Sat 10 May Deutsche Bank Won by 9 wkts
They: 131/9 in 26.1 overs (Karthik 47, Amit 37, Samir Dada 20*, Saurav Sen 3/3, Deepak Ramachandra 2/20)
We: 136/1 in 16.5 overs (Tim Keleher 74, Rohan Ghosh 34*, Shahzeb Mohammed 12*, Karthik 1/27)
Our annual showdown vs the bankers started with the usual pre-match routine. Pointless negotiation and argy-bargy about the start time, the format and who should bat or bowl first. All this a week before the game. On the day of the game itself, the bankers predictably arrived late and wasted no time in engaging us in more negotiation and argy-bargy about the start time, the format, the libor fix …
We won the toss and had no hesitation in putting the Bank in to take advantage of a green top and heavy overhead conditions. By the 6th over, Deepak had struck twice for KCC, with a typically parsimonious line and length. A brief scrap for the third wicket followed but it wasn’t long before scoreboard pressure got the better of opener Amit (37) and he was bowled by newcomer Malcolm Spencer. 73/3 in the 15th over. Although number 4 Karthik continued to wage a lone battle with a brave 47, Saurav’s introduction brought about a panic and wickets fell in a heap. The last three run out/stumped amidst lots of finger pointing and bickering. Saurav picked up 3 for 3 in 3 and the bankers trooped back to the pavilion in a huff, all out for 131 and still complaining about the start time, the format, the …
Tim opened the batting with skipper Rohan and together the pair put on a solid 124 run opening stand in just under 17 overs. Aside from some rapid running between the wickets and a flurry of boundaries, the highlight was Akhi (on loan to the opposition as a sub fielder) dropping Tim on the square leg boundary, whilst managing to parry the ball over the line for a six. When Tim departed for a fine 74, we only needed 12 to win the match. Shahzeb sauntered in and smashed his first two deliveries for 6 over cow corner. The match was done and dusted, a thrashing it was. DB as usual scarpered off with tails between their legs, leaving us to play a six-a-side fun game.
As everyone piled into their cars and headed down the M1, phone networks across the south east suddenly sprung to life. Code Red! San had lost his car keys and was stranded at the ground. Frantic roadside searches across several Kensington cars failed to yield the errant keys. Luckily, San’s smart car knew better, smartly opening its doors as Herr Kommisioner approached the vehicle. The keys were, of course, found in the most obvious place; in the front pocket of his trousers in his kitbag.
Sat 17 August Deutsche Bank Won by 6 wkts
They 165/6 in 25 overs (Pavan Mallick 58, Gareth James 30, Faizal Khan 24*, Saurav Sen 2/19, Neeraj Nayar 2/25, Todd Cornehls 2/41)
We 168/4 in 23.2 overs (Tim Keleher 41, Matt Syddall 36*, Matt Marshall 32*, Chris Ledger 31, Ahmer Hasan 2/27)
So to beautiful Ascott House. Prompt, mind you. Don’t be late, no sir. In fact this year, for the avoidance of doubt, as the prospectus might say, the opposition skipper had taken the precaution of advising us by e-mail to get there good and early, giving us the best chance of play on a day threatened by afternoon rain. So we did. We did, the groundsman did, the two excellent neutral lady umpires did, the tea lady did and three of the Bank’s eleven did. Given the forecast, one third of the DB side present suggested a shortened game, say 25 overs, and we agreed, having already discussed this amongst ourselves and with the match officials. Deutsche won the toss and decided to bat. Fielding would have been audacious.
25 minutes in and third man Saurav Sen overhears a phone call pleading “come on yaar, it’s not raining, just get to the ground”. Around about the 11th over the rest of the side arrived stepping out of a fancy car, and the DB skipper, after shaking hands and a brief apology, began insisting that the game be lengthened. Clearly fresh from a ‘don’t-take-no-for-an-answer’ assertiveness training seminar, he wouldn’t take no for an answer. The training just kicks in I suppose. We had to get back to the game so we left him puzzling over our “no”, working out what to do with it. By this time Ramachandra had bowled his 5 overs for just 18, ably supported by Rhino Konson. Gareth James and Pavan Mallick, opening for DB, had made a good start, particularly with only one batsman at the ground ready to follow them, putting on 88 in the first 14 overs. The combined Kensington legendaries Toddy and Neej then squeezed the middle overs dry, each picking up 2 wickets along the way, as did Saurav at the end.
166 to win then. Not a huge score but on the board. Still infuriated, the DB skipper opened the attack, successfully finding the middle of the track. Tim responded calmly, belting four of the first 6 balls to the rope. Ajit fell cheaply but Ledger (inset) helped Tim put on 50 for the 2nd wicket before the Matts, Syddall and Marshall, ticked off the last 60 odd runs with 10 balls to spare and little drama.
After the formalities, the usual early departure of the DB squad, and a wee knockabout amongst ourselves, we repaired to a local pub for a pint and a giggle.
Sun 1 July Deutsche Bank Lost by 61 runs
They 231/10 in 34.5 overs (Akshay 69, Gareth 42, Ash 28, Raza 28, Sen 2/20, G.Thomas 2/39, Setia 2/39)
We 170/10 in 31.5 overs (Ramsagar 53, J.Singh 35, Ash 6/34, Akshay 2/294)
There have been some classic encounters against the bankers over the years, not least last year’s match when DB prevailed 9 wickets down on the 2nd last delivery. Unfortunately for KCC, this was not one of them.
Prior to the match DB’s attention seemed focused more on the kick-off time for the Euro 2012 final and whether their players could reach home in time to watch. A 12 noon start was eventually agreed. At 12.30 DB still only had 5 players present – no wonder the economy is in a shambles with this level of tardiness!
Still, KCC sportingly let DB bat first, a decision we were later left to rue. DB got off to a blazing start, smashing multiple boundaries and reaching 100 in no time. A steady flow of wickets, helped by a great spell from Saurav, slowed the run rate ever so slightly. But each new DB batsman made a contribution and an imposing score was always on the cards. Despite DB being bowled out in the 2nd last over, KCC would be forced to chase an impressive 231 from 35 overs.
This chase never really got going. With Skipper Keleher chasing at one he should’ve left, and Rohan being bowled playing around a straight ball, the backbone of the innings was left to Jai and Ajit. They put on 69, and both looked capable of making big scores. But as the required run rate climbed Jai holed out and a middle order collapse ensued. Ajit battled on, but when he fell the game was up.
A comprehensive victory for the bankers. We will have to raise our game next year.
Sun 5 June Deutsche Bank Lost by 1 wkt
We 184/6 in 40 overs (SteveThomas 48, Shahzeb 42, Tim Keleher 27, Samir Dada 1/17)
They 187/9 in 39.5 overs (Andrew 44, Chippa 42, Samir Dada 20*, Neeraj Nayar 2/29, Jai Singh 2/38, Amit Shanker 2/39)
KCC won the toss and batted first on a true pitch, but with overcast conditions the Deutsche Bank bowlers tested the KCC top order. Skipper Keleher and fellow Aussie Steve Thomas (inset) got Kensington past the 50 mark, with Shahzeb Mohammed joining in on the act after Keleher fell. Even though a solid foundation was built, both Steve and Shahzeb had to work extremely hard for their runs, a combination of a slowing pitch and tight DB bowling. Once their wickets fell, scoring for the new batsmen became even more difficult, and in the end KCC had to settle for an under-par score of 184 from their allotted 40 overs. This was helped by a late Amit Shanker cameo with the bat.
With drizzle settling in from the start of DB’s innings it was going to be a tough score to defend, yet wickets fell at regular intervals thanks to some outstanding catching from Jai Singh and Gabriel Thomas, and tight bowling from Amit Shanker and the ever present Neeraj Nayar. Nayar in particular was asked to bowl early in the innings, taking 2 crucial wickets. DB were still scoring at a steady pace so bowling them out seemed like the only route to victory for KCC. When the 9th wicket fell from a direct hit run out by Akhi DB were still 40 runs short of the target and KCC were in the box seat. Yet the last pair chipped away at the score, kept their heads and somehow their wickets – despite some fervent appeals from KCC and questionable umpiring decisions (totally unbiased, of course!) – to pass our score on the second last delivery of the day.