Sun 19 June North Holmwood Lost by 3 wkts
We 140/10 in 36.3 overs (Deepak Ramachandra 32, Ravi Mantha 23, Sid Chhibbar 23, Shane Head 2/11, Jordon 2/12, Charlie Woods 2/15, Ian Elliott 2/15)
They 143/7 in 31.3 overs (Stewart Homewood 57, Sam Longhurst 28, Jordon 27, Ali Bilgrami 2/9, Saikat Barua 2/34)
An overcast day greeted KCC as they travelled to the picturesque Surrey village of North Holmwood. After being inserted by the home team KCC got off to a disastrous start with most of the top order complicit in their dismissals. Only Ravi Mantha showed some fight as KCC dropped to 88/7 off 26 overs in this 40 overs game. Shane Head (2/11 off 5), Charlie Woods (2/15 off 8), and their stalwart Ian Elliott (2/15 off 6) ensured a stagnant innings with wickets falling steadily. A watchful partnership of 40 for the 8th wicket between Deepak and Sid steadied things somewhat but the innings petered out to see KCC dismissed for a mere 140.
Only an excellent performance in the field could defend this sub-par score and the fieldsmen duly responded by dropping no fewer than 9 chances! The bowlers were impressive with Saikat (2/34), Sid (1/21) and Ali (2/9) all threatening but they were poorly let down by some very ordinary fielding. North Holmwood’s batsmen were given too many chances and an excellent innings from Stewart Homewood (52) meant they comfortably chased down the target with 3 wickets and 8 overs to spare.
Sun 21 June North Holmwood Lost by 3 wkts
We 185/10 in 40 overs (Tim Keleher 92, Warren Williams 22, Tabrez Khan 18, Ali Bilgrami 17, Head 2/10, David Lines 2/16, Daryl Goff 2/30)
They 191/7 in 40 overs (Ian Elliott 75*, David Lines 39, Longhurst 23, Saikat Barua 2/17, Nitin Chaturvedi 2/40)
KCC made a tentative start, with NH opening bowler Robin Lines extracting pace and bounce from the slightly sloping pitch. Pammi played very well for his 11 ball duck…unfortunately helping one to first slip that got close to him at the last minute. Warren took less time to get his innings started, nudging a 4 through gully off the first ball, then whacking a 6 over mid wicket into the neighbouring farmland. It was the first of many balls the teams would collectively be searching for as the day unfolded. Even though Tim stood firm at one end keeping the run rate ticking over, wickets regularly fell around him with Warren, Nitin, Tabrez and Eddie all getting starts but failing to capitalise. With Tim looking to accelerate the scoring, he was caught on the boundary for a well-made 92. It was one of many fine catches taken by NH, a standard we were unable to replicate later in the day which proved decisive in the result. This was not the type of pitch where quick runs were easy to come by for new batsmen, KCC’s innings eventually fizzling out in the final over with the score at 185; a defendable total, but 20-30 short of what we were expecting.
The top order for NH also found the going tough, with KCC mixing Saikat’s pace (2/17 off 8 overs) with a combination of Neeraj/Ali/Nitin/Pammi tweakers from the other end. At 128/7 with 7 overs left and the required rate almost 8.5, KCC seemed well on top. But those familiar with the fixture know, until Ian Elliott is safely back in the dressing room nothing is taken for granted.
Ignoring any hyperbole, coming in at number 8 Elliott single-handedly took NH from the brink of defeat to a superb victory, all in the space of a few short overs. No matter the bowler, no matter the line or length, he brutalised the ball to all parts. Litter the boundary with 7 fielders? Never mind, he’ll just effortlessly go over the top!
Neeraj took on the unenviable task of taking the last over, with 17 required for victory. First ball – 6. Not good. Two dots followed but it was just delaying the inevitable. 6, 4, 6 to end the match and surely add a new KCC record of 3 lost balls in a single over. Elliott a blinding 75 not out off 42 balls, including 6 sixes and 7 fours.
KCC certainly were not helped by 7 dropped catches and some generally sloppy fielding at the pointy end of the innings, a stark contrast to the earlier performance of NH in the field. Lessons hopefully learned – take your catches, and best not let Ian Elliott chase down a score. Any score.
Sun 22 June North Holmwood Cancelled
Sun 23 June North Holmwood Won by 41 runs
We 165/8 in 40 overs (Amit Shanker 32, Gautom Menon 30, David Behar 24*, Jordon 2/5, Goff 2/22)
They 124/10 in 36.2 overs (Elliot 36, Homewood 23, Ajit Ramsagar 3/14, Shanker 2/5, Barua 2/12)
If a Martian, travelling across the solar system, had decided to stop for a bite on Earth and joined us at tea in the middle of this game, he’d have said our first innings effort was well below par and our chances of defending it slim. Amit and Gautom put up a half-century opening stand and that proved to be our best partnership of the innings. KCC batsmen came and went in slow procession and we limped to a paltry 165 for 8 in our allotted 40. A few lusty blows by Khush at the end of the innings boosted our total. Skipper David was also not out at the end of the innings, cunningly preserving his wicket by failing to connect with a succession of loopy leg-spinners sent down at the death. Goff and Jordan were the pick of the North Holmwood bowlers with 2 wickets apiece.
Bloodied but not bowed, we contrived not only to defend our total but to win by the handsome margin of 41 runs. There was barely a weak link in the KCC bowling attack. Khush and Saikat set the tone. Seethal followed up well with 1 for 19 off his 7. Ian Elliott, given a life off the skipper’s bowling (K Khan again, San), threatened to take the game away from KCC but fell for a hard-hitting 36. Credit to Ajit and Amit for snuffing out the danger and mopping up the tail with 3 and 2 wickets respectively.
Sun 24 June North Holmwood Cancelled – rain
Sun 26 June North Holmwood Lost by 16 runs
They 182/4 in 40 overs (Tyers 57, Homewood 57, Wall 27, Saurav Sen 2/39)
We 166/9 in 40 overs (Abbas Quettawala 65*, Bharat Gorasiya 48, Tabrez Khan 23, Cairns 3/16, Herbert 2/14)
When Skipper Tabby Khan left home on a hot and sunny day without the scorebook he should have known it was not going to be a good day at the office. Some KCC players arrived late and we were asked to bowl first. Khush and Bharat were a tad unfortunate as the North Holmwood openers scored 57 each before being stumped by the in-form KCC wicket-keeper Mark Oppe. Abbas Q was unlucky to take only 1 wicket as KCC displayed some sorry fielding. Four catches were dropped and easy runs were given away (more cap biting for Khan). A refreshing spell from Stefanos Nayar brought another wicket and Saurav got two whilst being unusually expensive. Mark kept himself busy with another stumping. North Holmwood got to 182/4 in 40 and KCC needed a drink and some shade.
KCC’s openers, David and Neeraj liked the shade a lot – they were back in the hut before the score reached 20. Khan steadied the ship before an ‘interesting’ lbw decision by his own umpire. The next 2 wickets fell within 3 runs and KCC were 7 down with less than 50 runs on the board. Cairns, a part time bowler, had taken 3 wickets thanks to KCC batsmen or umpires. The KCC cap had been eaten by now. Abbas and Bharat had different plans though. Great fighting knocks, some sublime shots by Abbas (65*) and some effective whacking by Bharat (48) got KCC close to the target, but the visitors ended 16 short. Everyone enjoyed some cool Cobras and the local bitter whilst talking through the day’s cricket. North Holmwood, as ever, were very hospitable and we are all looking forward to the return fixture.