The fledgling works team that is Thomson Reuters London CC lined up against the Salmagundi Gardeners following much hard work and planning by Nick Duckett and Richard Higginbottom. This constituted of Nick saying to Richard after a Gardeners match: “Do you have a works team shall we have a game?” and Richard replying “I’ll see what I can do”. A few emails and phone calls brought us to Hampstead Heath Extension.
Immediately Thomson Reuters were unsettled by the surroundings. “Where can I change?” Edi asked Richard. “That bush offers some privacy” was advised in reply. Perhaps I should have warned the team about the facilities … but there were a lot of people with other commitments so I was determined not to put anyone off.
Richard won the toss and chose to bat. Thomson Reuters made a very tentative start in the face of some fine bowling by Gardeners stalwart Lord Fakenham and regular skipper David Stead (Nick takes charge for the night games). The Gardeners got an early breakthrough when Nadeem Aslam picked out Tom Monahan at extra cover off a ball from David (“I should have said don’t hit it to Tom” mused Richard as the ball disappeared into Tom’s bucket-like hands). An early bowling change then saw Tom bowl out Mitul Patel for 3 and Thomson Reuters were teetering at 14 for 2. Enter Edi Maris, who steadied the ship and encouraged Ben “Mighty” Myers to start opening his shoulders. Both batsmen reached 25 and duly retired … the rules of the game allowing them to come back in should all the remaining wickets fall.
Sanjay Kittali shaped up well for 8 before being bowled by an excellent delivery from little-used spinner Adam Wood. Nirjhar Daripa also scored 8 (2 boundaries) – this time Jeremy Gostick deprived the game of the sight of Nirjhar’s awesome six hitting potential. Great work Jeremy!
Martin “Beast Of” Burden was stumped for a duck off Adam and Richard was stumped for a duck off his great friend David. Well, I had to try to hit him for six. Lovely work behind the stumps by Jeff Round, celebrating Canada Day with a polished performance. Surup Desai – a New Jersey man making his cricketing debut – struggled to work out why the bat was such an odd shape and hit the ball straight back to Jeremy – caught and bowled for 0. Enter Sachin! Some of the most bizarre and exciting running produced panic in both teams – most remarkably resulting in seven off one delivery – a very risky single, then another two from the resulting missed throw, then an overthrown 4 thanks to Tom’s powerful arm evading stumps, 3 fielders, a dog, a cyclist, a sunbather and a prayer group before coming to rest in the bushes. The returning Ben was stumped (more good work by Jeff off Billy “The Beard” Yates) and Edi was (somewhat predictably) run out by Sachin to close the innings.
Thomson Reuters 134 all out in 19.5 overs
Nadeem Aslam ct T Monahan b Stead 0
Ben Myers st Round b Yates 31
Mitul Patel b T Monahan 2
Edi Maris run out 27
Sanjay Kittali b Wood 8
Nirjhar Daripa b Gostick 8
Martin Burden st Round b Wood 0
Richard Higginbottom st Round b Stead 0
Surup Desai ct & b Gostick 0
Sachin Ranchunne not out 15
David Stead 3 overs 0 maidens 6 runs 2 wickets
Lord Fakenham 3.5 – 0 – 20 – 0
Jimmy Muldoon 4 – 0 – 27 – 0
Tom Monahan 2 – 0 – 9 – 1
Paul Brasted 2 – 0 – 16 – 0
Adam Wood 2 – 0 – 16 – 2
Jeremy Gostick 2 – 0 – 13 – 2
Billy Yates 1 – 0 – 12 – 1
“Anyone fancy keeping wicket?” shouted Richard. The wall of silence meant I donned the pads and gloves and Thomson Reuters took to the field. A breakthrough was secured by Nirjhar before a run had been scored, Jeff failing to middle an outswinger and putting up a catch gratefully received by Sanjay at mid on. Adam battled manfully against the considerable pace and swing of the Thomson Reuters openers Nirjhar and Ben before receiving a shooter that rearranged his timbers for 1. Tom and David set about rebuilding the innings against some very impressive bowling, some well executed strokes to leg by Tom and strokes all round the ground by David.
A double bowler change brought Sachin and Sanjay together. Sachin’s great variety of pace and turn were causing problems but the Gardeners negotiated his first two overs well, a sublime pull-drive by David going for a six. At the other end Sanjay produced a super yorker to break Tom’s wicket for 18 – Gardeners 47 for 3. In his next over an off-cutter gained the prize wicket of David for 24 and with his very next ball had skipper Nick caught behind by Richard. The hat trick ball was handled expertly by Billy playing a neat deflection away for 4. Sachin figured it was wicket time and (after another Billy boundary) took consecutive wickets in the next over – bowling Billy with an incredibly fast delivery and inducing Paul “Barking” Brasted to fence a ball to Nirjhar. Edi had been giving us an elegant display of classic cover fielding up until this point and came into the attack, bowling six beautifully accurate balls of a full length. And went for 13 in the over thanks to some inspired batting by Lord Fakenham (especially a straight drive for 4 – yes that’s right a straight drive). Edi of course followed that up with another over of equal excellence, narrowly failing twice to get a wicket and conceding a streaky single. Meanwhile at the other end Sachin produced a party trick of an attempted bouncer … which bounced twice, the second bounce just under Fakenham’s bat. His Lordship is a splendid fellow, a dear friend of mine and a man of Norfolk so I did apologise. Next time I’ll try to remember not to smile. Jeremy and Jimmy Muldoon fended off Sachin and Edi, then Mitul duly took Jimmy’s wicket by inducing a catch to Sachin. We played “last man” to use up the remaining light allowing Martin to show as the full width of the pitch and Surup to pitch (“No ball” shouted Adam, now umpiring). Surup straightened his arm up enough for Nirjhar to catch Jeremy and close the match.
Salmagundi Gardeners 114 all out lost by 20 runs
Jeff Round ct Kittali b Daripa 0
Tom Monahan b Kittali 18
Adam Wood b Daripa 1
David Stead lbw Daripa 24
Lord Fakenham b Randunne 14
Nick Duckett ct Higginbottom b Kittali 0
Billy Yates b Randunne 9
Paul Brasted ct Daripa b Randunne 0
Jeremy Gostick ct Daripa b Desai 19
Jimmy Muldoon ct Randunne b Patel 5
Thomson Reuters bowling:
Nirjhar Daripa 3 overs 0 maidens 11 runs 2 wickets
Ben Myers 3 – 0 – 18 – 0
Sachin Randunne 4 – 0 – 29 – 3
Sanjay Kittali 2 – 0 – 7 – 3
Edi Maris 2 – 0 – 14 – 0
Mitul Patel 1 – 0 – 9 – 1
Martin Burden 1 – 0 – 15 – 0
Surup Desai 1 – 0 – 6 – 1
After the game we walked up the long and winding hill to the Old Bull And Bush. Edi spotted a business opportunity for a bar half way up for flagging cricketers. Martin attacked the camembert with gusto … must remember to get him to imagine the ball is made of it from now on. The 210 midnight bus was full of diverse folk so I’ve asked them all to apply to Thomson Reuters for work to support our diversity policy.