1st XI beats CRS Cardinals in top of the table clash

Match report- 13.06.2015

This Saturday saw Stoke Newington’s unbeaten first eleven take on second placed CRS Cardinals in a top of the table clash at Hackney North Marsh, London’s answer to the WACA. The opposition team was filled with Carribean flair and they even brought along a group of charming, if a little boisterous fans who weren’t shy of airing their opinions, or even just shouting nonsensically. To cap off the occasion, a local news team was present. Having heard about Stoke Newington’s exciting brand of cricket, they had made the effort to turn up and take a few photos for an article presumably detailing the clubs rise as a cricketing powerhouse of London.

There was a decent amount of cloud cover at the toss and so, when Skipper Scott called correctly, he didn’t hesitate in asking the travelling West Indians to don their pads and face up to Stokeys intimidating new ball partnership of Gus ‘Courtney’ Walsh and ‘The Big Show’, Zabeh. Gus bowled with the pace and hostility that has typified his bowling this year and was able to extract the extra bounce necessary to find the edge of the Cardinals opening bat in the first over, a chance that was ably pouched by M.S.Tobhi behind the sticks. This brought to the crease an elderly statesmen who played with real flair and wasn’t afraid of taking on the short ball. At the other end the remaining opening bat dropped anchor and played with some of the softest hands in world cricket. Despite brigadier block taking up the majority of the strike the Cardinals score rattled along nicely, thanks to the bombastic strokeplay of their aged number 3. Both Zabeh and Gus kept the slip cordon interested, if a little scared, as they regularly beat the bat, both of them bowling at more than decent pace. Despite this wickets weren’t being had and so Skipper Scott applied some entry level psychological warfare, tempting the batsman to hit over the infield and bringing on the spinners. A couple of lusty blows and dropped catches later and Stokey had their man caught off the bowling of golden-arm Zazai. This proved to be the catalyst to a period of Stoke Newington domination, as Abul came on for a token over and bowled the opposition captain with his first ball of the season.

Wickets fell intermittently to the bowling of Zazai, with Stoke Newingtons seam bowlers rotating at the other end. Irfan bowled with excellent control once again and was at times too good for the oppositions lower order, beating the bat with regularity he ultimately unlucky to not end up with adequate reward in the form of wickets. Skipper Scot then indulged himself with a few overs of right arm runs, his slower ball exasperating everyone on the pitch as it consistently didn’t get hit for six. Zazai on the other hand was taking wickets and completed his fifer by clean bowling the Cardinals number 11, leaving Stoke Newington a target of 190 off 55 overs.

After one of the more middle class lunches in the history of east London cricket (which the opposition umpire point blank refused to eat) Skipper Scott went out to bat, accompanied by the leagues classiest batsman, Abul Mnalla. The pair carried on from where they left off against Tower Hamlets, and after fifteen overs, Stokey were cruising along without a care in the world. With a trifling 70 runs required for victory Abul contrived to get out, playing on just short of his 50. With Chadwick Jr. now at the crease the opposition sought to make further inroads into Stokeys batting line up by bringing back their big opening bowler. With a run up as inappropriately long as this ‘write up,’ he bounded in with great aplomb, only to find he was actually bowling at Skipper Scott. Four balls and twenty runs later he lamely adopted the tactic of bowling deliberate beamers in a last ditch effort to intimidate our men at the crease. Unfazed Skipper Scott went about his business. Two overs later Stokey needed only 5 for victory with Scott on 98*. The crowd was then witness to something remarkable, as the opposition bowler undermined the fair play spirit the game had been played in by deliberately bowling five wides. The shocked silence of the watching crowd was enough for him to realise the distastefulness of his actions. With his dignity in tatters the right arm medium pacer left the field in disgrace, the game finishing on a sour note after a great day. 

And so Stokey’s winning run was extended and their position at the top of the table consolidated. Next week they face a new challenge- playing without their inspiration captain, leader, role model and friend, Skipper Scott. Let’s hope they rise to the challenge.