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

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2024 reports
Match reports with detailed scorecards
2024 reports.pdf
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19.5.24

Early performances:

 

Runs

Parvathaneni 161

Kota 120

Dubey 74

 

Wickets

Gulati 10

Krishna 8

S. Patel 7

 

Caught/stumped

Sudireddy 3/3

Gulati 4

Kota 3

 

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.

 

6.5.24

Detailed scorecards for 2024 are now available. See 2024 scorecards.pdf above in News.

 

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 Sun 14 April has been cancelled as the groundsman cannot prepare a wicket. The committee is seeking an alternative. 

 

15.3.24

Fixtures

All 29 matches are now confirmed. We start with a double-header on 13/14 April. We requested and Crossbats accepted 6 April but they had to defer us for a week. Rather than lose a weekend, we have accepted the revised date. It will need some planning, We also close the season with a double header.

 

We welcome three new opponents - Chaddleworth (rained off in 2023), Phoenix and Sheen Park. Hounslow Hurricanes are back home and away and Battersea Eagles also return.

 

We tour the Kent marshes again. The Cotswolds tour has been postponed till 2025.

 

Venues

Our home games will be split between LB Merton (8), Wycombe House (3) and Milford in Surrey (2). That's 13 home games and 16 away.

 

Nets

31.12.23

Teddington SC cannot provide nets this pre-season, so we have booked:

 

Featherstone Sports Hall

11 Montague Way

Southall UB2 5HF

 

Sun 3 March 9.00-11.00 (2 lanes)

Sun 10 March 9.00-11.00 (2 lanes)

Sun 31 March 13.00-15.00 (2 lanes)

 

30.11.23

The AGM saw one change to the Committee. Raj Patel will be the new Vice-captain replacing Ranjith Charharaju, who did a sterling job.

 

Minutes will be published in due course.

 

 

11.10.23

 

Summary of the 2023 season

 

Played 22 Won 12 Lost 8 Abamdoned 2

 

An enjoyable season of mixed fortunes saw bad weather intervening with three cancellations, and two abandonments in which the Gents did not face a single ball. Under the new leadership team of Sudireddy and Chatharaju 20 games were completed. Between 14 May and 27 August only one game out of 14 was lost, but the campaign was topped and tailed with seven defeats and one victory. Eight losses was the highest since 2015, attributable more perhaps to stronger opponents than to bad play. The support was splendid, Doshi and Francis (sadly injured in the first game and out after that) among others making frequent, very welcome appearances. Thanks go to all who came whether they played or not.

 

The player rota was 25, compared to 33 in 2022 and 40 in 2021. To see fewer, one goes back to the club’s second year, 1989, when only seven games were played. This lent a consistency to selection that enabled the captain to experiment in fairly accommodating many all-rounders. One mysterious no show aside, full teams were fielded every time thanks to the efficiency of match secretary Dubey and A. Ahmed kindly supplied guests to several opponents. The end of cricket at Old Tenisonians required the club to move its home games and pitches in LB Merton were well prepared and cheaper. Administration was good too, with phone access to the groundsman in the event of rain. Wycombe House remained a batting paradise, though bowlers muttered about it, the last two games there yielding 1,029 runs for just 22 wickets.

 

Kota was superb. His 792 runs (two centuries and four fifties) stands third in the all-time annals and took his career batting average to over 50. Gulati (three fifties) and R. Patel (his first two) had their best batting seasons, Sudireddy missing out by two runs. Puli pushed on with two fifties, Dubey equalled that and A. Ahmed, Chatharaju, Parvathaneni and the captain (one each) scored quickly once they got their eye in. Newcomer Nagpal, Kumar and S. Patel scored vital runs. There were two record stands: 156* Dubey/Kota (second wicket v. Salix) and 120 Sudireddy/Chatharaju (eighth wicket v. New Romney). Opponents matched Gents’ six century partnerships and notched four individual tons.

 

H. Patel struggled with injury but 26 wickets was his best return since 2011. Chatharaju, 15 of whose 21 wickets were top three batsmen, Dubey (never has he bowled more overs or played as many games), Kota and Nagpal went for under five and Gulati 3.91. Kumar, Parvathenini, R. Patel, S. Patel and Puli delivered some excellent spells. Dhatric showed promise and was the best bowler on the Kent tour. Krishna began well but did not play after 2 July. Dutta showed promise before suffering terrible injury. The bowlers sometimes struggled on true wickets and could not discover a piece of magic to make the breakthrough. Sudireddy’s 18 catches is the highest ever, but the standard of outfielding was down a notch on 2022. Effort was never lacking, as exemplified by J. Patel who despite injury covered every blade of grass in the cause. Parvathaneni and Puli both executed three fine run outs.

 

Four new opponents were welcomed: Merton Hawks, London Itinerants, John Buckner XI and Hampstead, while a fifth, Chaddleworth, was rained off, as were Byfleet and Hook and Southborough. These fixtures will be renewed in 2024. The wins against Fighting Stars and St Anne’s Allstars, and the loss to New Romney were classics, a happy conjunction of well-matched teams at the top of their form. Gents held off a brave chase from Fighting Stars, the game swinging on a wonderful Nagpal catch in front of the sightscreen by the tennis courts, just as New Romney kept their nerve to shade the Gents after the heroism of captain and vice-captain. The tense St Anne’s clash waxed and waned all afternoon.

 

The season began with three disappointing batting performances and three losses, the worst start since 2015. The arrival of warmer weather heralded improvement with seven wins and one abandonment. A narrow defeat to Whalers and it was back on the winning trail with four further victories, including a rare double over Northfields, and a further abandonment. The batting of Mpingwe and Millfields then proved too strong. A win against Lydd and an epic loss against New Romney, both games played in draining heat, constituted a relaxing weekend in Kent, the generous welcome being an experience to savour over the winter. There was just time for Salix in a T20 to avenge their earlier defeat.

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