Teddington Town. Gents won toss. Sunny, 28C
Gents 148 (37.3) (Kumar 42, Karnekanti 36, Potdar 3-18) lost to
Teddington Town 151-6 (39.4) (Singh 44, Potdar 26, Namilikonda 3-20) by 4 wickets
The Gents did plenty right on a hot and humid afternoon but could not quite prevent Teddington Town from breasting the tape with two balls left of a draining encounter. The match was played out in oppressive, still heat and credit must go to all 22 players for conjuring up such a close run thing. At 78-7 the Gents were in danger of a second batting capitulation in two Sundays before Kumar and Karnekante put on 57. The hosts then found the necessary late boundaries after Singh and Potdar (a stand of 73) had fallen in quick succession. There was nothing between the teams and Town’s friendly captain Phillips invited the Gents back in 2022.
Aamir Ahmed was bowled in the first over having pulled a sumptuous four and though Chatharaju (with the day’s only six) and Kota made double figures, the innings barely limped along against skilful bowling with the U.14s leg-spinner N. Hilmy proving almost impossible to score off. Kumar (six fours) and Karnekanti (seven fours) were together for 15.1 overs which showed what could be done. The total was disappointing but the pitch was not easy and took spin from the off.
Town’s openers were resolute and correct. The board ticked over slowly (the score at 10 overs was 15-0) until drinks were taken at 41-3 off 20. When Grieve cut to Karnekanti the game was in the balance but Singh and Potdar scored prolifically and quickly, taking bowlers 6-8 for 52 off six overs. They fell in quick succession and the equation was 17 off 13 balls with two new batsmen at the crease. The Gents did their best but Dorgan and Phillips got them over the line. The bowling was steady and the returning Namilikonda deserved his three wickets.
Successive defeats has been a rare phenomenon for the Gents in recent years. The last time it happened was in July 2018 when Gubbays, Viscount and Wimbledon United did the needful.
A comparison of the two sides from their only previous game is of interest. Gents were short that day in 2019 and had three guests. Town too had a substantially different XI with only two returning. The sides seem well matched whoever is playing which is as should be.
Old Tenisonians. Gents won toss. Cloudy, 23C
Plastics 179 (31.2) (Anderson 71, Webster 48, Davies 22, Kumar 5-4)
beat Gents 98 (21.3) (Kota 30, Jamieson 5-18) by 81 runs
Plastics hammered the Gents in an incident-packed game. Australian Joe Anderson’s sublime 71 off 40 balls in only 53 minutes with ten fours and three sixes was the most important batting contribution but Plastics also outfielded the Gents, catching seven and dropping only one. In contrast, Gents dropped four and were dogged by misfields. Kumar delivered his best bowling figures, Pingili was no-balled for throwing and a dismal total of 98 was inflated by five penalty runs when the ball rolled into Webb’s discarded helmet. Thornicroft and Todd both took five wickets against London Owls in 1994 but never before had both a Gent and an opponent delivered such returns in the same match.
In the only previous clash, exactly two year previously, Plastics were reduced to an irrecoverable 7-6, going on to lose by 152 runs. But these were two much-changed sides with only five Gents and six Plastics returning. Inserted, the visitors set a blistering pace, Webster scoring 48 off 42 balls with seven fours and two sixes. Though wickets fell, the hundred came up as early as the 17th over with only Pingili exerting control in this phase of the innings. By now Anderson was causing mayhem, taking full advantage of the short boundaries.
At drinks, Plastics had lodged a concern with Kumar about Pingili’s bowling action and when the seamer knocked back Anderson’s stumps the umpire no-balled him under Law 24. It was a dramatic moment (it had never happened to Pingili before), but irrelevant in the context of the game as Kumar had the batsman next over, the dismissal embellished by a lusty roar that made spectators think he had enjoyed a gentleman’s moment. The outgoing batsmen misinterpreted it but all was later smoothed over. Inspired, Kumar demolished the innings as Plastics fell from 157-4 to 179 all out. The Patels carded 0-48 off five overs (though Hemin took a sharp catch at cover) and Puli had a good debut as ’keeper, conceding no byes and taking two catches. Yet this decline was outdone by the Gents in their knock. From a promising 41-1 in the sixth over they contrived to lose nine wickets in 14 bowled in 66 minutes. Jamieson was the main culprit with 5-18 and he saw the five penalty runs exacted by umpire S. Patel off his first ball. It was at least more dignified than the previous such occurrence in a Gents game when the traversal of the ball to the ropes was hampered by a McDonald’s bag shamefully discarded by Nick Boddington.
By the end of the tenth over Jamieson had his fifth wicket and the Gents were well on their way to a first loss in eight. Kota batted for 45 minutes, and S. Patel and Chatharaju knuckled down, but that was pretty much it as a steady-looking batting line up was shot down by accurate bowling and excellent catching. Plastics confirmed a deserved win at eleven minutes past five. Students of the curious may be interested to know that this was only the fifth Gents’ all-out score of fewer than 100 since the start of the 2018 season. And of course one of those – Northfields in 2020 – was actually won.
Gent 171 is published with match reports and averages up to 30 May.