Sun 15 May Barnes Common Lost by 44 runs
They 130/9 in 35 overs (Keith Jurianz 50, Anthony Lepere 15, Nikhil Johri 14, Eddy Barreto 3/24, Saikat Barua 2/15, Deepak Ramachandra 2/34, Sunil Amar 1/25)
We 86/10 in 28 overs (Jamie Keleher 26, Akhi Shailendra 15*, Extras 18, Graeme Freedman 2/10, Nikhil Johri 2/14, Sanjay Beri 2/15)
At the halfway stage of this game, skipper David Behar was confident of victory. A disciplined bowling performance had seen Barnes Common restricted to 130 off their 35 overs. However, familiar batting frailties, which saw our batsmen unable to establish partnerships, meant we fell well short.
So first the praise. KCC’s battery of fast, medium fast and slow medium bowlers all performed creditably. Saikat was the most miserly, conceding only 15 runs off his 7 overs. Eddy had the best strike rate, claiming 3 wickets. Akhi bowled well on his comeback for KCC without reward. The Barnes innings was held together by Keith Juriansz who played correctly and watchfully on a puddingy pitch to claim the match’s only 50 and allow his teammates to bat around him.
Now the criticism. The blueprint had been provided. We needed a batsman to drop anchor and a couple of good partnerships. Unfortunately, neither eventuated. Our best partnership was a paltry 23 between Jamie and newcomer Will Lowry. Our second top scorer was extras (18). Batsmen came and went. As always, the lower order threatened but without a platform from which to attack. Deepak’s unfortunate castling by a double bounce leg-spin summed up our day. Credit to Barnes for canny bowling well suited to the pitch which saw us all out for 86, well short of our target.
Sun 17 May Barnes Common Lost by 46 runs
They 199/10 in 34.4 overs (Andy 40, Freedman 36, Nikhil Johri 33, Saikat Barua 4/21, Rohan Ghosh 2/6, Eddy Barreto 2/26, Sunil Amar 2/32)
We 153/9 in 32.1 overs (Hammad Rishad 53, Eddy Barreto 31, Julian Halliburton 18, Sanjay Beri 2/17, Andy 2/35, Suraj Vithlani 2/38)
Rohan won the toss and KCC’s opening bowlers kicked off the game amidst brilliant sunshine, with Saikat Barua immediately removing Barnes Commons opening bat Keith and the dangerous No.3 Sanjay. Meanwhile Oscar behind the stumps struggled with the inconsistent bounce which is a perennial factor on this otherwise pretty urban-meadow masquerading as a cricket ground. But Konson (0-58), bereft of his radar, proved fertile picking for a streaky Graeme and a stroke-filled Nikhil. With the scoreboard hurtling along recklessly, Eddy Barreto (5-0-26-2) and an incisive Ghosh (4-2-6-2) were introduced into the attack which led to a flurry of wickets. With the opposition on the ropes, a moment of mercy appeared in the form of a haplessly out-of-touch Julian Halliburton and the usually metronomic Sunil Amar. Both were generous, more so than necessary, particularly towards No 9 Andy who struck a chancy 40, before Saikat returned to restore order. Extras contributed 32. Grr …
Chasing 200 to win in 35 overs, we made a distressed start losing three quick wickets for only 32. The home side bowled with fine control, particularly Suraj Vithlani and Sanjay Beri. Hammad Rishad, promoted up the batting order to No. 4, mixed his usual belligerence with unusual watchfulness and struck a fine 53 off only 44 balls. He found good support in the colourful Eddy for a fruitful 5th wicket stand of 62.
Sadly for Hammad, he soon fell prey to the idiosyncratic bounce, adjudged LBW. Still, entertainment was at hand from Halliburton at No. 9, who biffed a towering six into the woods beyond, much to the delight of his Canadian girlfriend who was watching with great anticipation. In the end we fell short by 46 runs somewhat handicapped by a missing No. 11.
Sun 5 October Barnes Common Won by 5 wkts
They 152/6 in 35 overs (Vithlani 38, Graeme 33*, Nikhil 29, Bharat Gorasiya 1/9, Rohan Ghosh 1/11, Ryan Konson 1/17)
We 153/5 in 27.3 overs (Tim Keleher 35, Rohan Ghosh 33*, San Gore 27, Saurav Sen 23*, Swan 2/18, Vithlani 2/20)
Arriving at this urban meadow, tucked away next to the railway tracks running through Barnes, it felt great to still play cricket in early October. The pitch however, wore a different story and its swampy texture meant a delayed start. Still everyone was keen to play, given this would be the last opportunity to play cricket this year, so we agreed to a 35 overs a side game.
Barnes Common openers Nikhil and Keith began watchfully, negotiating the first 10 overs with 40 on the board. Nikhil in particular played some cracking shots but once he was dismissed, the rest of the Barnes Common top order found runs difficult to come by against some disciplined KCC bowling. At 113/5 in the 27th over, in came Suraj Vithlani who smashed a quick 38, taking a particular liking to an off-colour Saurav. Still, the 153 target would prove an easy one for KCC to chase down. The only issue was the rapidly fading light. But useful contributions throughout the top and middle order from Tim, San, Rohan and Saurav ensured that we were always just ahead. In the end we got there with plenty of wickets and overs to spare.
The big story of the day, however, was the orange cricket ball we used in the match. Even after the novelty factor wore off, we couldn’t stop talking about how easy it was to spot the ball in the outfield (we didn’t drop a single catch all day!) and whilst batting too. So here’s petitioning the KCC overlords: be bold and go Orange.