Pimlico Strollers 30 September

To Crouch End for the final game of the season – the first time we’ve had two fixtures in a season against The Strollers.  Could we gain some revenge?  Strollers destroyer-in-chief Spencer asked me “Is your quick bowler playing?”; “No but I’ve got two as quick as that one instead”, thus pinning my faith in today’s attack which did not have Mick who so nearly pulled off an improbable win for us in the first game.

Distinctly Autumnal feel (unsurprisingly) as Captain Higginbottom called incorrectly as usual – and we took to the field.  David Stead opened the bowling from the Highgate End and immediately located the corridor of uncertainty on a length that was constantly there-or-thereabouts.  Harry Williams, fresh from his Gardeners debut in Uplyme, commenced proceedings from the Ally Pally end and was similarly miserly.  The scoreboard scarcely moved in the first 3 overs and then Harry reaped the reward of frustrating the opening batsmen as G Brown slapped a shortish ball up into the air which Harry claimed just before his cousin Tom got his mitts on it.  Richardson at the other end snicked one and nudged one … giving him two boundaries on a lightning fast (and fairly short) boundary.  What effrontery … Harry put an end to this impertinence by inducing another lofted shot, Tom this time getting there first.  12 for 2.  Some determined defensive play by Fowler and Morgan ensued … Dave got a nick off Fowler but we couldn’t quite hang on … could prove to be expensive.  The red haired marvel got his reward when the skipper got bored with the stonewall tactics and moved himself in to short leg.  This unnerved Morgan who may have assumed a white bus was descending on him, and he poked a panicky looking shot at Cover where Harry took another catch. 22-3.  Harry bowled another maiden and then Dave took a wicket with the first ball of his next over – plumb lbw and 22-4.  Field was pulled in for the hat-trick – Dave bowled the ball so wide of off-stump the umpire was surprised so failed to give the signal.  Dave was then hit for 4 by the new batsman H Brown.  The young pup wasn’t allowed to take liberties again and Dave had his third wicket in five deliveries as Dave H at Point took a catch from a mis-hit square drive.  Steadley and Harry completed their spells and after 14 over the Strollers were 35-5.  However, Fowler was still there … and greeted Dave’s replacement James by lofting his first delivery for a one-bounce four.  Ominous.  At the other end Davies – who’d played a good defensive knock against us in the first encounter – continued to dead bat everything as Fowler started to play some big shots off Stuart (replacing Harry at the Ally Pally end) and James.  Both bowled very tightly and James was rewarded by rattling Davies’ timbers with his “one that wobbles a bit”.  54 – 6 and now Fowler was hitting one boundary per over but hardly any other runs were coming.  Roger replaced James and Fowler hit three mighty blows off our genial Ulsterman.  I always think Roger bowls better when he has a point to prove and his line and length steadily improved despite the onslaught, resulting in Bowstead lofting a tricky catch to (guess who) Harry who yet again made it look sublimely simple.  Couldn’t quite believe Stuart didn’t get a wicket as he bowled a full spell so well … but he was bowling to Fowler a great deal so certainly contributed to keeping the score down.  The Strollers had a sting in their tail, Couldrey playing some enterprising strokes in support of Fowler.  We were trying to keep Fowler away from the strike to finish off the Strollers, but Fowler took one too many risks against Roger, trying to mow a ball outside off stump across to deep midwicket and dragging it onto his stumps.  Tom had taken a couple of boundary hits in his first over on replacing Stuart, but showed deadly accuracy in trapping Couldrey lbw for 19 and then clinically bowling Kemp to close the innings.

Pimlico Strollers   155 all out   in 33.5 overs
Richardson   c T Monahan b Williams   8
G Brown   c & b Williams   0
Fowler   b McCann   74
Morgan   c Williams b Stead   6
Gillies   lbw Stead   0
H Brown   c Hollingsworth b Stead   4
Davies   b Douse   3
Bowstead   c Williams b McCann   7
Couldrey   lbw T Monahan   19
Boughey   not out   0
Kemp   b T Monahan   0
Extras   34

SGCC Bowling
David Stead   7 – 2 – 15 – 3
Harry Williams   7 – 3 – 14 – 2
James Douse   5 – 2 – 26 – 1
Stuart Bruce   7 – 0 – 31 – 0
Roger McCann   5 – 0 – 36 – 2
Tom Monahan   2.5 – 0 – 19 – 2

Tea isn’t worth reporting on … apart from the carrot cake which was passable.  On with the reply.  After a shaky start by Boughey which got Dave S and Roger away with some nicely timed strokes, the Strollers openers caused some concern particularly the hostile Harry Brown (particularly so when two lbw appeals were declined and he was then no-balled twice).  UltraBass and the Whitley Bay Champion were the epitome of calmness under pressure as they put on 62 for the first wicket until Roger played over a shortish ball that stayed low and was given lbw.  Adam got right across his stumps, played a careful defensive stroke that was nowhere near the ball and admitted he nearly walked before he was pointed back towards the pavilion.  Tom and Dave went through the doldrums for a few overs until Tom cracked 3 fours in 4 balls.  Then got bowled.  83-3 became 90-4 when Dave H was also lbw after hitting a stylish cover drive for 4.  The skipper put on 35 with Steadley (50% Stead, 25% Extras, 25% Higginbottom) until the Norfolk exile lost sight of a full toss and tamely lobbed a catch to midwicket.  Dave and James looked untroubled as we approached the target, trading elegant cover drives as we closed out the match with 6 overs to spare.  Whitley Bay’s finest was unbeaten on 59 featuring a superb pull over midwicket for 6 and sumptuous fours all around the wicket.

Salmagundi Gardeners   156 for 5   off 28.5 overs
David Stead   not out   59
Roger McCann   lbw Boughey   26
Adam Wood   lbw Boughey   0
Tom Monahan   b Fowler   15
David Hollingsworth   lbw Fowler   5
Richard Higginbottom   c Bowstead b Gillies   8
James Douse   not out   7
Harry Williams, Stuart Bruce and Paul Brasted did not bat
Extras   37

Strollers Bowling
Boughey   7 – 1 – 30 – 2
H Brown   4 – 0 – 24 – 0
Fowler   7 – 4 – 17 – 2
Davies   2.5 – 1 – 17 – 0
Kemp   2 – 9  24 – 0
Bowstead   3 – 0 – 3 – 0
Gillies   3 – 0 – 17 – 1

SGCC won by 5 wickets

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