Eton Ramblers T20 Tournament

2022          Sun 31 July

KCC were delighted to be invited for the first time to the four team 20/20 tournament hosted by Eton Ramblers on the grounds of Eton College. A pair of Semi-Finals followed by a Final and 3rd/4th playoff ensued.

Semi Final                            Cryptics                         Won by 8 wkts

They  133/10 in 19 overs  (Cullum Wood 1, Patrick Watts 18, Extras 38, Viren Patel 3/12, Bernard van Vuuren 3/27)

We     134/2 in 18.4 overs  (Preetinder Singh 56*, Andy Stokes 50, Will Wilkins 1/23)

A familiar foe in Joe Ireland was skippering for the Cryptics as they batted first on what was looking a slow and low wicket. We were on top from the outset with the spin and swing combo of quality first gamer, Jaimin Chauhan, and our swing maestro, Bernard.

Bernard picked up the crucial wicket of Cryptics’ young gun Harsh Parmar after he had started his innings with a pair of glorious boundaries. Another KCC first gamer Viren Patel produced a masterclass of stump-to-stump bowling as he collected three lbw decisions on his way to conceding only 12 runs from his 4 overs. Part-time wicketkeeper Tim even had a chance to collect his first ever stumping late on as the Cryptics committed the cardinal sin of 20/20 cricket in being dismissed before using up their allotted overs. Only 134 required for victory.

The KCC chase was in cruise control from the outset on the back of a silky-smooth half century from Andy Stokes and a similarly classy half century from Preetinder as we reached the target with 8 balls to spare. Onto the final versus the Butterflies (After one of the finest cricket teas we are ever likely to enjoy).

Final                                Butterflies                         Lost by 16 runs

They  187/5 in 20 overs  (Henry McDonald 101, Caspar Baker 56, Jaimin Chauhan 3/17, Alex Tharakan 1/25)

We     171/4 in 20 overs  (Jaimin Chauhan 71, Preetinder Singh 31, Gus Beagles 2/19, Charles Griffin 2/43)

We had the privilege of moving onto the main Eton ground for the final versus the Butterflies who had dismantled the hosts in the other Semi-Final. The condition of the pitch was noticeably different with it being a hybrid grass/synthetic wicket. We were also weakened by the enforced absence of Stokoe for the match. Butterflies won the toss and elected to bat.

In what became a trend for this match, we had to lean on the quality of Jaimin with both ball and bat as he had the Butterflies top order in a spin with his classy left arm orthodox action and figures of 1 for 4 from his first 3 overs. After 8 overs the young Butterflies were scoring at less than a run a ball. Unfortunately, KCC newcomer Sid Dhurka had an over to forget and the (very) young quality of the middle order came to the fore as Henry McDonald and Caspar Baker exploded into action, putting on 162 runs together. All KCC bowlers were on the receiving end of some brutal hitting, especially off the one over from the hapless Sid Dhurka. The 16-year-old Henry stroked his way to a classy maiden century completing it in the penultimate over before being bowled by Alex (174/3). The last over yielded two more wickets and 13 runs leaving us with a menacing 188 for victory.

The Butterflies quality was not confined to their batting, as it seemed like we were facing an endless stream of fast 6 foot 3 bowlers. Rohan and Preetinder were very solid at the top of the innings, but the required run rate was creeping away from us. Enter Jaimin at number 3 as skipper Tim gave him the Princess Leia team talk (“Obi-wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope”) and boy did he respond. Jaimin began crunching the Butterflies attack to all parts and you could sense the nerves entering our opponents’ heads. With Tim joining Jaimin and having a fast start we require just 40 from the last 3 overs. Butterflies skipper Gus Beagles took on the unenviable task of bowling at the death and produced a moment of pure quality as he plucked a fierce straight drive from Jaimin out of the air and the KCC chase was over. A 16-run loss against an incredibly talented opposition was something we could be very pleased with.

In an effort to secure our spot for next season we went with the tried and tested KCC method of bringing mountains of booze to ensure we would bowl over the opposition in the clubhouse as well as out in the middle. An incredibly enjoyable day of cricket and a day we look forward to taking part in this well organised tournament for many years to come.