A return to form for the cricketers
London Saints arrived at Greenwich Park having recorded back to back wins for the first time in an age. Could they make it three on the bounce? The answer in short was No. Having won the toss and opting to field first on a pitch that was rather green, stand –in skipper John Griffiths was then faced with task of finding an 11th man who was duly provided by the home team.
While short on bowlers, Saints were certainly not short on effort in the opening exchanges of the game. Pike, who had decided to show his face for the first time this season and even bowl, managed to remove Cincers’ opening bat for 20 after a big top edge was well caught by Mark Barber. This was the first ball of his spell which, whilst slightly erratic was much improved from being hit for 33 off 2 overs in his only previous bowling cameo for Saints.
Griffiths was the next to get in the action by pinning the other opener LBW for 18.
Beautiful Mise-En-Scene combined with some slack fielding meant that normal order was soon restored and the home side had reached the high 80s by the tenth over. However Saints, although as previously mentioned were hampered by a lack of bowling options, persevered and were duly rewarded when the ever dependable Tony Grimes was able to get Saqqib out for 56, also LBW.
With arguably their most talented batsman having been dispatched, Cincers now needed someone to come in and steady the ship. They found that man in the name of T.Lowe who later went on to annoy a number of Saints’ elder statesmen greatly by trying to knock the bails off after every delivery in his stint as wickie.
Steve Keenan eventually bowled Lowe with some good line and length while on 68. Pike was put in to bowl after the drinks break and was able to claim the wicket of Whittaker with the help of Wazza who took a great catch at long off.
Wazza although unable to take any wickets himself, was suffering from a severe case of tennis elbow and managed to bowl the full seven with two maidens in the process (we later found out this wouldn’t go on to hamper his batting).
A combination of excellent bowling from Lord Lucan and astute keeping from Speedtwin, who could have been forgiven for switching off, resulted in two stumpings. This left Cincers on 246-6 at the end of their knock.
So it was down to Griffiths and Wazza to get runs on the board quickly in at attempt to make inroads in to the home side’s total. Both batsmen took their time to settle in with opening bowlers Payne and Osborne proving tricky opposition. Griffiths was soon caught behind for 3 while playing one of his trademark cuts, with the slip fortuitously spilling the catch into the grateful hands of the gully.
It was then down to The Professor at number three to provide a foil for Wazza who looked to have the bit between his teeth after numerous breaks in play to apply freeze spray to his arm (Diddums!X).
Damian, who had bemoaned his lack of form before taking to the crease, looked confident and played some lovely shots on his way to a not too shabby 35 before being stumped. Pike came in at four with Wazza still quietly adding scores to the board. Pike saw out the first few opening deliveries with caution with Wazza maintaining the lion’s share of the strike.
A moment of what could only be described as “totally bloody stupid” saw Pike ran out with the run hungry South-African at the strikers end calling for a quick single when the fielder had already had the ball in his hand. This was to be the only blot on Wazza’s copybook as he kept his head when Saints’ tail end clearly seemed to have their mind on a nice cold pint.
Easella (our loaned 11th man) was caught for 2 and debutant Dave Shaer went for a golden. Hotston played a few cracking shots before being bowled for 6. (Cracking being the operative word with Neil managing to split a bat with a lovely shot).
QE2, who had been informed not to tell Wazza that he was a single boundary away from a ton, promptly told him the score upon his arrival at the crease as number eight batsman. Predictably, Wazza’s knock soon ending having been caught on 96, with Barber also going the same way for 4.
The game ended with Grimes and Speedtwin at the crease. Special mention must actually go to Tony who was 8 not out in the face of some absolutely furious chucking from Ali.
Mark Barber telling Wazza he was about to get a century before being caught in the next ball.
Wazza: For some tight bowling and a lovely stint with the bat. Special mention must go to Keenan for some great bowling.