Gentlemen of West London Cricket Club
Gentlemen of West London Cricket Club

News

Gent180
Match reports with detailed scorecards, news and averages
Gent180.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [263.8 KB]
Report 24.06.02.
Putney v. Gents
Report 24.06.02..pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [78.1 KB]
Report 24.06.09
Teddington Town v. Gents
Report 24.06.09..pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [83.7 KB]
Report 24.06.16
Salix v. Gents
Report 24.06.16..pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [77.3 KB]
Report 23.06.23
Gents v. Phoenix
Report 24.06.23..pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [81.2 KB]
Report 24.06.30
Gladiators v. Gents
Report 24.06.30..pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [106.2 KB]
Report 24.07.07
Whalers v. Gents
Report 24.07.07..pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [155.0 KB]
Report 24.07.14
Gents v. St Anne's Allstars
Report 24.07.14..pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [119.1 KB]
2024 averages
Latest averages
2024 averages.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [97.2 KB]

<< New image with text >>

14.7.24.

Aggregates

 

Runs

Gulati 413

Parvathaneni 352

Kota 228

Dubey 205

Chatharaju 181

A. Ahmed 138

S. Patel 112

 

Wickets

H. Patel 21

S. Patel 18

Gulati 14

Krishna 13

Chatharaju 10

 

Caught/stumped

Rudireddy 7/4

Puli 8

Gulati 6

Kota 5

R. Patel 5

 

14.7.24.

Dundonald RG

Gents 255-5 (Gulati 116, Chatharaju 79*)

St Anne's Allstars 200 (Raghavendra 86, Bose 29, Rout 21, H. Patel 5-31)

 

Won by 55 runs

 

This day was not short of sporting excitement with the Wimbledon and European championship finals, writes Raj Patel. The Gents and St Anne’s Allstars added to this excitement with some blistering batting and a heart-warming moment after the game. Play began slightly later than the scheduled 12.30pm start in a 30-over match up with St Anne’s Allstars, who were put in to field after the home side won the toss.

 

Openers R. Patel and Sudireddy went out with intention of seeing off the opening bowlers. With R. Patel caught behind after two fours and Sudireddy bowled within the first five overs, it meant that again the middle order were tasked with steadying the ship. Enter Gulati who has been in blistering form this season, scoring all over the park, dispatching bad balls and good ones too.

 

Gulati was supported throughout by stellar batting from H. Patel and Chatharaju, the fifth-wicket partnership putting up 138. Gulati went on to score a club HS of 116 from 75 with 10 fours and six sixes before being caught at mid-on. Chatharaju remained not out on 79 off 59: outstanding batting from them both, with Chatharaju sensibly supported by Krishna and Puli after Gulati’s departure. Gents ended their innings on 255-5 off the full 30 overs.

 

St Anne’s openers Deverrathippa and Raghavendra were equal to the task of chasing what looked like a good score on the board. Raghavendra, who has played for the Gents, was in blistering form. Able to pluck deliveries from outside off and clear long-on boundaries, he was a sight to see. An early wicket for Dubey to dismiss Amit brought in more destructive batting. His fellow opening bowler Nagpal was unfortunately unable to get in on the act and bore the brunt of fierce hitting. Field placement was extremely difficult for the captain with the middle order either picking the gaps or clearing boundaries with ease. Some heavy hitting brought Krishna into his own with his experienced bowling and he prevented the batsmen from scoring as they’d like.

 

S. Patel and H. Patel are legends and showed it with 5-0-31-5 and 4-0-21-2, the former dismissing the destructive Raghavendra for the second year in a row. Two fifers this season for him proves his new athletic physique hasn’t hampered his bowling. Some excellent catching from Arikatla and Puli provided the bowlers with the assistance they needed against a destructive batting line-up. A nice touch at the end of the game was allowing St Anne’s 12th man, Derek, to come in to bat to build some confidence. A chap who we were told wanted to try some batting left the park with a beaming smile on his face after putting bat to ball. It’s what Sunday cricket is all about.

 

Gents are now on a 12-game winning streak with players stepping up when needed. A thoroughly enjoyable game then against an oppo whose attitude was exemplary. On to Chaddleworth next, who are a new oppo. We look forward to the challenge.

 

7.7.24.

Barn Elms ST

Whalers 175 (Johnton 116*, Kulasingam 3-23)

Gents 179-1 (A. Ahmed 88*, Gulati 80)

 

Won by 9 wickets

 

Australian Dean Johnston scored a century of the highest quality, 116* off 71 balls with 14 fours and a six, but Gents won their eleventh successive victory with a compelling opening stand of 173 by Aamir Ahmed and Vinitesh Gulati, a club record. It was a frantic match from start to finish much enjoyed by Gents and their young hosts. With their efforts to get the game on, their warm welcome and their buoyancy in defeat, Whalers exemplified the Spirit of Cricket.

 

Early exchanges saw a balanced contest between bat and ball, Kulasingam’s low catch diving forward from deep mid-wicket the highlight for the Gents, S. Patel the bowler. Revenge for him after Prabal had smitten him for a four and a towering six in his first over. Johnston was fluent but club secretary Kushwaha fell for a duck, pinned by the Kota off-break. It is many matches since the Gents opened the attack with spin.

 

Thunder, lightning and heavy rain drove the players from the field with Whalers 40-2 off 8.5, Johnston sharing an entertaining story of a Sydney Grade match in which several fielders were frazzled, though mercifully they survived. It looked all up but the ground has covers, promptly brought into play by Whalers. The different ground authority at Barn Elms Sports Centre five hundred yards away had pulled their games at 11 o’clock. LB Merton had cancelled the weekend’s cricket early Saturday morning. It looked grim.

 

But the rain relented, the bowler’s run ups dried under the sun and play restarted after 75 minutes. The overs were reduced by captains Sanga and Sudireddy from 35 to 25, a format that would perhaps favour the chasing side. Kulasingam deserved his three wickets but left-hander Johnston almost single-handed enabled Whalers to put up a commanding total compiled at a round sevens. His placement was impeccable and he gave only one chance, a stinger to short fine-leg. He accelerated, Rohan gave him stout support, the pair ran like demons and 67 came off the final six overs, the bowlers and fielders powerless to prevent the carnage. Johnston’s century was his 15th for Whalers and the tenth best by an opponent.

 

Sudireddy weighed up the risks and rewards and put his three biggest hitters up top, banking on a fast start without too much damage in the wickets column. His decision, influenced by a benign, true pitch, was vindicated to the maximum.

In improving light Ahmed (88* off 62 with 11 fours and two sixes) and Gulati (80 off 75 with eight fours and two sixes) ploughed ahead of the required rate after three overs and never relinquished control, though several bowlers, the speedy Rohan in particular, posed challenges.

 

The consistency of the batting was remarkable: the first three five-over segments went for 41, 34 and 37 runs. Overs 16 to 20 went for 48 by which time the thing was nearly done. A quiet over would be followed by one or two boundaries and the required rate slowly declined. The killer over was No.18, savaged for 21. This left Gents seven overs to score 34 and from that point there was no way back for Whalers. Gulati’s back-foot cover driving was immaculate: Ahmed’s straight driving masterly.

 

Gulati fell leg-before after 21.5 overs, Kota blocked the sixth ball before Ahmed drove a two and a four off the returning Vishal to claim the victory. His 88* is his highest score for GWLCC, previously 77* v. Mpingwe in 2021. Sanjay Patel, who knows his cricket, thought it the finest opening partnership he had ever seen.

 

Johnston’s hundred was the 31st by an opponent and the seventh in a losing cause. Only S. Desai has achieved this for the Gents, against Close PF. This was the Gent’s fourth win in four at Barn Elms ST. The game against Salix in 2023 here was won by an identical margin and also saw a record stand courtesy of Dubey and Kota. The Gents’ first-wicket record stand, previously 121 by Bignell and Hubbocks v. Enterprise in 1993, was only their sixth partnership of 100 or more for this wicket in the 690 matches played. Opponents have 15.

 

The current generation of players are well represented in the list with Gulati, Kota and Sudireddy appearing twice. The oldest extant record was set in 1993. Four date from the last three seasons.

 

Gents record stands by wicket

1 173 A. Ahmed (88*) and V. Gulati (80) v. Whalers (Barn Elms ST 7.7.24.)

2 156* N. Dubey (62*) and P. Kota (86*) v. Salix (Barn Elms ST 18.6.23.)

3 168 P. Kota (160*) and S. Namilikonda (76) v. Squirrels (Old Tenisonians 17.7.22.)

4 162 H. Desai (46) and R. Lall (128) v. London Saints (Old Haberdashers 14.8.11.)

5 152 M. Ashton (102) and M. Hughes (57*) v. London Saints (Victoria RG 2.5.93.)

212* J. Small (131*) and S. Kumar (74*) v. St Anne’s Allstars (Boston Manor PF 7.6.15.)

7 140 R. Sudireddy (96) and V. Gulati (66*) v. Kempton (Old Tenisonians 2.8.20.)

8 120 .R. Sudireddy (52) and R. Chatharaju (82*) v. New Romney (New Romney 10.9.23)

108 H. Hibbert (81) and M. Sciberras (22) v. Virgin Casuals (Shepherd’s Bush 17.9.00.)

10 79* S. Patel (73*) and R. Pentakota (31*) v. Salix (Imperial College 9.9.12.)

 

5.7.24.

Vamsee's 100th wicket

Young Adnan Osman’s 6-2-9-2 against Hook and Southborough was one of the best pace bowling spells in recent Gents history, but look what the tall 19-year-old did in his next two games. On 2 June playing for Wycombe House 4s against Ealing 6s he took 8-3-14-6. A week later up in Aamir Ahmed’s 3s against North London 4s, he produced the frankly astonishing analysis of 8-7-7-3. We hope Aamir hauled him over the coals for conceding as many as seven.

 

This has inspired an interesting question. Was Vamsee Krishna’s 7-5-3-0 (Econ. 0.43) against Hounslow Hurricanes the Gents’ most frugal ever off a full spell? Cripps of Wimbledon United beat it in 2017 with 5-4-1-6 (Econ. 0.20) but the Gents were bundled out with just 14.4 of the 35 overs used so he didn’t bowl his full allocation. There is no easy way to check this so if anybody has any theories let us know.

 

Where we are on firm ground is congratulating him on his 100th wicket, Ali of Salix c Gulati for 4. His stats to this point were: Overs 533.2 Maidens 71 Runs 2,113 Wickets 100.

 

Ratnakar's 100th dismissal

The captain currently stands on 106 fielding dismissals (excluding run outs where he was the primary fielder), his 100th being Rashid of Teddington Town off Hemin Patel’s bowling. Sanjay Patel still heads the leader board on 127/2.

 

Second highest chase by Gents

The Gents' epic 223-8 to beat Gladiators on 30 June was their second highest successful chase. Oppo chases have been more impressive: six scores, two by Northfields, have beaten 235, Millfields (271-3 in 2022) heading the list. Gents have scored 200 or more batting second 15 times (won 10, lost 5).

 

2000 12 Angry Men 231-3, Gents 235-9

2024 Gladiators 221, Gents 223-8

2023 Teddington Town 216-3, Gents 220-3

2022 Wycombe House 216-7, Gents 219-5

2018 Battersea Eagles 216-8, Gents 217-10

 

Battersea Eagles update

Battersea Eagles played two interesting games in June. On the 23rd, they declared after 38 overs on 189-8 in a 40-overs match, eventually tieing it when Long Ditton ended on 189-9 off the full 40. Who’s to say Khalid Harris was wrong? He cited hot weather as one reason for decing early, the other being that he thought his side had made enough. Who’s to say this grand sportsman was wrong? It was a classic.

 

Four days earlier, Eagles made the mistake of travelling to Cudham Wyse in Kent to take on their midweek XI who nurdled their way to 455-2. Three of their main batters were professional cricketers with Ranji Trophy experience, one of whom is an IPL player. A game to remember, if not for all the right reasons.

 

30.6.24.

King's House

Gladiators 221 (Bhudia 58, Khanderwhal 29, Mehta 20, F. Shah 20,

H. Patel 3-49)

Gents 223-8 (Gulati 75*, Parvathaneni 64, Mehta 4-41)

 

Won by 2 wickets

 

Only once in their 35 years have Gents successfully chased a bigger total. They did so here thanks to brilliant innings from Parvathaneni (10 fours and two sixes) and Gulati (11 fours and one six), assisted by resilient batting by the tail and, up top, a dogged and entirely fitting opener’s knock by Krishna. The game was marred by bad blood between the side that culminated in an ugly jostle, though an uneasy truce was brokered and the match concluded.

 

This should not detract one jot from a perfectly-judged run chase. Only briefly did the required run-rate exceed seven and there were 15 balls in hand at 7.30pm when, in poor light, Gulati drove the match-winning four to huge applause from the boundary.

 

Gladiators, a Middlesex Sunday League side, offered this fixture when Sheen Park bailed. They fielded a mixture of 1s and 2s. Gents caught poorly in the first 20 overs, dropped Bhudia three times, and the hosts were handily placed at 131-3 in the 26th. One that stuck was Puli’s off Chatharaju to dismiss southpaw Khanderwhal.

 

Wickets then fell regularly, starting with a run out by R. Patel. Chatharaju distinguished himself with two catches in three balls (what a fine game he would have), the first an athletic running effort as good as Puli’s an hour before. H. Patel took three wickets. Others were shared around. On a patchy outfield the fielding improved steadily throughout the afternoon. Gladiators’ 221, the highest by an opponent in 2024, was bulked by 35 extras including 24 wides. Despite Test match wides having been agreed between the captains, extras would become a serious bone of contention in the second innings.

 

The Gents recovered well from the trauma of losing R. Patel to a run out on the eighth ball and Dubey nicking off four overs later. Krishna, relishing the opener’s role with his studious forward defensives, and Parvathaneni were batting well together when Khanderwhal and Bhandari went up for a caught behind off the giant. Not out, said umpire S. Patel. There then followed ugly scenes reminiscent of Bricklayer’s Arms in 2021 as Bhandari charged up the pitch, screamed and swore at the umpire. Other Gladiators joined in. Several Gents ran fully fifty yards to get involved and it looked as if the game might have to be abandoned, but play resumed after 15 minutes, the atmosphere tense and crackling.

 

Matters then went against the Gents, Krishna, Parvathaneni, Arikatla and Sudireddy falling in the next seven overs, 113-6, Gulati 11*. How pleasurable it is to record what happened next. Puli, a tough player, got in line and batted sensibly, driving two threes. He was pinned in front of his stumps by a shooter at 135 after 26.1 overs, 87 needed off 83 balls, three wickets to fall.

 

Enter Chatharaju to join Gulati on 26*. He counter-attacked from the word go, blazing two fours and running very well. The shift in momentum from this point was tangible. The Gladiators almost had the game won but their previously immaculate ground-fielding became porous, a Mehta no-ball beamer was pulled for four, catches were dropped, and wides were bowled and contested too loudly: 40 had come up in 55 balls when Chatharaju was caught on long-on with Gulati 41*, 175-8. He had served his team superbly all day in the field, with the ball and with the bat. His new cap looked good too.

 

Enter S. Patel with Gents needing 47 off six. Gulati took over 35 bowled by Sheth for three fours. With two leg-byes it was 189-8. S. Patel took a four and a two off Khan’s next two balls. Another Gulati four and it was 202-8 off 36. Sheth’s final over of off-spin went for a two from S. Patel, two wides, and two more Gulati fours and a single last ball (off which he was dropped by long-off) to retain the strike, 215-8. He took Khanderwhal for straight-driven fours off the second and third balls to end 75*, a masterly knock. The eighth and ninth wickets had added 88 and Gents had won a famous victory. Gladiators sought out the scorer and shook his hand but there was no further interaction between the teams.

 

26.6.24.

Gentlemen of West London v. Phoenix – The Alternative Match Report

 

Gents won by 3 wickets thanks to Hemin Patel

 

When the author of this report found out that this game would be his 300th game for the Gents, the pressure had begun. Four days of thinking and wondering if he could do something special to mark this very special occasion and boy did he! With the help of his team, especially the other PATELS, Hemin returned career best figures of 6-23 and batted with Gents LEGEND and more importantly, FRIEND, to secure victory with a blistering and thoughtful innings.

 

Phoenix won the toss and chose to bat, which on a hot day had a few of the oldies worried. But with good cloud cover, the sun stayed covered to help us survive the heat. The first 29 overs were not much to talk about, a few wickets fell and thankfully dropped chances from Ranjith and Nilesh helped the spin maestro achieve his best figures. With the score 124-4, H. Patel knew he had to perform at his best and he did exactly that.

 

A beautifully-flighted delivery outside off stump was the downfall of Singh, superbly caught at point by our very own Desi Baba, Nilesh Dubey. H. Patel then bowled Bhatti with a sharp turning ball that went through the gate. In came youngster Khan who was tipped to be the next Mark Ramprakash by the oppo. After a few swings, H. Patel then had him caught behind by our very own W. Saha, Ratti. H. Patel was ruthless, hardly giving anything away bar a few lucky fours and due to some poor fielding, a lot of singles. But that only fuelled the fire, H. Patel then had Vegdani stumped after a wonderful controlled innings.

 

With the skipper wanting to replace H. Patel for some strange reason, H. Patel ignored the hints and took the ball to bowl left hander Sohal in what can only be described as a Shane Warne-type delivery and then had the wily Khan caught by R Patel (surprising giving his drops this season and in the match) with a deceptive flighted delivery. H. Patel then wrapped up the innings with a doosra to get rid of Sohal to wrap up the innings. Somewhere between all that excitement S. Patel, R. Patel, V. Krishna and N. Dubey took some simple wickets.

 

After a short break, the Gents openers got the pads on and started the reply. Gents started well with P. Kota showing off what he has learned from his T20 matches, taking Bhatia for 20 in his first over and Ratti frustrating the other bowlers with his swings and misses, but he did manage to get a couple away. Ratti fell after a 12-over partnership and the Gents were hopeful as Nilesh walked to the crease full of confidence. The hope soon left as Nilesh got out in his usual way and punished himself by umpiring for the rest of the match which perhaps Ranjith was not so happy about.

 

Wickets fell consistently with only Pavan able to counter the accurate bowling. Fast forward to the 33rd over where veteran H. Patel self-promoted himself up the order in order to help get some stability and to help us win the game joined old timer S. Patel at the crease. History will show that these two don’t bat very well together at the end with H. Patel normally getting out, but with the fire in his six-pack he went on the attack, striking two hugely important fours whilst S. Patel was taking the bowlers down.

 

Being 40kg lighter than last season H. Patel was able to sprint between the wickets picking up vital runs. With victory in sight H. Patel decided he did not want to hit the winning runs as he has too much respect for S. Patel and took a smart single to allow S. Patel to score the winning runs. What a victory and all thanks to H. Patel and the rest of the Patels. What a game, great oppo and hope to see them again.

 

In all seriousness thanks to everyone who played and took part in this game. A special game for me that I will always remember. Thanks to those who dropped catches and got out to allow me to take centre stage, I will NOT do that for you so I am very grateful.

 

23.6.24.

Wycombe House

Phoenix 164 (Chohan 33, Hayat 33, Vegdani 30, H. Patel 6-23)

Gents 165-7 (Kota 69, S. Patel 25*, Bhatti 3-27)

 

Won by 3 wickets

 

When Ranjith Chatharaju edged Gopi Singh behind, Gents at 125-7 needed 40 off seven overs on a wearing, dusty pitch. An exciting game was edging towards the visitors. Twenty-four balls later Sanjay and Hemin Patel had won the match with a memorable blast. Earlier, Hemin had taken the visitors’ last six wickets and Pavan Kota had glued the reply together with a monumental 69 off 91 balls. There were administrative problems (electronic scoring console and stumps locked away and no key) that were slickly overcome by the resourceful Aamir Ahmed.

 

Phoenix, founded in 2005, were new opponents and soon proved themselves to be an experienced, able team. Their captain and gun opener Aulakh, who has scored nine tons for them, fell in the third over, being too early on the shot and propping up a simple c&b. After that it was steady progress on a slow deck against accurate bowling. No batsman stood out statistically but each got in and played a few shots. Gents were therefore grateful to Patel who came on at the South End with Phoenix 124-4 off 29 overs, a platform for around 200 one would have thought. Eleven overs later Phoenix were 164 all out, having lost their last six wickets for 40. Three were six catches, a stumping and three drops but no weak links in the bowling.

 

Kota went off like a rocket, taking Bathia’s first over of off-spin for 12, including a lost ball six into the yard of Seccombe Builders Merchant behind the pavilion. He was quieter after that but his stand with Sudireddy was meritorious, 47 in 11.4. Kota dominated but Dubey and Ahmed soon fell. The worth of Puli’s innings was not reflected in its size. He got in line, ran well and helped add 41 in 9.2 overs. Kota was then stumped, Gents 100-5 off 25.3. Bhatti, Kumar and Singh then put a brake on the scoring, only 25 coming up in the next 45 balls.

 

H. Patel, having been moved one place up the order by a perceptive captain, then strode to the wicket looking up for some action. It was clear that pottering and nurdling was not going to be enough and S. Patel took 2, 4 and 2 off Bhatti’s next three balls, 11 coming off the over. Six singles came off the next over, Singh’s last. Aulakh then had one over, conceding nine. Suhal, coming back for his sixth over (No.37), then suffered carnage: a dot, a head-high no-ball beamer pulled for four, a two, another four, three singles and it was done.

 

Hemin Patel became the eighth Gent to take six wickets in an innings, his 6-23 garnishing his five five-wicket hauls. That he achieved this in his three-hundredth match, and was at the crease when the winning run was hit, made it a memorable day for him and the club. Only six weeks before, Gulati had become the seventh Gent to take six in this so far damp, cool season. Of the 16 instances of six wickets by Gents, half were taken in timed matches, where there was no limitation on the number of overs a bowler could have. However, not all of these protagonists needed long spells to inflict their damage.

 

16.6.24.

Boston Manor PF

Salix 132-9 (Sadhra 44, Kulasingam 40,  Krishna 3-15)

Gents 135-7 (Parvathaneni 40, Gulati 38, Ali 4-17)

 

Won by 3 wickets

 

The match was originally scheduled for Barn Elms but had to be moved after a booking error by the ground authority. It is not only the Gents who suffer from variable communication and it was a pleasure to help Salix procure this ground. The previous Gents’ game here was a rain-ruined draw in 2015 with Baker Street Irregulars on the top pitch. Only three players returned from that soggy day: Nilesh Dubey and Sanjay Patel, who had to use all their skill and experience here to steer Gents to their eighth successive win, and Ratnakar Sudireddy (who batted No.11).

 

This was a game of sparkling entertainment in which Salix fought well. As did Gents they had two gun batters who defied varied and skilled attacks. This led to an appearance by our much-loved old friend the lop-sided scorecard, with its multitude of single-figure contributions. In the end it came down to catching: Gents took six out of seven while Salix dropped Dubey on nought and Patel on 10.

 

Sadhra won the toss and batted solidly for his 44, falling at 97 well caught on the mid-wicket boundary by a tumbling Nagpal. The baton passed to Kulasingam who ensured that a competitive total was achieved on a slow wicket with occasional low bounce. The bowlers did well, Chatharaju achieving preposterous inswing. Krishna took two wickets in his second spell to bring up double-figure wickets for 2024. He is in the form of his life, also taking wickets regularly on Saturdays in the Essex league. Salix batted stoically but could not find any acceleration towards the end of the innings, only 35 coming off the final 13 as the bowlers dominated.

 

The Gents’ innings had everything – a monumental 38 from Gulati spread over 20 overs, a blast from Parvathaneni of 40 off 32 balls, great wisdom at the end and in between a series of comedy dismissals as a series of batters failed to come to terms with either pitch or bowling. There was incisive seam from young Ali and demon leg-spin from Unadkat. It made for jolly entertainment.

 

Ali dominated the early overs as Gents fell in a heap to 26-4. Concentrating on the basics of line and length, the top-order could not cope with him. Puli was undone by a shooter but otherwise the batting was too tentative. Gulati, watchful and composed, then found the ideal partner in Parvathaneni as 66 were put up in 10.2 overs. They played Unadkat very well, though Parvathaneni edged behind, 92-5.

 

Salix were not done and it was soon 103-7, Gulati nicking off and Nagpal bowled. Run rate was not a problem when Dubey strode to the crease and after a nervous start when he drove a tough chance to mid-on, he exuded authority. Runs came quickly. Patel flicked a simple chance to short mid-wicket, dropped, but otherwise took everything in his stride as he has done so often. Ali was bowled out but Unadkat was still a threat and Kulasingam is a masterly all-rounder. But the batters grew in confidence and the stand was 32 off 30 balls when Patel straight-drove the winning four at 17.46, an early finish. Post-match socials were fun – roll on the September return.

 

9.6.24.

Gents 228 (Dubey 94, Chatharaju 26, Kota 24, R. Singh 3-39)

Teddington Town 131-6 (Hunt 22, Hinde 20)

 

Won by 97 runs

 

Nilesh Dubey’s highest Gents score of 94 off 71 balls with 13 fours and a six gave the Gents their seventh consecutive win, writes Hemin Patel. A well-constructed innings supported brilliantly by Ranjith Chatharaju and returning T20 specialist, Pavan Kota, he showed the talent and skills we have been all waiting for since his debut. Teddington’s response was gritty and frustrating for the Gents bowlers. They ended their innings on 131-6 after some outstanding batting from their youngsters.

 

On a chilly day, most of the team arrived on time and last-minute stand in Matthew Gilkes was already fully kitted up and raring to go, and another Gents legend Richard Gilkes was ready to score. Well, that was the plan, after one player didn’t read his email to notify him he was playing, Richard got the nod from the skipper and that he had to be part of the playing XI. But in a last-ditch call to Chandra “Joffra” Puli he said he could stand in and play, once he had received permission. This is not the first time Chandra has stepped in and should be commended for his commitment.

 

The Gents were asked to bat first and the captain was padded up alongside Gents legend Hemin Patel.  On a pitch that looked a bit two-paced, Hemin quickly told the captain that we should stick around, take the shine of ball and allow the others to then take advantage, which is exactly what happened. After facing some outstanding international-level bowling, Ratti took advantage of the loose deliveries whilst Hemin was watchful and sensible. Hemin was the first to go, bowled by a spectacular outswinger from young gun Musgrave and Ratti soon followed by an outstanding catch off the bowling of G. Singh.

 

Now it was the time for Nilesh and Ranjith to take advantage. Both played sumptuous shots, didn’t let the bowlers settle and scored quickly. Ranjith was caught brilliantly by Hunt just before drinks after trying to take on the spinner to cow corner. A quick rub down and re-fuelling at drinks for Nilesh saw him really take on the bowlers and with Pavan “IPL” Kota playing his usual brand of cricket the Gents looked stable and continued to accumulate runs. With Kota was bowled on 24 and Nilesh soon holed out just six short of a maiden ton. Gents then just had to go for it with Matthew, Raj and Gopi all playing their shots and with Jay supporting with his comedic running abilities (which just reminded the writer of a Benny Hill skit) we were bowled out for 228.

 

Tea was taken and a superb tea it was. Nilesh had a double helping leaving several of the oppo without any food, a tactic that may have turned the match for us. Gilkes and Raj opened the bowling and bar a few edges were accurate and difficult to get away. After a wicketless spell the captain then turned to Ranjith for a wicket but after a spate of wides and what felt like a 30 minute over consisting of Ranjith taking his shirt off, he was taken off immediately and Bobby was soon bowling rockets, picking up Freddie lbw to put the pressure on. Puli then picked up D. Singh after a great catch from Pavan, a catch that reminded him of one he took in 2020. Hemin picked up two quick wickets, one of which was met with very concerning sound effects from the keeper, Ratti ran out Harry Musgrave and the Gents were in full control. Sensible batting from the lower order continued to frustrate the bowlers before M. Gilkes finally picked up his first wicket of the day with a pacey short delivery that was taken by the ’keeper.  Teddington ended their innings on 131 and the Gents had their victory.

 

Special mentions to Matthew and Chandra for helping out, we would have struggled without them. On a serious note, to all, READ YOUR EMAILS, a lot of time and planning is done to ensure we have a team.  It is not acceptable to say you didn’t know you were playing because you didn’t read an email.

 

2.6.24.

Barn Elms SC

Putney 138 (Taylor 28, Bentley 25, S. Patel 3-10, Ratnapuru 3-15)

Gents 140-2 (Parvathaneni 87, R. Patel 28*)

 

Won by 8 wickets

 

Abhinav Parvathaneni’s sparkling innings of 87 off 55 balls with eight fours and six sixes propelled Gents to their sixth successive win. It was his fourth club fifty and a personal best. Earlier, S. Patel and Ratnapuri had shared six wickets as a game Putney gritted their way to 138. Both teams were much changed from the reverse fixture in May, only three Putney and five Gents returning. Ravi Inkollu played his first game in 12 years (and got a wicket) and Abhishek Desai debuted.

 

The warmest match day of 2024 greeted the teams at this huge, immaculately-maintained ground. Several Gents were delayed and it was good of Putney to lend fielders until they arrived. S. Patel struck with his third, 15th and 18th balls, 18-3, Vijay falling to a well-judged catch by R. Patel running back from gully two balls after driving a mighty straight six. Desai then got Siddique spectacularly caught by his chauffeur Parvathaneni, a one-handed effort after the ball had passed him at long-on. Gulati ended Bedson’s long vigil and when H. Patel pinned the fluent Bentley it was 68-6.

 

Credit Putney for a brave rearguard from this point. Inkollu, bowling off his long run, castled Butt but the captain rested him after two overs, as Kulasingam was bowling his overs at such a rate that Inkollu was unable to recover. Like Joffra Archer his workload will have to be managed and the perceptive Sudireddy picked up on this immediately. The tail batted well but were prised out by Ratnapuri’s leg-breaks and googlies, two wickets in his first over including top-scorer Taylor. Holell and Carver showed what could be done on a two-paced wicket with 32.

 

In May openers Parvathaneni and Dubey put on a quick 45 chasing 122. It was a similar picture here, 53 coming up before H. Patel, having played two fine fours through mid-wicket, was run out in unusual circumstances. Parvathaneni had driven the first and second balls for straight sixes before driving low and hard at the bowler who deflected the ball onto the stumps with the non-striker out of his ground. Umpire S. Patel was unsighted but his namesake selflessly walked.

 

R. Patel might in the absence of Kota be the perfect No.3, knowing when to defend and when to attack. Seldom can the benefits of professional one-to-one coaching have been clearer. Gone are the nerves that used to beset him early on. He scored 28* off 30, a good rate. At the other end was the club’s biggest hitter since Gregg Cloete and Ramanjit Lall. Fours and sixes flowed, though Putney had a few chances. It was brutal. The hosts seemed a bit dejected in the final overs (Gents have been there) but were pleased to dismiss the giant, neatly caught at cover with four runs needed. No further wickets fell and victory was gained at the early hour of 5.30pm.

 

It was a shame that Gents could not join Putney back at their clubhouse after the match as they are a well-organised and friendly bunch. Maybe in 2025.

 

26.5.24.

Wycombe House

Gents 168-8 (A. Ahmed 44*, Gulati 29)

Hook and Southborough 112 (McFarlane 22, Tobias 21)

 

Won by 56 runs

 

The winning run continued on a blustery day against friendly opponents who accepted the fixture after a frustrating slew of cancellations and refusals which started when Hampstead bailed. It was good to see H&S again after the last two planned visits to them were rained off. They were founded in 1870 and have played every year since. They had a father and son opening the bowling and in spinner Lorberg the possessor of the best beard ever grown. Nineteen-year-old paceman Adnan Osman from Wycombe House 3s debuted and was awarded the match ball by Raj Patel, who successfully captained his first game. Gents thus finished May with a 6-1 record. This was the first win here in four attempts.

 

Having won the toss, Gents maintained a good scoring rate but lost wickets regularly, in the main to sound catching though Dubey was unfortunately run out when his bat rebelliously stuck in the spongy turf as he tried to make his ground. Gulati looked very good but was bowled by a pearler. Kota slapped a full-toss to cover. Ahmed took control from 91-6 off 21 with solid support from the senior Patels and Osman, H. Patel driving a powerful four over mid-wicket that he was not slow in lobbying for shot of the day. The gentle giant hit six fours, mostly down the ground. The total was par on a sticky wicket with a damp outfield.

 

The weather, never settled, began to decline and sympathy has to be offered to H&S having to face Osman’s rockets in the gloaming, not that they complained. Rain radar sites were consulted, each contradicting the other as usual. S. Patel is a bowler reborn in 2024 and he struck in his second and fourth overs, Milton nicking off and Ilyas driving low to cover. Seven bowlers took a wicket, Joshi to close out the game with his first scalp on the final possible ball. The catching was efficient, only one being dropped. Puli took four and S. Patel, fielding closer than usual, his first since 2022.

 

H&S made a good fist of it but couldn’t find a big couple of overs to bring the required rate back within scope after only eight runs had been procured in eight overs in the middle of the innings. McFarlane, Tobias and Solomon would score very quickly on a faster track. Captain Sudireddy’s 2024 tactic of using nine bowlers, never allowing the batters to settle, was reinstated in full vigour after its suspension against Hounslow Hurricanes and Northfields.

 

Credit goes to Messrs. Ahmed, Shaikh, Hamzah Khan and his brother Khizer for getting the game on, including a Saturday midnight dash to cover the wicket. The day went well. The feeling during the enjoyable post-match socials was that this should become a home and away for 2025. H&S were good company and efficiently organised, their secretary Simon Wilkins being a pleasure to deal with. Ravi Inkollu now lives in Uxbridge and pitched up to support. Though he played only 43 matches, the last in 2012, his reputation is legendary. He got on the field in both digs as substitute fielder after two H&S players were delayed in the first innings and H. Patel had fallen strategically lame in the second.

 

19.5.24.

Durston House

Gents 194 (Kota 43, Dubey 37, Gulati 21, Puli 21, Chatharaju 20)

Northfields 60 (Z. Rahim 21, S. Patel 3-2)

 

Won by 134 runs

 

After a workmanlike innings with runs shared throughout the order, Gents again skittled their opponents, Sanjay Patel producing a remarkable spell of bowling in which he dismissed both Redheads. After he and the incisive Ranjith Chatharaju had torn through the top five, the end came quickly with two wickets each for debutants Bablpreet Singh and Murali Ratnapuri, two of five changes from the previous week.

 

Gents won the toss on a warm day and had first use of a green-tinged wicket. Parvathaneni cut to a juggling gully on 22 before Dubey and Gulati posted the highest stand of the day, 53 in nine overs. Three wickets then fell quickly but Kota held firm and went on to score 43 off 47, surviving one tough chance when he was 13. He fell to a contorted, one-handed caught and bowled by Kent who had recovered well from his first over, savaged by Gulati for 15. Puli caught the eye and drove a monstrous straight six onto a Swyncombe Avenue roof. Chatharaju made his highest score of the season: there’s plenty more to come from him. The full allocation of 40 overs was not used and 194 was perhaps slightly below par for this small ground so full credit must be given to the varied attack used by Northfields. The teenage Rahim brothers Zohaib (seam) and 12-year-old Ilyas (leg spin) deserved their four wickets.

 

Though Derrick Redhead hit a sumptuous early four down the ground, such was the control exerted by Chatharaju and Gulati that Northfields openers progressed very cautiously to 16-10 off 10. This was to prove their longest partnership on a day that unravelled for them almost immediately. Chatharaju started the mayhem by pinning Baldeo. S. Patel bowled Rahim Sr. with his third ball and followed up by carding two wicket maidens that saw Derrick lbw and brother David caught at the wicket off a ball that exploded. By this time Chatharaju, who would bowl his full spell straight through (see Note), had got his second, Aman slicing to gully Kota, his 50th catch. Northfields’ Afghani contingent had been expressing vociferous opinions in Pashto about the run rate and when they got to the crease spectators were perhaps unlikely to witness an hour’s worth of studious forward-defensives and classy leave-alones.

 

Singh came on and bowled Jaz and Kent in his second over. Abz holed out to long-on off Ratnapuri before the Rahim teenagers got their heads down, 26 coming up in 49 balls. It took a run out to separate them before Sharif, who Northfields believed had gone home but had merely gone to the shops for the third time (no criticism implied – he had kept the scorer in apples, bananas and crisps all afternoon), returned, hurriedly donned his pads, and swiped across the line first ball. Sixty all out was unfortunate for Northfields but they will come again. For the Gents, the bowlers have struck a golden seam so enjoy it while it lasts. Dubey, whose energy and tenacity in raising XI with many members absent was greatly appreciated (the 2024 roster in now 23), and S. Patel shared captaincy duties and involved everyone. We hope to welcome the guest players again.

 

Note: this is not the rarity the scorer believed at the time. H. Patel and N. Patel bowled all eight through in Gents v. Clapham In in August 2023, though they did not open the bowling.

 

12.5.24.

Dundonald RG

Gents 100 (Gulati 39, Sanghai 4-28, Pandey 3-27)

Hounslow Hurricanes 40 (Gulati 6-12)

 

Won by 60 runs

 

An afternoon’s cricket that stretched the bounds of imagination and belief saw an astonishing Gents’ win after excellent bowling and fielding atoned for inconsistent batting. Vinitesh Gulati top scored, took six wickets (the first such haul since Upender Sanga’s 6-11 in 2016) and held two catches but there were heroic performances throughout the team that were not necessarily reflected in the statistics.

 

This was the first fixture in this rubber since 2018, Hurricanes easily winning both games that season and carrying a 4-1 advantage into this game. They remain a competitive, essentially fair side. There will be a return at Marble Hill Park on 14 September.

 

Gents won the toss and took first knock for the first time in 2024. Pandey shot out the top three, though Krishna showed adhesiveness. Gulati (39 off 34 balls) and Chatharaju (11 off 35) began the fightback before four wickets tumbled for six runs to Sanghai and Poojary, including Puli and Kota for ducks to set alongside Parvathaneni’s and the captain’s. It was 69-7 off 15.4. The tail, inspired by R. Patel, fought back to add 31 more but there were still 64 balls unbowled when the innings closed for the lowest score in 25 matches. The bowling, led by Pandey and Sanghai, was accurate and challenging but the shot selection was poor. Seven were bowled but the pitch, though low and slow, did not misbehave.

 

From the first ball of the second innings, when a huge appeal for caught behind off Krishna was declined, Gents were ablaze. Krishna and Gulati were superb, the ball frequently beating the bat, and when the ball was hit in the air, the fielders caught it with not a chance missed. Hemin Patel, sitting this one out but actively supporting beyond the boundary, described it as the best bowling partnership he had ever seen at the club. It’s strange how in such circumstances the wickets tend not to be fairly distributed. In the 1956 Ashes Test at Old Trafford the match returns were: Jim Laker 68-27-90-19, Tony Lock 69-33-96-1.

 

The mayhem started with Gulati’s first ball, Chauhan edging to gully, Dalvi following five balls later. Gulati then struck in his third, fourth (twice) and fifth overs and with Krishna unplayable Hurricanes were 13-6 off 9.1 overs. Pandey showed what could be done, his 13 off 48 balls the longest of the day but for the others it was a procession, Nagpal and R. Patel inducing two fine catches in the deep, Puli’s a tumbling, juggling rebound effort at long-off and Parvathaneni’s a masterly grab running from mid-off. Galmani fell crook after slipping while attempting a run but bravely hobbled back at nine down, terrific guts and determination. R. Patel finished things off and fittingly it was Gulati who took the catch. This writer can recall no better bowling and fielding performance by the Gents.

 

Though the scorecard was remarkable, no records were broken, except perhaps extras top-scoring and we’d need an army of interns to research that one. Gulati became the seventh Gent to take six wickets and five opponents have scored fewer than Hurricanes’ 40 all out.

 

Top 10 Gents bowling returns

8-33 S. Snelling v. 12 Angry Men 1999

8-77 S. Snelling v. East Harrow Cheetahs 1996

7-31 S. Desai v. Cheltenham Allsorts 2012

7-44 M. Ashton v. Enterprise 1996

7-55 M. Ashton v. New Barbarian Weasels 1994

6-6 S. Snelling v. London Canaries 2001

6-8 P. Hill v. FC Chad 1996

6-11 U. Sanga v. Pak 2016

6-12 V. Gulati v. Hounslow Hurricanes 2024

6-15 M. Ashton v. East Harrow Cheetahs 1989

 

Lowest scores by opponents

17 Enterprise 1991

17 London Canaries 2001

29 Old Cubbonians 1993

30 Sloane Club 2008

32 Enterprise 1994

35 London Saints 2009

37 Enterprise 1997

40 Enville 2004

40 Hounslow Hurricanes 2024

41 London Saints 2008

 

It all happened in a moment but there was some confusion about the use of a runner after Galmani had sustained his injury. ‘Not allowed,’ said a Gent. This was incorrect. Everyone will remember when Nathan Lyon was refused a runner in the 2023 Ashes, even though he had sustained his calf injury during the match. This was because under the playing conditions for international cricket, runners have not been permitted since 1 October 2011. In all other cricket, they are. Therefore Hounslow Hurricanes could have insisted on a runner and appeared to be about to so when a man who had already batted entered the field of play with pads and bat. But Galmani was happy to continue. This is worth keeping an eye on – a runner is still allowed under Law 25.

 

5.5.24.

Dundonald RG

Putney 122-7 (Bendre 54)

Gents 123-4 (Kota 41*, Dubey 28, Parvathaneni 23)

 

Won by 6 wickets

 

Gents won well on a day packed with incident. In having Sorger stumped, H. Patel took his 400th wicket and provided captain Sudireddy with his century of fielding dismissals. Nine bowlers were used once more, all bowled well and so assertive were the opening batters Parvathaneni and Dubey that after three overs of the reply the required run rate had been dragged down to under three, a task accomplished with relish by Kota and his partners.

 

S. Patel quickly became a one-man highlights reel by castling Harris for a golden and, having maimed Paul with a beamer, bowling him two overs later. Kumar joined in the fun with two in his second over and it was 30-4 off 10.3. The veteran Amogh Bendre then led a stout recovery, batting 26 overs for his 54 with sound support from the middle order. After H. Patel’s moment for the ages further wickets fell to Krishna and Kota, Bendre victim of the second stumping of the dig. Kumar took a sharp low catch and matters closed at 122-7. Krishna might have had two but the ball hit the stumps without dislodging a bail.

 

The openers smashed 12, 13 and eight off the first three overs. Control was never relinquished after that with Kota and Sudireddy batting well though there would soon be dramatic action to entertain the fans. By this time a Putney supporter had arrived clad in motorcycling gear including goggles and helmet, perfect cricket-watching equipment. Naturally he asked to umpire. Deeming him friendly, the Gents permitted this though the suspicious scorer was all for notifying the security services.

 

Now our man was very well versed in Law 21.7 which was a shame for Putney as they immediately began to bowl a spate of moonballs and triple bouncers, all correctly called by our man. Sudireddy fell and R. Patel was run out, muttering darkly about fielders impeding his journey between the wickets.

 

At 122-4 Kota was bowled but he stood his ground, a first in Gents’ history, claiming a double bounce no ball which was eventually granted after some brief handbags. Putney had fought hard but had scored perhaps 40 too few runs.

 

Top 5 bowlers

Shown below are the Gents' top five bowlers according to wickets taken which is not the only measure but is at least an objective, verifiable one.

 

S. Patel 446

S. Snelling 402

H. Patel 400

D. Patel 235

M. Ashton 222

 

Coming into this match, H. Patel had recent figures 15-0-134-1, a little nervy perhaps, though Gents did face some masterly batters late in 2023. Snelling is the most economical @ 2.95, leading Ashton with 3.01. Ashton leads Snelling on average, 11.2 to 11.9. It is on strike rate that young Hemin wins with a wicket every three overs and two balls. Hats off to them!

 

28.4.24.

Torrential rain caused the cancellation of all cricket in LB Merton. Gents and Merton Hawks will go again in 2025.

 

21.4.24.

Byfleet CC

Byfleet 131 (Coyne 40, Harrison 36, Gulati 3-9)

Gents 132-8 (Kota 31, Parvathaneni 22, S. Patel 20*)

 

Won by 2 wickets

 

An exciting game packed with incident saw Gents emerge narrowly victorious as Sanjay and Raj Patel kept their heads. The visitors’ deep batting proved decisive but neither side deserved to lose. On a cold, windy day both sides’ fielding was remarkably good all afternoon with exemplary picking up, throwing and catching. It was difficult to recall a single error in ground-fielding and only one catch was dropped all day. Gents were made most welcome and it was a pleasure to renew the rivalry after a gap of two seasons, though this was a much-changed Byfleet side with only three returning from that 2021 meeting (the returning Gents numbered seven).

 

The opening over of the day was carted for 13 with two boundaries but wickets soon began to tumble, four in the first nine overs, Chatharaju, twice, Gulati and R. Patel successful, assisted by well-judged high catches by Dubey and R. Patel at deep mid-on and gully. Harrison, who faced 63 balls and the rangy Coyne then added 67 in 12 overs, the bowlers coming alike to them. It took a Dubey ripsnorter to out Coyne, the ball flashing into Sudireddy’s safe gloves off the edge. Gulati struck twice in the only over of his second spell as once again the captain used nine bowlers as he did in the first two matches. Dodwell launched H. Patel for the only six of the innings. He had two spells but wicket No. 400 will have to wait. Coyne top-scored for Byfleet with a belligerent 40 off 42. The very good tea was taken with both sides reasonably satisfied.

 

Bandara had a huge shout for a caught behind off Chatharaju declined by umpire S. Patel in the first over but in the second the batter had to go, pinned leg-before. We now entered the only period of the afternoon when bat dominated ball, Parvathaneni and Kota, then Kota and Sudireddy, striking the bad ball, running hard and adding 38 and 41 to take Gents to 81-2 in the 23rd. Alas, the captain fell to a slip catch. Kota then gave Deven the charge and was stumped. The mayhem continued as Gents plummeted to 92-6, Gulati run out without facing, Krishna another lbw victim. The game had turned on its head and Byfleet smelt blood.

 

Nagpal and S. Patel batted with sense and style, 18 coming up for the seventh wicket. Nagpal even pulled a majestic six over mid-wicket but when he fell caught by a diving mid-off, to be followed three balls later by Dubey, the Gents were in jeopardy at 110-8 with 22 needed off 25. R. Patel’s batting was transformed by his coaching sessions in August 2023, two fifties in his next two games providing a sound return on investment. Winter rust was nowhere to be seen and he batted very tidily with his composed namesake, victory coming up with exactly an over remaining. This was intelligent, adult cricket.

 

So ended the first match on grass of 2024. The effort made by the groundsman must be applauded. The strip was understandably green but played well and the outfield, though still damp, had had a good trim. All in all it was a most pleasant place to visit. Good luck to Byfleet for the season.

 

15.4.24.

An exciting double-header saw Gents won 1 lost 1 on a windy weekend. 

 

14.4.24.

Dulwich SC

South Bank 123 (Murphy 26, Peak 23)

Gents 115 (Parvathaneni 47*, Faisal 4-31, Murphy 3-16)

 

Lost by 8 runs

 

Worcester Park CC had sniffily declined this fixture, not wanting to play on an artificial, so Gents stepped in, their own game at Hook and Southborough having become victim of the weather for the second year running. Thus a convoy of cars made its way to leafy Dulwich with Kulasingam and Nagpal braving the trains and buses (and creditably being first on the ground). A close, attritional game resulted with Parvathaneni in the runs again, he and the resilient, calm Dubey adding 38 for the tenth wicket only to fall eight short. A bit more support up top and Gents would have won but South Bank had a strong attack intelligently deployed by Mendelssohn, who also impressed with the disposition of his fielders, especially given that they were only ten.

 

The captain inserted the hosts and though Peak clipped three early leg-side fours off Gulati the bowlers (nine of them) had the better of things on a lively track. Four batters were caught trying to break free and Sudireddy executed a smart stumping. Murphy and Twinn added 34, the highest of the innings, before Chatharaju had them both. He and Kulasingam were the pick of the bowlers. The players left the field when Murphy was out, there being no batsman to come in, but Siddique as lowest scorer was allowed to bat again. This always a confusing situation and really ought to have been agreed by the captains before the game. Better to lend a fielder in our view.  

 

It was a relief to get inside the warm pavilion for tea and duly refreshed Gents set about their task. Kumar and Krishna did well against the impressive openers though scoring was tough. But one wicket brought two, three, four, five and six, Peak enjoying himself as three balls lifted and were edged into his safe gloves. A score of 43-6 was not what the captain had in mind, but Jampala and Parvathaneni brought order from chaos.

 

Jampala’s downfall was quickly followed by two more and at 77-9 it looked all up. Parvathaneni was playing sensibly and in the wise Dubey he found the ideal partner. There was the odd scare but this was very good cricket by the Gents. The four main bowlers were seen off, Gents 106-9: Mendelssohn would have to introduce a fifth and sixth. The tension ramped up. Mendelssohn brought himself on – Parvathaneni was dropped by a diving ’keeper. On came Siddique. Parvathaneni blocked the first, hit a stupendous six off the second but was beaten by the third which crashed into his stumps. South Bank had won.

 

Within a few hours their secretary wrote saying they would like to renew. Fine by us.

 

13.4.24.

Marble Hill Park

Crossbats 172 (Masini 63, Dubey 62, Krishna 5-28)

Gents 173-5 (Parvathaneni 56*, Bhaja 54*)

 

Won by 5 wickets

 

Crossbats know the artificial pitch at Marble Hill Park intimately, as they should with 37 home games planned out of 61 for the season. They beat the Gents quite easily here in 2022 and 2023 and have a big squad, so any win here is most welcome. This double header weekend was a triumph for team secretary Nilesh Dubey who organised 16 players to honour it, six playing both days. Five Gents and three Crossbats returned from 2023. Mandava played only his second game and Jampala returned for his first game since 2016. Sunny Bhaja and Raghavendra debuted.

 

Gents won well on the warmest day ever to host this traditional opening fixture, anchorman Bhaja (54 not out, 62 balls, four fours) and Parvathaneni (56 not out, 42 balls, nine fours, one six) posting 93 off 75 to see the visitors home. Earlier Krishna had taken his first club five-for, all in his remarkable second spell of 3-0-9-5, some performance on the true new artificial.

 

English Heritage tend Marble Hill Park well. The groundsman had given the outfield a No.3 cut with no fade so the ball needed a bit of a bash to go to the boundary. Inserted, Crossbats put down a marker for the most lop-sided scorecard of the summer, slipping from 104-0 to 172 all out. Dubey provided the fireworks in the opening stand though Masini would narrowly outscore him.

 

Gents’ hopes rose as Mandava bowled his spell of off-breaks through. Jampala supported him with an accurate spell and the run rate slowed. Kulasingam replaced him and after a Dubey six the assertive opener clipped to cover. The wily seamer soon bowled Snowball and mayhem beckoned. S. Patel and Pingili had productive spells as the final nine wickets tumbled in 8.4 overs. Krishna had had two four-wicket returns before, both in 2021. Here he produced a superb second spell, hitting the top of off stump three times, as the innings closed dead on 35 overs. To have taken 10-68 spoke volumes for the bowlers. The captain made some sound bowling changes, the ground-fielding was neat but the catching below par, something that would also afflict Crossbats.

 

Gents struggled at first. A brilliant diving stop and throw left the captain stranded and Chatharaju drove back a juggling caught and bowled. The middle order tried to dig in but it was soon 80-5, the neat Bhaja untroubled by it all. Parvathaneni survived two drops in his first over at the crease, to slip and mid-on but soon found his range, the bowlers and fielders powerless to stop him. The wind off the Thames became keen but batters and spectators were not dispirited as the runs flowed.

 

This superb stand saw the Gents home with 28 balls and five wickets in hand. Parvathaneni’s fifty was his third for the Gents while Bhaja became the tenth Gent to score one on debut. Crossbats took their defeat in good part and the post-match socials were enjoyable. This was a promising start to 2024 and only the second win in six.

 

6.4.24.

Hook and Southborough scheduled for Sunday 14 April has been cancelled as the groundsman cannot prepare a wicket. The committee is seeking an alternative. 

 

 

Print | Sitemap
© Gentlemen of West London Cricket Club