Crouch End CC vs N2CC
Sun 28th May 2017
The Calthorpe Ground, Park Road, Crouch End
Written by Andy Wilson
N2CC's early season short winning streak came to an end in a dramatic final ball defeat away to Crouch End CC on Sunday.
A highlight (one of many) of the day was a visit from our dear friend and ex-President David Dyer (aka Taffy).
With scores level on 171, the hosts managed to grab the crucial single to earn a seven-wicket victory. But much credit must go to N2's bowlers and fielders for taking it to the final ball. In a timed game, the hosts got up to the required rate, almost from the start of their reply and looked like knocking the runs off with overs to spare. But tight bowling, particularly from Simon Dyer, late on, piled the pressure on the home side... leaving them still needing five an over, towards the end of the innings.
Put in to bat, N2 had the option of batting between 38 and 42 overs (80 overs for the two sides combined). Dave Parker was looking good, hitting two well timed fours in consecutive balls, but then took a swing at one outside off... and edged it to a fielder for 14. Fellow opener Simon Dyer was caught for seven soon after. It brought Andy Wilson to the crease to join Paul Anderson. A decent partnership was needed. Despite the pair giving a few chances, they put on 41 for the third wicket, until Wilson brought a good catch from the man at square leg, having made 19.
Anderson, now joined by Dee Hingorani, pushed on, until he was out lbw, on 35... not sure it was actually his leg which the ball hit – still plum. Dee raced to 21, before another fine catch, ended his innings. At the other end, Rahul Patel went after the bowlers, hitting a quick unbeaten 26, including the only six of the day. And Gopesh Pandey weighed in with a brisk 16.
N2 could have batted for another two overs. Hard to say whether it would have changed the final outcome, but in the spirit of the game, captain Shai Bhatt, declared on 171.
During the tea break, which included a couple of lovely curries, the predicted rain came. It made life tricky for the bowlers who were limited to 9 overs, as they struggled to get a decent grip on the wet ball. Despite bowling from both ends, Shai failed to get a wicket, finishing with 0 for 20. Fellow opening bowler Ketan Nage was more expensive (one for 29) but did make a vital breakthrough. Paul Anderson, who had top scored with the bat, had less impact with the ball, struggling to find any swing, ending with 0 for 30.
Victory looked a big ask, but the draw was still on, as the home side's scoring began to slow. Abdul Firfire mixed it up as much as possible, changing the flight, and switching between going over and around the wicket. At the other end, Simon Dyer, gave N2 hope they still could avoid defeat. He clinched two wickets, including the other Crouch End opener, who had made 94. This tight accurate spell, put great pressure on the two new batsmen in the middle. It was in these closing overs that N2's fielders failed to hold onto a few difficult chances, including one in the final over.
Credit to Simon (two for 22) and Abdul (0 for 46) for taking the result to the wire.
Man of the match: Paul Anderson for some fine batting and good bowling in treacherous conditions.
D. Parker                     - Caught 14
S. Dyer                        - Caught 7
P. Anderson                - LBW 35
A. Wilson                    - Caught 19
D. Hingorani               - Caught 21
A. Firfire                     - Caught 18
R. Patel                        - NOT OUT 26
K. Nage                       - Bowled 0
G. Pandey                   - C&B 16
S. Mirzababaee            - DNB
S. Bhatt                       - DNB

Extras 15
Total 171 for 8 in 40 overs
Bhatt S                        -           9 overs - 1 maidens - 20 runs - 0 wickets
Nage K            -           5          0          29        1
Anderson P     -           7          0          30        0
Pandey G        -           4          0          24        0
Firfire A          -           9          0          46        0
Dyer S             -           6          0          22        2
Extras 7
Total 172 for 3 in 40 overs