together they put on a match winning 54 run stand for the 8th wicket, with a flamboyant 35 not out by Eddy. Phew!
Match 2: Sun 4 August Barnes WON by 153 runs
We: 300/8 in 40 overs (Tim Keleher 132, Ajit Ramsagar 42, Kenroy Peters 31, Kirmani 29, Bharat Gorasiya 27, Jarod Smith 3/14, Alex Foulds 3/58)
They: 147/10 in 37.1 overs (Ayliffe 60, Camps 28, Kirmani 4/8, Kenroy Peters 2/17, Manas Roy 2/24)
Always happy to play at Barnes’ excellent ground, Kensington showed up with a strong side blessed with a few new and able players. Rohan lost the toss and KCC were put in to bat on a good pitch. Openers Tim and Ajit took full advantage of anything short, the ball sitting up too easily and the quick outfield giving full value for shots. Boundaries came thick and fast and Foulds had to turn to their pacey Aussie Jarod Smith to try to stem the flow. The tactic worked well, Ajit first to go for 42 ending a terrific first wicket stand of 134. Smith ripped out the middle order but, after the last 3 of his 8 overs were safely seen off by Tim, the runs flowed again. Tim eventually fell for 132, probably disappointed that it wasn’t more, but guests, Basit Kirmani, the visiting Bahamian policeman Kenroy Peters, and our own Gorasiya all kept up the pace. 300 is a big score even on this high scoring, sporting ground.
Barnes needed a good start but didn’t get it, Manas bowling skipper Foulds for a duck. Wickets fell regularly with Kensington holding their catches and all the bowlers chipping in, only Ayliffe with 60 and Camps with 28 getting into double figures. Having impressed with the bat Kirmani was brought on to tweak a few and impressed again, killing off the innings with 4 wickets for just 8 runs.
A heavy victory then but this was an under-strength Barnes side. 2 nil this year – bring on the 2014 series.
Match 1: Sun 9 June Barnes Won by 25 runs
We: 247/9 in 39.1 overs (Keleher 67, Ramsagar 56, Ledger 50, Gordon 5/52)
They: 222/8 in 40 overs (Lala 66, Camps 35, Cuthbertson 32, Extras 52, Ramsagar 2/15, Roy 2/18, Tharakan 2/32)
For the first of our two annual games, Barnes showed up with a sub-par side with many players away. KCC openers Chris and Ajit showed no mercy, pounding their way to a 110 run partnership in only 15 overs. Chris’s bat fell like a heavy axe on anything short and wide outside the off stump, like an irate magistrate’s verdict on a murderer. He made a very entertaining 50 off only 48 balls. Ajit meanwhile compiled a commanding 56 off only 49 balls and, when he was out, the stage was set for Rohan and Tim, numbers 3 and 4, to *finally* put on that HUGE stand together. Predictably, Rohan fell straight after. Run out ball-watching. Matt joined Tim and the pair scratched around for a bit before Tim unleashed a monster six over long-on, depositing the ball in the adjoining field and startling some dogs who were sniffing around nonchalantly. Soon, the scoreboard rocketed along as Tim murdered the ball to all parts. Crash. Thump. Bang. At 213 in the 33rd over, we looked well set for a very large total with Gautom still to come. Unfortunately, or rather, of course, we soon lost all three – with Matt, Tim (67 off 53) and Gautom falling in quick succession. With only the bowlers to come and, worse still, only ten players present, our innings limped to a close at 247/9 in the 39th over. But not before an entertaining 10 from debutant Eddy Barreto and a heavily taped-up GM bat.
Manas picked up from the week before at Maidenhead and bowled another superb opening spell, this time going for only 18 in a seven-over spell with two wickets. At the other end, Bernard began nervously but soon bowled with improved control, picking up 2-39 in his eight overs. Earlier, skipper Rohan seemed to have put on his contact lenses correctly. Wretched things they are. He latched on to three sharp catches, diving full length behind the stumps, before amazingly conceding only five byes amidst a hailstorm of 52 extras that included 32 wides. No mean feat with our radar-less bowling attack in this 2013 season. Crucially, one of those three catches took care of the dangerous Badman (no, not Bradman … it’s bAdman). Which meant that the Barnes innings never got going and at 81/3 in the 20th, it all proved too much for the Barnes middle order. Lala top scored with 66. Still, a youthful Kensington remained sharp on the field, despite the afore-mentioned assault on the extras column. At the end, we turned to Tim to bowl the 40th over and take his maiden wicket for the club, which, predictably, he failed to do. However, he did enough to not compromise a comfortable 25 run winning margin.
Match 2: Sun 2 September Barnes Won by 61 runs
We: 247/6 in 40 overs (D.Behar 109, Ramsagar 58, Ghosh 43*, Welton 2/15, Harvey-Kelly 2/43)
They: 186/9 in 38.5 overs (Wilson 70, Badman 37, Duncan 27, J.Behar 3/32, Gorasiya 2/19)
Barnes CC vs KCC has, in recent years, made for some tasty contests. Though it must be said that if our hosts chose to do so, they could easily crush any sense of contest by picking … err … oh wait … they did just that in our first encounter of the year. Armed with renewed confidence that the double centurion in our early season encounter was indeed left out of this return fixture, skipper Rohan boldly called tails to win the toss. Soon KCC were batting on a typical Barnes pitch (best to bat first).
But Barnes did field a few first teamers in preparation for a big league game later in the week. Fair enough. One of whom was Aussie fast bowler Jared Smith. Jared steamed in from the top end, gently at first, and whizzed a few past the noses of KCC openers Ajit Ramsagar and David “The Moral Leader” Behar.
David (inset), not one to cow down, top edged a few for four behind the wicketkeeper, one bounce of course. Cunning. The two openers soon “got in” and 28/0 after 7 overs was rocket-fuelled to 60/0 in 10 overs, with a string of boundaries, particularly from Ajit. Finally, a partnership of sorts after a long and arduous season of ignominious performances. Before long, both batsmen reached their fifties and David had rediscovered his form. Their partnership of 140 in just 22 overs meant that Ajit’s departure saw KCC pinch hitter Atul Setia being promoted up the order. Atul boldly strode in and straight out whereupon Rohan picked up the gauntlet and, soon, the pace picked up again. David reached a very entertaining century, a richly deserved one, and the pair put on 80-odd in the next 10 overs. Fast forward a few overs, Regan walked in and smacked his first ball for a humongous six, as one does, and KCC reached a very respectable 247/6 in the allotted 40 overs.
Barnes began their response with classy openers Alex Campbell and Nick Badman, who had to contend with our own fearsome duo of Maddy Rishad and Lord Shiva (aka Seethal). Lord Shiva in particular, mesmerised the opposition with his hypnotic arm twisting action, bowling three maidens in his eight over spell. Maddy looked like he could take a wicket with every ball. Bharat took a stunning catch, diving forward at cover, to dismiss the dangerous Campbell, lifting the entire team. John Behar came on and, as the pressure built, wickets began tumbling. At 127/5 in the 20th, KCC was well on top. Barnes’ Aussie keeper Damon Wilson then put together a string of partnerships with the lower order in an attempt to rebuild the innings but once Damon fell for a well made 70, the game was all but over. A late introduction of our Italian stallion Giorgio livened up the proceedings, somewhat, as he bounced the Barnes colt and sent another lower order bat back to the pavilion with a bruised arm. Was the pasta at lunch not up to his liking?
Nonetheless, a 61 run win for KCC it was. And a richly deserved one at that. A true team performance.
Match 1: Mon 4 June Barnes Lost by 64 runs
They: 334/6 in 35 overs (John Olive 200*, Camps 42, Fahy 28, Sen 2/83)
We: 270/8 in 40 overs (T.Khan 53*, Syddall 41, Setia 36, Sen 33, McKenzie 4/33, Foulds 2/51)
KCC marked the Queen’s diamond jubilee in a manner that no one present was likely to forget. As the persistent rain that had characterised most of the season gave way to hints of sunshine, we turned up at the familiar surroundings of Barnes CC, looking forward to finally getting a game. And get a game we did.
Saurav lost the toss and Barnes elected to bat. In his first over Tahir Saeed, back after a two year absence, bowled a maiden (the only one of the innings as it turned out) and took a wicket. Things then went nicely to plan as Tahir and Tabrez combined to restrict Barnes to 39/2 for the first 10 overs. The next 25 overs were, as some may put it, intensely character-building for our bowlers as Barnes plundered 295 runs for the loss of 4 wickets. We were effectively ambushed by 27 year-old John Olive, fresh from representative cricket in Grenada, who powered his way to an awesome double hundred. To say KCC were chasing leather would however be wrong, as the balls were simply hit out of the ground and had to be periodically replaced, with the mood of the French Open creeping in as calls of “new balls, please” rang out every few overs. By the time Barnes declared at the end of 35 overs in a 40 over match, two club records (most team runs and highest individual score against us) and several bowling averages were in tatters. Even worse, San was scorer and managed to record each gory (Gore?) detail for posterity.
We started at a brisk pace with Matt Syddall and Chris Ledger putting on 45 together, Ledger thumping a four over the bowler’s head to bring up his 10,000th run for the Club – a notable achievement. Having set the scene for our batsmen to play the innings of their lives and cement their place in KCC folklore along with Ledger’s legendary slower ball, we settled back to tick off our list of key milestones for the game: get to 100 (mighty oak, acorn etc), then 121 so as not to lose by the widest margin ever in club history, then 134 so as not to lose by 200 runs, then 234 so as not to lose by 100 runs, and then go for it all guns blazing. To their credit, several of our batsmen got going, but 334 was a total too far as we lost wickets regularly in an attempt to keep up the run rate and could only muster 270 from our allocated 40 overs (yet another Club record for the highest losing score). Tabby got an honourable 53 in quick time towards the end, maintaining a firm grip on his title as entertainer of the year.
Post-match drinks saw a remarkable yet entirely predictable KCC return to form, as we retired to the comfort zone of the bar and applied ourselves to the serious task of rehydration.
Match 2: Sun 21 August Barnes Won by 3 wkts
They: 235/9 in 40 overs (Scott 88, Pilkington 37, Chaggar 4/32, T.Khan 3/56)
We: 236/7 in 39.5 overs (Tim Keleher 52, Shahzeb 52, Ledger 42*, Shanker 24, Lamb 2/36, Collins 2/44)
This was yet another cracker between Barnes CC and KCC, as it’s wont to be in recent history. KCC skipper Rohan won the toss and inserted the opposition on a fresh pitch. The atmosphere was electric almost from the first ball as Amit and Neeraj opened the attack against the classy Barnes opening pair of Pilkington and Scott. At 72 for no loss in the 11th, the odds seemed stacked against KCC. After Scott fell for 80, short of a deserving hundred, excellent spells from Saurav and Pammi Chaggar (7-2-32-4) and some really spectacular KCC fielding restricted Barnes to 235/9 in their allotted 40 overs.
In reply, KCC’s Matt and Rohan fell early, but Tim (52) and Shahzeb (52) batted with controlled aggression to leave the visitors 100 behind, with 15 overs and 6 wickets in hand. However, the game swung again as Barnes came back strong, picked up a few wickets cheaply and pinned us back. Requiring 42 off the last 6 overs, it was up to KCC’s resident royals, Dame Tabatha (Tabby) and Lord Ledger to steer the ship home. And so they did. Not without drama, of course. Tabby smashed a delightful straight six after teasing the bowlers with a few copy-book defensive prods and Chris reverse-swept fours with gay abandon as if he was having a stroll on the sun-kissed decks of the Queen Mary. With four required off the last over, it all seemed settled. But when Chris was dropped at square leg off the second-last ball when the scores were level, Tabby decided it was a fitting occasion for an impromptu jig and rushed down the pitch, unable to control his enthusiasm. While Chris and Tabby were busy imitating Fred Astaire in the middle of the pitch, to the tune of that old classic “Yes and No”, run out chances were missed, at both ends. And somehow we won … off an overthrow!
Back at the bar, we reflected on a fine performance by KCC. A real TEAM performance!
Match 1: Mon 30 May Barnes Won by 5 runs (D/L/G method)
They: 205/6 in 37.2 overs (Campbell 51, Cuthbertson 41, G.Thomas 2/45)
We: 67/1 in 10.4 overs (Tim Keleher 39*, Adil Ladak 14, Foulds 1/17)
KCC were sent into field, always a disappointing outcome when rain is forecast. Barnes made a barnstorming start (pun intended), getting regular boundaries in the early overs. It took a Sunil Amar master spell to slow proceedings, with his controlled swing and nagging length repeatedly forcing the Barnes batsmen to play and miss. Although he only picked up one wicket himself, his spell helped the later bowlers of Gabriel, Jai Singh and Neeraj to take a bulk of the Barnes wickets. With rain settling in just short of the 40 over mark, Barnes sportingly declared at 205 in order to give KCC some chance to chase their score.
Both skippers agreed to initially modify the target – 130 off 25 overs – but unfortunately the weather stepped in to scupper even these plans. Skipper Keleher had helped himself to 39 runs before the match was abandoned just 10 overs into the chase, with KCC well settled at 67 for 1. To most a draw was the presumed result. Thankfully Mr Gore was present, and with his quick accounting skills coming to the fore, KCC were declared victors by the Duckworth/Lewis/Gore method.