The home game with Wimbledon United was cancelled because of a wet square.
Above, the batting hero of Binfield Praneeth Karnekanti, who scored 65.
F.W.E. Goates Memorial Ground. Binfield won toss. Sunny, 13C
Won by 3 wickets
Binfield 187-7 (Humphrey 52, Edgington 37*, Krishna 3-36) (40 overs)
Gents 188-7 (Karnekanti 65, Bocha 42, Krishna 38, Docherty 3-37) (38.1 overs)
A brilliant maiden fifty by Praneeth Karnekanti, well supported by Vamsee Krishna and the hard-hitting Praveen Bocha, took the Gents to the brink of victory. A convincing win looked likely at 97-0 off 20 overs and 152-2 in the 32nd. Players then got changed, never a wise thing to do, and the Gods punished the Gents’ hubris when 14 year-old Docherty and the veteran Vines caused mayhem. The visitors just scraped home at a quarter to seven in an atmosphere of baffled excitement.
The match itself had been two years in the making, the Snellings now playing their cricket here. Covid put paid to it in 2020 but after some toing and froing on dates it at last went ahead and what a splendid affair it was. A pretty ground, a green but true and bouncy pitch, a sunny if cool day: all the ingredients were there for a classic and that is what we got.
Binfield batted consistently, with seven batsmen in double figures and notable if contrasting knocks from Humphrey, who batted 27 overs and hit three fours, and Edgington (12 overs, five fours). The visitors’ bowling was steady, Krishna and Karnekanti the pick. Snelling took a wicket second ball, one of three catches by Sudireddy to set alongside two tough ones by Kota and a well-judged effort on the boundary by Bocha to give Krishna his third victim. The club’s twentieth Patel, Raj, got turn and bounce with his off-breaks. The fielding was competent once everybody listened to the captain with Chatharaju outstanding.
Karnekanti and Krishna nearly became only the sixth Gents’ openers to put up a century stand (opponents have done so 13 times). Runs flowed all over the ground and with brisk running only 91 were needed in the final 20 overs with all wickets in hand. A smart direct-hit run out did for Karnekanti first ball after the resumption and Krishna holed out to square-leg five overs later for his highest club score.
The weather was set fair for the Gents it seemed with Kota ceding the strike to Bocha, who lit up the afternoon with a flurry of boundaries, driving Davies’s last three balls for the only six of the day, a four and a three. Zoe Docherty’s first three overs were wicketless. Eighteen runs came from them. However, her second spell was deadly. Kota drove to mid-on, Bocha also holed out and Raj Patel was bowled. Two more wickets fell on 180 as Chatharaju edged to slip and a dumbfounded Sudireddy was castled.
Now came the undignified sight of puffer jackets, jeans and other items of civilian clothing being hurriedly discarded and whites being pulled on. The scene lacked only that immortal soundtrack to the Benny Hill Show, Yakety Sax, blasting away in the background. Namilikonda might have been timed out but Binfield kindly did not appeal. The burly all-rounder did the needful with Puli 0* and Gents had won by three wickets with nine balls to spare. A feature of the innings was the high number of threes, 10 in all. Thanks to Binfield for being such gracious hosts and to Theo Snelling for scoring.
Byfleet CC. Byfleet won toss. Sunny, 14C
Won by 4 wickets
Byfleet 184-6 (Clough 51, M. Hockin 50, S. Hockin 29) (35 overs)
Gents 185-6 (Kota 55*, S. Patel 42*, Puli 34) (31.5 overs)
At six o’clock Sanjay Patel lofted the slow left-arm spinner Deven high over long on to bring up a famous victory. Such an outcome had seemed unlikely at tea and more so 20.5 overs into the second innings when Namilikonda was bowled for a golden duck. Patel (five fours) and Kota (eight fours) then turned the match on its head with an unbeaten stand of 96 in exactly 11 overs.
Byfleet won a good toss on a bright but windy afternoon when it was far more comfortable keeping warm on the pitch than scoring or spectating. A vastly experienced line-up largely had things its own way in compiling 184-6 including two retired outs by M. Hockin and Clough. Chatharaju was the pick of the seamers and H. Patel and Kota, bowling in tandem, gave Dubey a measure of control until Clough’s late blast spoiled their figures. From 87-1 in the 18th over the hosts went serenely on, never cutting loose but able to set a challenge that would beat the Gents five times out of six. There were a few dropped catches but the fielding on a dry, bumpy outfield held up well and the few visitors’ successes were hard earned. Puli executed a fine run out from deep and Dubey took a well-judged catch at long off.
Dubey cut two fours in the first over of the reply before driving over Marshall’s slower ball. Krishna and Puli got their heads down and ran well before Krishna was caught and bowled. Karnekanti looked good before top-edging a pull to the ’keeper. Puli, whose best innings for the club this was by a distance, and Sudireddy added 31 at exactly a run a ball but the quick demise of Sudireddy bowled, Puli caught by a corker of a one-handed catch by mid-wicket running round, and Namilikonda bowled jabbing forward next ball bequeathed a heap of trouble for the lower middle order.
Dubey, anticipating a game that might go the distance, had given much thought to his batting order, put his best batsman at eight and stuffed the tail with finishers. But Patel and Kota took control, hardly playing a false stroke. The pitch bore up well with true bounce and fours came regularly, allied to tremendous running. After four overs together, the required run rate was down to 6.0 from 6.9.
Byfleet kept at it but the batsmen were masterly, dispatching the loose ball to the boundary, chipping into spaces for leisurely singles and clipping ones and twos. The returning Marshall put a brake on the scoring but from the point of view of the hosts the damage had been done. They fought to the end and can be proud of their efforts under the leadership of Saturday IIIs captain Bowman (their batting and catching hero Clough captains their IIs).
Byfleet’s experience was referred to above. Now we salute it. Till the end of 2020, Clough had played 200 games for the club, Daven 283, S. Hockin 316, Jones 426, M. Hockin 1,142 and Denham 1,390. S. Patel’s 379 caps is a magnificent achievement but would only put him 23rd in the Byfleet roll. Their whole team were splendid ambassadors for the club and it was good to see the teams socialise after. They hosted well and the home and away gazebos were an innovative, welcome touch.
Congratulations to the 2020 award winners:
Batsman - Pavan Kota
Bowler - Hemin Patel
Fielder - Srinivas Namilikonda/Ratnakar Sudireddy (tie)
All-rounder - Vinitesh Gulati
Most improved - Ratnakar Sudireddy
The shields were presented after a vigorous three hours' net session at Wycombe House. Thanks to them for hosting.
Saturday 10 April, Marble Hill Park. Gents won toss. Cloudy, 8C
Won by 8 runs
Gents 202-7 (R. Patel 75, Bocha 49, Chatharaju 35*) (35 overs)
Crossbats 194-7 (S. Skinner 40, Winch 38, Carter 22) (35 overs)
The Gents edged an exciting match after R. Patel, Pingili and Namilikonda, wisely held back by Kumar for a final blast, conceded only 29 in the last five overs when 37 were needed. Crossbats nearly did it and no Gent could have complained if they had. Earlier, blasts from R. Patel (75 off 38 balls with 14 fours and a six) and the returning Bocha (49 off 32 with seven fours) and Chatharaju (35 off 32 with two fours) had set a large if not insuperable total. That made it 1,532 runs for just 50 wickets in the four matches between the clubs, three of them played on the benign artificial strip of this pretty ground.
This was the earliest domestic game by three days and in sepulchral light worthy of November play started at 12.17. Krishna top-edged to square leg in the second over as A. Skinner and Humphrey dominated with the new ball. The first boundary did not arrive till the twelfth over at the end of which Gents had crawled to 22-3. Patel began with five dot balls. There would be only seven more in his 55 minute stay as boundaries flowed mainly down the ground and square on the off side. The rock Kota (14 off 52) gave him staunch support as the Gents built healthily. Controversy came when Namilikonda declined an appeal for a stumping of Patel. Video evidence filmed rather unconventionally by the umpire himself was inconclusive.
Crossbats bowled with guile but the middle order, chiefly Bocha and Chatharaju, continued the good work of Patel and Kota and the innings closed at five and twenty to three. Few overs would be bowled after this point in the First Class games going on in southern England. It was now very dark, so one could see, or not see, why. Tea and coffee, splendidly supplied by spectators H. and S. Patel, went down a treat.
The left-handed S. Skinner impressed from the word go as Crossbats piled on at five an over. The Gents had their successes, a neat slip catch by second slip Patel followed by the afternoon’s fourth caught and bowled. Short mid-off Kota caught Skinner in the fifteenth over but at 18-overs drinks the hosts were 99-3, the required run rate 6.06. By his own admission, this was not Krishna’s day but he produced a pearler to get rid of Felton before mid-on Bocha, who was having quite a day, ran out the veteran Carter who was attempting a tight second. But merry swiping from Wright and Winch brought Crossbats right back into it before Kumar clung on to one in the covers, captain catching captain.
Kumar had much to ponder and his decisions on the disposition of the bowlers were impressive. At 30 overs Crossbats stood at 165-5 with twos aplenty being sprinted and the Gents powerless to stop them. But the fielding then tightened as 23 came from four overs. Thirteen were needed off the last, bowled by Namilikonda, but only six came and the Gents had the win. Puli neither batted not bowled but otherwise involvement was shared around. Despite the horrid conditions it had been a cracking game and might have gone either way. After months of isolation and, it must be said, disappointing haircuts (or lack of) it was a pleasure to meet up again.
Outdoor nets will take place at Wycombe House Saturday 17 April 3-5pm followed by the AGM.
The club's history is now available, summarised by decade, under History by Season.
Summary scorecards, individual performances, debuts and important records (e.g. partnerships) are shown.
Like every club, we await instruction from Government about when we can proceed with practice nets.
There are 25 fixtures confirmed for 2021 - please see the Fixtures 2021 tab.
The season will start on Saturday 10 April at Marble Hill Park v. Crossbats, though this game is dependent on the readiness of the outfield, recently relaid by English Heritage.
Home games at Old Tenisonians CC and Wycombe House CC are now confirmed.
There are two new grounds, the famous and beautiful Kempton CC and Binfield CC, where the Snellings now play (and where MCC will visit in 2021 in their marquee fixture).
Holtwhites Trinibis welcome us back to the charming Holtwhites Hill, Salix to Chiswick House and Teddington Town to their sumptuous ground in Bushey Park.
We will play new opponents Ottershaw twice.
Saturday fixture/nets *
10 April Crossbats (Marble Hill Park)*
17 April 3-5pm nets/5-7pm AGM (Wycombe House CC)*
25 April Byfleet (Byfleet CC)
2 May Binfield (Binfield CC)
9 May Wimbledon United (Wycombe House CC)
16 May Kempton (Kempton CC)
23 May Northfields (Durston House)
30 May St Anne’s Allstars (Wycombe House CC)
6 June Plastics (Old Tenisonians CC)
13 June Teddington Town (Teddington Town CC)
20 June Salix (Chiswick House)
27 June Ottershaw (Old Tenisonians CC)
4 July Whalers (King's House Chiswick)
11 July Wimbledon United (Cottenham Park)
18 July Battersea Eagles (Old Tenisonians CC)
25 July Bricklayer’s Arms (Abbey RG)
1 August Kempton (Wycombe House CC)
8 August Northfields (Old Tenisonians CC)
15 August Clapham In (Wycombe House CC)
22 August Bricklayer’s Arms (Old Tenisonians CC)
29 August Ottershaw (Old Tenisonians CC)
4 Sept Squirrels (Long Ditton RG)*
5 Sept Millfields (Wycombe House CC)
12 Sept Holtwhites Trinibis (Holtwhites Hill)
19 Sept Salix (Nursery Road RG)
26 Sept Hale (Hale Common)
Legislation prevented our having the AGM this year but it is the Committee’s intention to convene it as soon as possible in 2021. A formal agenda will then be issued in line with the Constitution.
Until then, there is important information to share about annual subscriptions and match fees.
Further to the Committee’s email on 29 July, it is now time to honour the commitments made.
If you wish to claim a refund of £35 on the 2020 annual subscription and £5 for each game played, please contact the Treasurer who will provide you with a breakdown of what you are owed and make the transfer.
If you wish to put the refund towards next year’s annual subscription or match fees, please advise the Treasurer.
If you are happy to have paid the full annual subscription and match fees in 2020, then you need take no action.
The Committee is focussed on doing what’s right for both you and the future financial security of the club but if you have any concerns and questions please advise.
Review of the 2020 season (see Gent 170 for more information)
When on 23 June the Prime Minister described a cricket ball as “a natural vector of disease” it seemed catastrophic. Would no cricket be played in 2020? But glory be, 12 days later the Gents enjoyed the first of two hard, structured outdoor nets at Wycombe House and 26 days later embarked on a thrilling campaign uninterrupted by the weather. Ten weekends of play was a blessed holiday from the horrors of the outside world. Coronavirus played havoc with the pitches but Old Tenisonians and, for one game, Wycombe House hosted well amid the chaos.
The Gents scored at 5.4 runs per over and conceded at 4.2, the fewest since 2008. They took 4.6 fielding dismissals (caught, stumped and run out) per game, the highest since 2016, many catches being made possible by the captains’ excellent field placement. Though the sample size was small, these dry statistics confirmed an improvement in outcricket noted by the club’s most experienced player S. Patel.
Guests played no little part, supporting a well-rounded, confident squad of members. In two memorable recoveries the Gents were skittled for 98 at Northfields and were struggling at 101-7 at Winchmore Hill Tigers. They won both with astonishing bowling and fielding: it was as hard to defend 187 on the benign Paulin Ground pitch as 98 on the Durston House minefield. However, the best performance was not reflected in the scorebook; a past and present Gents team and Squirrels raised £500 for the Snellings’ nominated charity, the Sue Ryder Hospices. This will make a real difference to the folk helped by the hospices in a time when their revenue is in decline. This relaxed gathering of the clans, with legends and their children appearing alongside newer players is now an established annual event. Thank you all.
Bricklayer’s Arms and Squirrels deservedly beat the Gents. Brick’s talented batsmen chased a large total with vigour and intelligence, while Squirrels showed guts and determination to overcome a moderate score on a troublesome pitch. Only one new ground was visited, the splendid Holtwhites Hill.
The concept of batting and bowling averages was defined in the era of three day, five day and sometimes timeless matches. There remains a tendency at the recreational level to ignore bowling economy rates. Not here. R. Patel and Krishna paid under three runs per over with Kumar, Chatharaju, Pingili and Gulati under four. H. Patel took 16 wickets, including two five-wicket hauls, Namilikonda 14 and Gulati 12. Some of the catching and fielding had to be seen to be believed; Pingili’s run out of Tiger Ranger and his slip catch to see off Rosa of Millfields will remain in the mind’s eye forever. Sudireddy, the only ever-present, caught nine, stumped two and ran out two.
Two partnership records were broken, 144 by Namilikonda/Kota v. Clapham In and 140 by Sudireddy/Gulati v. Kempton. Sudireddy’s 96 was a personal best. Only three fifties were scored, though there were seven forties. The consistent Kota twice notched 49! He scored most runs (325), Gulati in a strong season and Sudireddy ticked off 200, and Namilikonda, S. Patel and Francis 100. The Ahmeds, Kumar, Newcombe and Pentakota each had his moment in the sun.
Dubey captained nine times, Kumar and Sudireddy once each. Their ethos was to involve everyone. The current Cricket Clubmark framework describes leadership in terms of governance, policies and stakeholder engagement. But that isn’t leadership, or it isn’t all of leadership. Keeping interest high with a reduced fixture card, trying to accommodate players keen to bat and bowl every time, is. The captains, and other senior players who sacrificially stood down from time to time, rose to the challenge.
Twenty-five played, 16 fewer than in 2019. Four debuted, taking the roster to 391. H. Patel (247) overtook Snelling (246) to go second in the appearances total behind S. Patel (378). Kota overtook Gilkes to go sixth in the career runs total, in which Kumar jumped two places to seventh, overtaking Gilkes and Buck. It was a pity that our friends Basker, Khan, Puli and Toft could not play or support, Basker and Khan missing a campaign for the first time since 2013. We hope to see them all next year.