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

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Averages to 22.9.18
Averages
Avail2022.xlsx
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Match report 2022.9.11
New Romney and Littlestone v. Gents
Report 2022.9.11.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [104.2 KB]
Match report 2022.9.10
Lydd v, Gents
Report 2022.9.10.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [119.9 KB]
Match report 2022.9.4
Gents v. Millfields
Report 2022.9.4.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [83.4 KB]

18.9.22

Nursery Road RG. Salix won toss. Sunny, 17C

 

Salix 140 (34.2)

(Ali 30*, Waddington 27, Chatharaju 3-21, R. Patel 3-30)

Gents 144-8 (30.4) (Pentakota 53*, Darling 3-9)

 

Won by 2 wickets

 

Seven days after Ranjith Chatharaju’s epic 28* in 20.4 overs, Raja Pentakota batted 30.4 for 53*, another match-winner and a perfect innings in the circumstances. Salix, eager to avenge their June defeat, fought hard all day and perhaps did not deserve to lose such a tight and exciting game. The pitch was slow and sometimes capricious, and with both attacks greedy runs here were thoroughly earned. The old pavilion is no more and other facilities were non-existent but with a modest investment this otherwise pretty ground could be a very good facility.

 

Salix started briskly with veteran left-hander Waddington particularly impressive. Ilangakoon hit Dubey out of the attack with four successive fours. But Chatharaju and R. Patel were soon among the wickets, carding three each, 11 against Salix in 2022. It was an unusually spicy attack: Pentakota and debutant Nagpal gave the batsmen no respite and when Salix declined to 78-7 a short afternoon loomed.

 

Not so. Desai, young Herts League 1s player Ali and Balasubramaniam batted with relish, adding 62 for the last three wickets. A fizzing straight drive from Ali off Nagpal was the shot of the innings. It took veteran S. Patel to clean up and during the brief interval both captains felt 140 to be a par score.

 

When the second leg of a double-header is played we often refer to the number of changes in the teams. Seven Gents returned and three Salix, so substantially they were a different side, and a very competitive and competent one. Puli was pinned by Ali in front of his stumps before Darling struck three times, 49-4, Pentakota 16*. Spinners Ellis and Ilangakoon took three more and it was 93-7 in the 24th, Salix slight favourites though Pentakota was ominously unbreached on 33*.

 

Hail then R. Patel whose quick 17 was the support required. He ran well with his partner before falling to a cracking one-handed catch at deep mid-on but Nagpal was brave under fire, winning the game with a two and a glanced four off Ali’s rockets. Gents had shaded it but it was close run thing.

 

 

 

 

One Salix player then debouched to the Kiss Me Hardy Wacky Warehouse tavern kitted out in hiking gear looking like Charles Hawtrey’s Charlie Muggins character in Carry on Camping (above).

 

Mr Short: Miss Dobbin, what’s the meaning of this?

Miss Dobbin: I’m sorry sir but the gentleman kept touching things.

Charlie Muggins: Yes she was showing me how to stick the pole up.

 

11.9.22

New Romney. Gents won toss. Sunny, 22C

 

New Romney and Littlestone 106 (21) (Payton 96*, R. Patel 4-7, Kumar 3-23)

Gents 109-9 (31.1) (Dubey 29, Chatharaju 28*, Symonds 4-15, T. Harding 3-13)

 

Won by 1 wicket

 

The Gents shaded an absolute classic when Sudireddy clipped Harding Jr. to the square-leg boundary at 5.20pm. It was the most exciting game for years, Gents reducing New Romney to 2-5 then 20-6 before Luke Payton’s brilliant, unbeaten 96 (seven sixes and seven fours off 58 balls) took them to a fair score on a green, seaming wicket.

 

Gents started buoyantly but lost wickets quickly before Ranjith Chatharaju got to grips. His marathon 28* off 61 balls, soundly supported by Kumar (5 off 24) and Sudireddy (6* off 13), edged Gents over the line, all witnessed by a considerable live crowd and an audience of 177 on YouTube (excluding Namilikonda perving on his six 5,000 times).

 

A score of 106 all out or thereabouts is not unusual. That one man scored 96 of them, out of 100 off the bat, most certainly is. The 189 (170 balls) by Viv Richards in a 1984 ODI against England in a total of 272 (10 extras) is arithmetically the most dominant in international cricket. King Viv managed 72% of runs off the bat, Payton a round 96*.

 

Raja Pentakota and Kalyan Petluru came in in for Hemin and Sanjay Patel, who with Rajit Joshi and Jay Patel would provide voluble support, necessary to compete with the boisterous New Romney faithful. The poor lads would be rewarded for their two hour drive by a brace of ducks, both lasting three balls.

Ignoring the siren voices of those who would influence captains Sudireddy got his line-up spot on. Kumar coming in No.10 was a masterstroke, cleverly conceived in his hotel bedroom the previous evening. He had a very good day indeed, conceding no byes and hitting the winning runs, returning home with two not outs to his name.

 

Sudireddy chose to bowl and this was the timeline of the first five overs:

 

0.4 overs Haiselden bowled R. Patel, 1-1

1.4 overs D. Lawrence bowled Kumar, 1-2

3.1 overs Patel caught Puli at mid-wicket bowled Kumar, 2-3

3.3 overs the dangerous Harding caught Parvathaneni in the slips bowled Kumar, 2-4

4.5 overs Shane Lawrence caught Dubey at cover bowled R. Patel, 2-5

 

This was, argued distinguished cricket correspondents, a slightly parlous position for New Romney, but Payton hit out, taking Kumar for a two, a four and two sixes in the sixth over. He was sensational. Symonds and Adams holed out identically to mid-wicket and ’keeper Spencer Lawrence clipped back a high c&b to Chatharaju, 41-8. We then saw he giant Payton in his full glory with fours and sixes thumped all over the ground. Kota cleaned up, 106 all out.

 

There were few early alarms as Dubey and Puli set about their task. Puli called for a helmet but holed out to mid-on next ball off Payton’s left-armers but Dubey and Kota pushed the innings on to 45-1 before the match turned on its head. Dubey fell identically to Puli before Symonds struck twice in an over to dismiss Pentakota and Petluru. R. Patel and Kota soon followed, Gents 54-6. Namilikonda drove a six but soon holed out and Paravthaneni chipped another return catch, two for Harding, 71-8 off 19.4.

 

Chatharaju and Kumar then got their heads down and batted with skill and resolution adding 28 off 49 balls. They edged slowly to 85-8 before Chatharaju unleashed a four and a six off Owen, 95-8. Kumar cut a four (nobody in the club plays this shot better) off Harding but fell next ball, 99-9 off 27.5.

 

Enter Sudireddy. The last pair saw it through, the winning runs coming after a period of great tension. Chatharaju already has his place in Gents’ history with his last-ball six to beat Squirrels in 2018. With due deference to that, his two fifties and a quartet of Battersea Eagles wickets in 2019, this match reporter believes his monumental innings to have been his finest achievement in a Gents’ shirt.

 

Bat and trap was produced after the game and much merriment was had. It is a Kentish game, played with relish on the Marsh. It was a perfect end to the weekend.

 

Tech update

New Romney’s walkie-talkie set played an important part in garnering information. The wickets are pitched so far away from the scorer’s table here that it is hard to recognise players, so scorer Cooper (Lydd’s left-arm seamer from the Saturday) was in continual touch with the umpires to get names. The card above is the best one could do.

 

Scorer: ‘Was he bowled umpire?’

Umpire; ‘No, definitely caught.’

Scorer: ‘Catcher’s name?’

Umpire: ‘Nilesh.’

Scorer: ‘He’s not on PlayCricket. Andy, I haven’t got a Nilesh.’

10.9.22

The Banks. Gents won toss. Sunny, 22C

 

Lydd 180-8 (35) (Wood 81, Anderson 44, Unwin 38, Kota 3-28)

Gents 183-5 (27.5) (Namilikonda 43, Sudireddy 36*, Parvathaneni 35*, S. Patel 27)

 

Won by 5 wickets

 

Rev. Barham wrote in The Ingoldsby Legends (1840): ‘The World, according to the best geographers, is divided into Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and Romney Marsh.’ From the warm welcome via an entertaining game to a lively post-match social, this was a day to cherish at the heart of the fifth continent. The match turned on the run out of Anderson after 27 overs with the score 155-1, a platform for perhaps 220. The dam was breached, the floodgates opened and Gents snapped up seven quick wickets for 25, including two further run outs of important comedic merit. Lydd closed on 180, a little disappointing for them given their grand start, and consistent batting throughout the order saw Gents home with five wickets and 43 balls in hand.

 

Though Puli was slightly delayed, Gents assembled on time after a Friday evening passed in Ashford without havoc and we were away at 1.20pm. Early overs were Lydd’s as Wood and Unwin rattled along at five an over until Unwin clipped Raj Patel to mid-wicket in the twelfth. Anderson scored quickly however and the score mounted to 155-1 when Wood ran him out, victim of a misunderstanding.

 

Gents then seized the day and the next few overs were a whirl of run outs and wickets for Kota and Raj Patel as the final four wickets added three runs. The scorecard therefore had a lopsided look, though not as much as New Romney’s would 24 hours later.

 

The national anthem was sung during tea. Thanks to Lydd for facilitating this.

The pitch was green but essentially true and Namilikonda took the second over for six, four and six off successive balls. Though Kumar was bowled by the canny left-armer Cooper, the required rate was by this point under five. Kota and Chatharaju flourished briefly, S. Patel was in prime form but there was still work to do at 108-5 when Patel was run out, with the captain injured and unable to bat.

 

Sudireddy  is rarely at a loss under pressure and Parvathaneni was his ideal partner. Lydd’s bowling was accurate and the fielding alert but the batsmen picked out the gaps and punished the loose ball. Sudireddy hit six fours, his partner two and the winning six, driven over the short off-side boundary.

 

4.9.22

Wycombe House. Millfields won toss. Sunny, 24C

 

Gents 268-7 (40) (Kota 74, Kumar 56, Pentakota 39*, Puli 34, Namilikonda 26, C. Cooper 3-29)

Millfields 271-3 (38.5) (Wilson 97, Collis 62*, C. Cooper 39*, Baxter 38)

 

Lost by 7 wickets

 

Millfields produced a perfect chase at sunny Wycombe House to inflict a second successive chastening home defeat. The pitch, used by the 2s 24 hours before, behaved perfectly and both sides had strong batting who delivered, so it was really a matter of whose bowlers held their nerve under the inevitable onslaught and who fielded better. By these criteria, the visitors had the slight edge and so deserved the win. It was a good-spirited contest.

 

Perhaps mindful of the recent run gluts in Gents’ games Millfields had no hesitation in fielding. Kumar and Puli put up a sound 76 in 14.3 overs before Puli skyed to cover, who clung on to a tumbling catch. Drinks at 20 overs brought two quick wickets, Cooper’s quicks getting Kumar for a fine 56 ball one of the 21st. and the captain caught by a diving slip off the third. No matter it seemed, as Kota went to a fine 50 off 41 balls. Namilikonda fell to Wilson’s slow spin but Pentakota (39 off 27), Chatharaju and Dubey batted according to the match requirements to bring up a hefty 267. Cooper delivered an impressive 3-29.

 

Dubey – bowled through – and Krishna opened the bowling with some economy but the pony-tailed Australian Jason Wilson was in command from the word go. Lascelles feathered R. Patel’s first legitimate ball (he had opened with a wide) behind, Sudireddy’s 22nd victim of the campaign, 42-1 off 11.1. Millfields needed 227 @ 7.9 at that point and the truth is they never fell behind the rate. Wilson was in complete control and with the sound Baxter added 70 in 10 overs. When in his first over Kumar got one to jump at Baxter who sparred to silly mid-off Gents had a ray of hope, immediately extinguished by the appearance of Collis. There was still work to do when Wilson on 97 picked out long-on, but Cooper was in no mood to hang around and despite valiant efforts by all ten bowlers and improved fielding in the final 10 overs, the visitors won when he drove a six over the old scoreboard to round off a good day for him. The panoply of batting records set by Fighting Stars had lasted a mere seven days.

 

Records broken

 

Highest successful run chases

Millfields 271-3 beat Gents 267-8 by 7 wickets (Wycombe House CC 4.9.22)

Fighting Stars 267-8 beat Gents 265-8 by 2 wickets (Wycombe House CC 28.8.22)

Northfields 261-3 beat Gents 260-7 by 7 wickets (Durston House 24.5.15)

London Owls 239-0 beat Gents 235-9 dec. by 10 wickets (Victoria RG 5.9.93)

Northfields 238-3 beat Gents 237-9 by 7 wickets (Durston House 22.5.16)

 

Highest scores against

12 Angry Men 284-3 (Victoria RG 29.7.01)

Stanmore Warriors 281-7 (Shenley CC 3.9.17)

Millfields 271-3 (Wycombe House CC 4.9.22)

Fighting Stars 267-8 (Wycombe House CC 28.8.22)

West XI 263-6 (Victoria RG 24.5.92)

Most runs in a game

539 Gents 267-8, Millfields 271-3 (Wycombe House CC 4.9.22)

532 Gents 265-8, Fighting Stars 267-8 (Wycombe House CC 28.8.22)

521 Gents 260-7, Northfields 261-3 (Durston House 24.5.15)

513 Gents 312-9, Putney 201 (Cottenham Park 10.7.22)

509 Gents 325-5, London Saints 184-9 (Old Tenisonians CC 3.6.07)

 

28.8.22

Wycombe House. Gents won toss, Sunny, 24C

 

Gents 265-8 (40.0) (Kota 57, Namilikonda 50, Chatharaju 34, Parvathaneni 31, Sudireddy 27, Krishna 23, Mehmood 3-37)

Fighting Stars 267-8 (Javed 57, Gilani 52, Farooq 45*, Mehmood 36*, D’Cunha 33, Kulasingam 5-50)

 

Lost by 2 wickets

 

Fighting Stars achieved a famous win and shattered many records, some of great longevity. This afternoon proved that if you have two balanced sides (Stars commendably did not misrepresent their strength when the fixture was brokered), two strong batting line-ups and a flat, true wicket then anything can happen.

 

For the fifth time in 2022 Gents posted a 250 score but for the first time a team had the skills, nerve and tactics to chase it down. We salute them. There was no controversy and the desire by both sets of players to repeat the fixture in 2023 was universal. Don’t rule out the secretary’s assertion that one day a side will overhaul 300 on this ground.

 

Gents’ innings on a beautiful late summer’s day was based around fine fifties from Kota and Namilikonda and healthy contributions throughout the order with Krishna, the captain and Chatharaju batting steadily and Parvathaneni providing a late blast of 31 off 18. The hosts never broke free, though Namilikonda had threatened to with three sixes off Singh’ s first five balls, but 113-3 at 20-over drinks became a prosperous 265 without undue alarm. The fielding by Stars held up well and their bowling on a remorseless batsman’s wicket was accurate.

 

Parvathaneni struck early before D’Cunha and Javed put up 57 off 39 balls for the second wicket. Chatharaju had D’Cunha well held by Kota at long on by the tennis courts and Kulasingam made inroads. From 70-1 Stars slipped to 136-6 off 21.4, a good run rate but only four wickets remained for Gents to capture. When Kulasingam got Gilani for a sprightly 52 off 36 (his fifth wicket) and Kota had Singh for a golden, both to neat Namilikonda catches, the match seemed as good as won. But captain Nabeel Farooq – ex-captain of Wycombe House 3s – was a wise operator and with Mehmood attacked the target of 71 off 67 balls with relish, playing proper cricket shots and backing themselves. Interestingly, R. Patel did not bowl.

 

In contrast to the previous week Gents’ catching was below par and there were a few misfields but truly this was a game won by the visitors rather than lost by the hosts. The final eleven overs were played out amid great tension and fading light but the chance would not come and Farooq struck the winning four at 7.25pm.

 

Naturally the team was disappointed but should regard themselves as privileged to have played in such an memorable encounter. History was made and captain Sudireddy stated that the game was hugely enjoyable. Aamir Ahmed did a lot of good work to make hosts and visitors welcome, thanks are due to him. This remains a venue of the highest quality and its facilities are top notch. Two matches here over the weekend therefore produced no fewer than 1,026 runs.

 

Records broken

 

Highest successful run chases

Fighting Stars 267-8 beat Gents 265-8 by 2 wickets (Wycombe House 28.8.22)

Northfields 261-3 beat Gents 260-7 by 7 wickets (Durston House 24.5.15)

London Owls 239-0 beat Gents 235-9 dec. by 10 wickets (Victoria RG 5.9.93)

Northfields 238-3 beat Gents 237-9 by 7 wickets (Durston House 22.5.16)

Gents 235-9 beat 12 Angry Men 231-3 by 1 wicket (Victoria RG 3.9.00)

 

Highest scores against

12 Angry Men 284-3 (Victoria RG 29.7.01)

Stanmore Warriors 281-7 (Shenley 3.9.17)

Fighting Stars 267-8 (Wycombe House 28.8.22)

West XI 263-6 (Victoria RG 24.5.92)

Northfields 261-3 (Durston House 24.5.15)

 

Most runs in a game

532 Gents 265-8, Fighting Stars 267-8 (Wycombe House 28.8.22)

521 Gents 260-7, Northfields 261-3 (Durston House 24.5.15)

513 Gents 312-9, Putney 201 (Cottenham Park 10.7.22)

509 Gents 325-5, London Saints 184-9 (Old Tenisonians 3.6.07)

508 Gents 290-3, London Rams 218 (Old Tenisonians 26.6.06)

 

Highest ninth-wicket stand against

72* N. Farooq (45*) and K. Mehmood (36*), Fighting Stars (Wycombe House 28.8.22)

 

21.8.22

Old Tenisonians. Plastics won toss. Sunny 25C

 

Plastics 200 (33.5) (Webster 110*, P. Bishop 25, Kulasingam 4-33, Puli 3-19)

Gents 204-5 (28.4) (Namilikonda 66, Puli 38, Kulasingam 28, Kamida 26)

 

Won by 5 wickets

 

A day spiced by controversy ended in the Gents’ favour after a fine chase, Plastics’ 200 being overcome with five wickets and 32 balls in hand. It was a notable win for Sudireddy’s men. The game had four distinct phases: powerful early batting by Plastics, well led by the excellent Webster; a brave fightback when Gents took the last six wickets for 13 including four without addition; an aggressive start to their reply; and finally a steady canter to victory. Both teams were much changed from the June 2021 clash which Plastics won by 81 runs. Only three from each side returned, Plastics missing the powerful Australian Anderson and paceman Jamieson, and Gents Kota, Kumar, Pingili and three Patels.

 

Such was Webster’s dominance that the other ten batsmen contributed only 74. He gave one chance early when short cover could not cling on to a rasping drive but was otherwise untroubled, hitting 15 fours and five sixes, two of which were kindly thrown back by a Tennyson Avenue resident pottering in his garden. Having reached a fine ton he marched off with the score on 150 in the 24th over. Kulasingam (4-33) and Puli (3-19) were now in tandem and helped by impervious catching both in the deep and close in (four men nabbed two), and an excellent run out from fine-leg, the visitors declined to 191 all out.

 

Or so the Gents thought. Webster then marched out to resume his innings to the annoyance of the overcooked Gents’ scorer, who declared his action a breach of Law 25.4 (Batters Retiring) but captain Sudireddy, ever the diplomat, allowed it. Nine more runs came before Gordon edged behind. Gents had taken ten fielding dismissals once before, when ten Enville were caught in 2004. But they fielded 12 that day, so this instance of all wickets falling to fielding dismissals is unique. Sudireddy went to a club record 21 fielding dismissals in a season (13 ct., 8 st.) two clear of Namilikonda’s 19 in 2019.

 

Parvathenini hit the first over of the reply for three fours and a six, 18-0, while Kamida also found his range in the next. So much so that though they were both out by the end of the fourth over, Gents had sprinted to 44-2, needing 157 off 31. Namilikonda, who went to 670 for the campaign with 66* off 59 balls, and the steady Kulasingam knocked off 94 in only 86 balls before Puli’s club HS (to go with his PB bowling) nearly took Gents over the line. Krishna and Chatharaju did the needful with no further alarms. One was left with the thought that Webster’s early retirement and absence from the middle for 11 overs might have worked against his team. Thus ended a long weekend’s cricket. Thanks to all players, especially the six who played twice, and the doughty team secretary whose remote organisation was spot on.

 

The drone and FrogBox were lacking from previous encounters but Plastics remain technical innovators. They attempted to score the match on PlayCricket before abandoning the project due to an imploding iPad, an experience shared by many clubs. The teams had fun after the match, Gents revelling in the latest successful chase down of a 200-plus score, one achieved without the masterly Kota.

 

20.8.22

Richmond Green. Gents won toss. Sunny, 25C

 

Gents 260 (33.5) (A. Singh 77, Parvathaneni 40, Kota 35, Puli 35, Namilikonda 35, Saad 5-34)

Prince's Head 117 (23.3) (Thamil 30, Parvathaneni 3-17)

 

Won by 143 runs

 

The Gents played their first Saturday game of the season against Prince’s Head CC on what can only be described as the strangest cricket pitch we have ever played on, writes Hemin Patel. With concrete cycle paths criss-crossing the outfield and creases marked on a random part of the green, the Gents turned up asking if we had arrived at the right place. After asking the pub landlord it was soon confirmed that this was the cricket pitch; he said ‘good luck’. As the crowds gathered on the green the Gents, delayed by climate change protesters, got their first shock when they realised they had to get changed on the green in front of the crowd. This put some off, others embraced it and channelled their inner stripper to put on a show for the crowd. Alas, no monies were collected.

 

The Gents won the toss and batted first. Aman and Chandra opened the innings. Poor bowling and fielding allowed the batters to swing the bat and hit the boundaries regularly along with good running between the wickets to keep the scoreboard ticking over at a good rate. After 10 overs Gents were 80-0 and the skipper was confident of a big score. Chandra eventually got out for 35 with, in the skipper’s opinion, his best knock for the club.

 

Pavan came in and worked a good partnership with Aman who scored his first club 50. Pavan soon passed 1,000 runs for the season. Both continued to hit the gaps and run aggressively, but the tiredness soon set in and with the pitch slowing up with indifferent bounce, Aman was bowled for 77. Gents continued to bat well, Pavan was eventually caught behind and Srini and Abhi continued to attack. Once both had departed the new batsmen found it hard to get going on the pitch and wickets fell regularly.

 

The last two batsmen Sanjay and Hemin discussed that they should just take singles, as many as possible. After a few deliveries, Sanjay had other plans and decided to not play at a ball, let it hit his leg and fell flat on his face. What looked like a plum lbw was not given and the skipper decided it was time to swing the bat before Sanjay did any more damage to himself, but that didn’t last long and the innings closed with the Gents scoring 260.

 

After a quick turnaround and chasing people off the pitch, the Gents knew that all they had to do was bowl straight on a good length and let the pitch do the work. But Ranjith and Sanjay had different ideas and bowled wide and short to allow the batsmen to hit boundaries. Sanjay finally made the breakthrough in the sixth over with a neatly taken caught behind. This brought hard-hitting old timer Thamil to the crease and he did just that, hitting Sanjay hard all over the ground. Pavan and Aman took over with Pavan bowling brilliantly and he soon got his first wicket lbw (Pavan and the umpire were the only two people who thought it was out). Saad came out for Prince’s Head and played some strong shots but with Pavan then taking another wicket momentum slowed. Hemin deceived a batsman with his quicker ball and got an lbw and bowled the next with a flighted delivery. Abhi blew away Saad and two others with his pace and swing and Mani finished it off with a caught behind to give the Gents the win.

 

14.8.22

Old Tenisonians. Toss agreed. Sunny, 33C

 

Clapham In 190-4 (35) (Taylor 75*, S. Smith 62*, Ferreira 25, Cheetham 20, Chatharaju 4-23)

Gent 175 (29) (Gulati 54, Namilikonda 39, Bage 5-35, Crowley 4-23)

 

Lost by 15 runs

 

When after a lot of hard work and resilient cricket they stood at 165-7, needing 26 to win with three wickets and eight overs in hand, Gents had hopes of extending the winning run to 12 games. Six balls later and Clapham In had claimed a famous victory, their third in the last four games in this rubber. It was a chaotic day with plenty of good cricket. Thirteen of the fourteen wickets fell at the Tennyson Avenue end, all to high-quality seam and swing bowling.

 

Only six Gents and Clapham’s Riaan Ferreira survived from the 2021 clash, won by Clapham. The early overs belonged to the Gents with Chatharaju producing a wonder spell to record his best analysis. But a marginal c&b chance aside, S. Smith and Taylor were untroubled in adding 139 in 141 balls, an all-opponents’ record for the fifth wicket, beating the 121 in 80 balls by Payton and Harding of New Romney and Littlestone last October. The target of 191 would take some getting.

 

Gulati (ten fours in his 54) and R. Patel gave the hosts a perfect start with a blazing 64 in only 71 balls before Crowley wreaked havoc, assisted by neat and, in the case of his juggling c&b of R. Patel, spectacular catching. But Namilikonda (three sixes and a four) and last-minute guest Wagharalkar, dressed in civilian clothing and having put in a huge shift in the outfield in searing heat and humidity, wrested back the initiative with 57 off 38. Gents seemed slight favourites.

 

Exactly three years before, Tom Bage had taken 3-19 in Clapham’s convincing win. Here he had carded 4-0-21-0 in his first spell. He then won the match. Namilikonda and Reddy fell lbw off balls one and four of his fifth over. A Chatharaju four and three singles off Tanuku followed, 165-7. Bage’s sixth over went for ten but also included the wickets of Wagharalkar, Chatharaju (leg stump knocked out of the ground) and H. Patel. Quite a second spell. The unbeaten run had to end sometime and it was well that it was to a skilled, competitive and very friendly team.

 

We referred above to chaos. Clapham In have a fixtures app, which directed them to Wycombe House and may therefore fairly be described as bollocks. Having watched the sprinkler there do the Lord’s work, they called for directions and turned up in dribs and drabs before insisting on batting first (Gents would have taken first knock which gave plenty of ammunition to the club’s conspiracy theorists). The game started 55 minutes late. They updated the admittedly dilapidated and clunky scoreboard only with reluctance until Smith and Taylor were piling on the runs. A diplomatic note was sent but subsequently recalled after an enjoyable post-match social.

 

Their own wry take was: Due to an administrative error, half the team were sent to Osterley near Heathrow Airport, rather than the correct ground near Wimbledon, South West London. Was it a genuine mistake or a Machiavellian masterstroke allowing CICC to bat first without a toss and the chance to unveil usual top-order grafters Callum and Steve as middle-order Bazballers?’

 

7.8.22

Old Tenisonians. Northfields won toss. Sunny, 26C

 

Gents 212-9 (35) (Namilikonda 101, Pentakota 28*, Akhtar 3-35)

Northfields 138 (29.4) (David Redhead 35, Yash 24, Gulati 3-18, Pentakota 3-30)

 

Won by 74 runs

 

The wins keep on coming for the Gents with a run of 11 unbeaten matches after our defeat at Northfields in May, writes Hemin Patel. Since then, our batsmen have flourished, the bowlers have been on point and the fielding has been near perfect. Only Mpingwe have bowled us out since that game which is a testament to the grit and determination we show every week. These are all points that the captain is proud of and hopes will continue for the rest of the season

 

The Gents welcomed long-term friends Northfields to Old Tens on another hot and sunny day with only one thing on their mind, a win. After that narrow defeat there the Gents were out to prove a point and that is exactly what we did. After losing the toss and being inserted on what was another brilliantly-prepared wicket, the skipper was ecstatic knowing we had the batters to post a good score.

 

Ranjith and Ratti opened the batting with Ratti cracking two fours in Kent’s first over. Ranjith was caught in two minds in the second and Derrick Redhead took a smart caught and bowled, then in the third Kent got his revenge and bowled Ratti. The Gents’ two top scorers this season were now at the crease and things calmed down. Srini playing in his usual destructive way and Pavan playing with his usual elegance got the run rate going. Pavan was caught for 18 after a stand of 66. Srini kept on going though and with short and quick partnerships with the middle order continued to keep the pressure on as wickets started to fall at regular intervals. Bobby, Chandra, Sanjay, Raj and Vamsee fell quickly after contributing runs before Raja came to the crease. Confident in his ability he hit the gaps and supported Srini well. With Srini running out of gas he got to his century and fell soon after: a peach of an innings. Skipper Hemin Patel came out to bat knowing we needed to get to 200 and managed to put on 33 with Raja to get the Gents to 212 after 35 overs.

 

Gents, full of confidence, came out to bowl. Ranjith and Vamsee opened the bowling and what an exceptional opening spell it was. Derrick and Darren Redhead fell to Vamsee who had found his bowling form and Northfields struggled to up the run rate. On came Raja and Sanjay who continued the good work. Raja bowled good lengths and lines and got rid of Yash with an outstanding catch from Chandra, his second of the game, and old-timer Sanjay bowled David-Joseph.

 

With David Redhead still at the crease Gents knew they had to continue to apply the pressure at both ends. Bobby bowled with his usual pace and accuracy, caught and bowled Abz then bowled Malhotra and Raja soon got the wicket of Afridi. Raj took the final wicket and the Gents had won. Bar some dodgy boundary fielding we fielded superbly, catches were taken, and the concentration was excellent. A few shout outs from the captain: Srini was outstanding with the bat and what a good innings from Raja. Bowling: Vamsee, Ranjith, Raja, Bobby were brilliant, Chandra was outstanding in the field with two brilliant catches.

 

31.7.22

Wycombe House. Wycombe House won toss. Cloudy then sunny, 26C

 

Wyombe House 216-7 (40) (Shaikh 82, Osman 25, Khan 25, A. Ahmed 22)

Gents 219-5 (32.2) (Kota 62, Gulati 39, Puli 34*, Namilikonda 25, S. Patel 23*) 

 

Won by 5 wickets

 

Gents and a keen, young Wycombe House Sunday XI enjoyed themselves in an entertaining game rich in incident. After Vasi Shaikh had dominated the first innings with a powerful 82 (nine fours and three sixes), the visitors got off to an absolute flyer with 92 coming up in the first ten overs. They lost wickets but the rock Kota’s calm assurance was decisive. The pitch, used by the 1s the day before, therefore produced 910 runs in two games for the loss of only 28 wickets. The welcome offered by House’s players, officials and supporters was warm and friendly, the pizzas after the game being much appreciated.

 

It was a tough day logistically for House whose 1s were short for their Middlesex Trophy quarter-final at Southgate. They tried to co-opt Messrs. Ahmed and Shaikh who stood their ground to honour this fixture. The colts who made up the XI (actually 13 in rotation) were handy cricketers and they fielded the club’s top batsman (Mr Ahmed himself with 796) and two of the top three bowlers (Adnan and Osman with 32 wickets each). Everything pointed to a well-balanced contest.

 

Gents’ seamers immediately found their lines but the openers were sound till Doshi clipped a full toss to mid-off. Minhas soon picked out mid-on and Khawaja was run out, leaving ’keeper Aftab to support Shaikh in a good spell for House. Seam and spin came alike to the veteran and he looked on for a century. Aftab holed out to long on but the entry of Ahmed after Ahmar’s sad run out promised great things. His first ball, from H. Patel, was a slow full-toss pulled over the pavilion into the premises of Seccombe the builder’s merchant. Thirty-eight came up in five overs when Shaikh called his skipper for a single that was never on, Kota and Sudireddy doing the needful, the carnage and Sudireddy’s brilliant celebration captured forever on YouTube via FrogBox during a rare lucid interval for the temperamental streaming service. Shaikh was well caught on the long on boundary, a deserved wicket for Kumar. Khan and Osman’s stylish stand of 51 in 40 balls ended the innings.

 

Chatharaju fell early, mistiming a pull. Gulati was ablaze with seven fours and a six off only 27 balls and after he departed having played around a full toss it was his like for like replacement, Namilikonda, who bashed a quick 20. Kota was in peak form and with stout and intelligent support from Krishna (viciously sledged by Shaikh) fewer than a hundred were needed. House worked hard and got back into the game by dismissing Krishna and Kota in quick succession, but were unable to bowl Gents out, that being their only route to victory with run rate long since having ceased to be an issue. A stand of 66 in eight overs between Puli and S. Patel then won the day, Puli equalling his highest score, off only 26 balls.

 

Back to our new mate FrogBox. One aspect of the day was thoroughly modern, for good or ill. Ahmed, Burman and Khan were constant telephone contact with the 1s’ impressive captain Hamzah Khan who is a technical guru. Indeed, the scorer’s table looked like a thieves’ kitchen of tech with four phones, two iPads and a host of cables. There was also the scorebook which was, for this day at least, as unloved as Jessie the Cowgirl in Toy Story. It sat sadly in the corner.

 

24.7.22

Redbourn Common. Redbourn won toss. Sunny, 29C

 

Redbourn 232-8 (40) (McKay 82, Smith 62, Cook 20)

Gents 74-2 (14.2) (Kumar 29*, Namilikonda 23)

 

Match abandoned.

 

A beautiful ground; an atmosphere of welcome; and a sunny day kissed by a refreshing breeze. Such were the ingredients for an exciting conclusion to a well-balanced match, but one that had to be abandoned when the unfortunate Smith fell awkwardly and tore a patellar tendon. The paramedics who attended within minutes summoned an ambulance. The poor man could not be moved, the ambulance was estimated to be two hours, so the captains shook hands. No doubt as he lay there shaded by a parasol he was thinking of his well-judged catch at long on to see off Namilikonda.

 

Much good cricket had been played before then. Chatharaju produced a lethal inswinger second ball before McKay, Cook and Smith assumed a measure of control on a perfect batting pitch. The crosswind did not help the spinners but there were too many long-hops. Gents had their moments and fought back well after Puli’s wonder catch with Tanniru, Kota and H. Patel effective in the final overs. But the target was still formidable, the score of 232 the highest by an opponent since the 253-1 by Millfields in 2018.

 

Puli’s catch is worth its own paragraph. Two balls after catching Smith on the boundary, losing his balance and flinging the ball back onto the field of play to prevent a six (stout work and five runs saved), he ran in and dived forward to grab the ball inches above the ground.

 

In Gents’ brief but brisk dig Kumar took two fours and six off Cook’s second over and Namilikonda cleared the trees to record the 50th six of 2022. Gents needed 159 off 154 balls when the injury occurred. DLS tables had Gents three ahead but let’s not go there. Thanks to guest Nikhil Vermula for helping out.

 

An email enquiring after Smith’s welfare was responded to with charm by the hosts:

 

Thank you for your email: I was actually in the process of writing an email to you. I was away yesterday but heard about the abrupt end to the game and the rather nasty injury suffered by Andy. The news is that he is OK – given the circumstances –  he is due to have an operation tomorrow on a ruptured patellar tendon, and will no doubt have to undergo a considerable period of physio to recover. It was fortunate that his wife, and one of our club members, are both GPs and were on hand to help. 

 

A number of the team commented very positively about how supportive the GWLCC team were - and I wanted to thank you on behalf of RCC for all your good wishes. The team also said that the match was played in the spirit of a true Sunday match and they thought it would be great if you could visit the club again. We will definitely keep a date open for you if you do want to visit in 2023, hopefully this time with a full game being played! We can’t recall a game being called off for injury in recent memory.

 

Liam Beere

 

17.7.22

Gent 175 is published.

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