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May 08, 2009

Early season report... Top of the league!

Chigwell's Cricket season has well and truly started... and we're currently top of the league! We've played 2 friendly matches and 2 league matches already with no problems from the weather so far.

Ok, so we started the season off with our first Middlesex & Essex Invitation League match against South Loughton. This lot always seem to be a bit difficult to beat and this time was no exception. We lost the toss and were inserted by SL on an overcast afternoon and began our innings with, for me at least, a sense of early season unpreparedness. Anyways, we perhaps under-achieved as a batting unit as we mostly seem to do on the SL ground and only managed to post 128 by the end of the 45 overs (I felt little chance of gaining a win by batting on over the 45 - and risk losing our 2 batting points in the process). SL duly knocked the runs off and the win was theirs... We managed a couple of bonus points out of it.  Showers were not working!!!

2nd match we were on our way to North Mymms (just north of South Mimms;-)  a charming ground very well appointed and looked after beautifully. Lovely outfield to dive around on if necessary!  Very nice tea also.

I lost the toss and NM decided to bat.  Wrong decision for them I'm pleased to say as some tidy bowling (props to Richard) kept them out of the runs for long enough to make them forget how to score any and the scoring moved extremely slowly. Owen was also brought into the 'attack' later on and notably took 2 wickets (caught by RobO and the sadly missed Imran). NM had to declare on 130 as time was moving on and, after stuffing ourselves on the fulsome spread we had no real problems achieving the win. Dave got a half-century and Chas a breezy 20 odd...   The showers were working well!!

Next up was Pacific - a team I play for regularly so I hoped we would be able to put up a good battle! 
We won the toss and I decided to bowl as I thought the chase would give us the best chance of winning. As a team I would say we didn't bowl our best but Pacific had some very good batsmen out that day so we did well to do as well as we did!  They declared on 248 for 8, squeezing us a little for time.
Tea was a rustic affair served from the galley and eaten outside on the benches. No cup of tea available!!!
We went about the chase with intent and all in all we did pretty well as a unit (I made a punchy ton, ensuring some free beer for my team-mates!) finishing up on 200 for 9.

Now here's the thing....... if we hadn't gone for 56 extras including 39 wides we could very easily have won the match.  39 wides???!!!!!!  Ridiculous. Get a grip Chigs.

Which brings us on to our 2nd League match and season debut on our home ground - the beloved Old Chigs.  We were playing Hadley Wood Green and hoped that this match could provide us with the league win we desperately needed after our loss to SL.  .... It did!

I won the toss and had no hesitation in putting HWG in to bat (as they have been known to stodge the draw on more than one occasion;-) on a decent looking wicket. It all went nicely to plan with all our bowlers doing the business and keeping any runs at bay. In fact, we did so well that HWG decided to bat over the 45 overs as they hadn't reached the 125 required for the first batting points. I've only ever seen that once before in a league match...  RobO took a decent 5-for (ensuring some free beer for this week!).

After another crap Old Chigs tea, myself and Dave bashed out the 133 required without much drama (apart from a bit of a comedy catch attempt apparently?).  It was a shame no one else was required to bat as we had both Harvey and Ross in the side for a nice change, and we still haven't had a chance to really see what Ahsan can do yet.  The showers stayed hot just long enough, and beers at the Chigs were followed by beers at the Nightingale (which were followed by beers at Bipasha ...and a very fine Vindaloo strength Dhansak). 

This match, win, and social was, and is, dedicated to our cricket and football buddy Imran, who's not around anymore..... 




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Guy B

As a friend of Imran's it was a pleasure to play at Chigwell against you guys for the first time yesterday.

Looking forward to the return match!


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