Last Saturday the undefeated, yes I know, still undefeated(!), first XI travelled to the strangely named ‘Kay Plus CC’ in search of a win that would mean that they still haven’t lost. Flushed with their victory last week against the equally poorly named ‘Youth Wing’ it was a confident bunch of players that travelled to a park in west Acton. Unfortunately this confidence manifested itself in arrogance, with half the team pushing the boundaries between ‘stylishly late’ and ‘rudely late’ to breaking point.
The shrewd looking opposition captain capitalised on this cavalier attitude to time keeping by asking a Stoke Newington side with only 6 players to have a bowl. At this point the situation looked pretty bleak. Fortunately by the time the portly opposition openers had strapped on their pads a few more Stokey players had sauntered through the entrance to the park. Robert Chadwick partnered Gus Walsh with the new ball and the game got underway. The match meandered along at a gentle pace with Gus taking two early scalps to put Stokey in a relatively dominant position early doors. The tone of the game then changed completely as Zabehullah Mohammad replaced Robert from the football pitch end. Having worked himself up into a bit of a fury he unleashed a fearsome bouncer that clattered into the grill of the oppositions number three bat. There are a few reactions open to a batsman who has just been hit in the head- most of them involve a couple of deep breaths and a short time out followed by a fear of playing off the front foot. However, not one to be tied down by conventions, the batsman simply picked himself up and ran down the wicket brandishing his bat like a battle-axe. A ruckus ensued in which everyone except the two confrontation shy Chadwick brothers stormed into the middle of the pitch to shout at each other. Luckily Stoke Newington’s peace delegation headed up by Toby Jenkinson and undermined by Zabeh were able to restore some semblance of normality to a game that threatened to descend into farce.
Pumped full of adrenalin the opposition were able to play their way back into the game, thanks partly to some shocking fielding from Stoke Newington. Alex Chadwick then came onto bowl from the short boundary end and straight away found a delightful line and length, nibbling the ball about and asking questions that demanded answers to batsman with technical deficiencies off the front foot. Unfortunately, once again, luck wasn’t on his side, with three catches being put down off his bowling. Nevertheless he plugged away and eventually had one caught, M.S Tobhi making no mistake behind the stumps. Wickets began to fall frequently with the opposition’s tail failing to wag. Irfan Mohmand took two and Khpalwak Zazai added another wicket to his tally before Irfan Zakhel finished off the job, swinging the ball into the right handers in an arch of triumph that proved too good for three different batsman in quick succession. He finished with the very impressive figures of 3- 1-3-2 leaving Kay Plus with a score of 189.
Gus Walsh 7-2-2-27
Robert Chadwick 3-0-0-11
Zabehullah Mohammad 4-0-0-24
Alex Chadwick 6-0-2-31
Abul M Nalla 2-0-0-7
Khpalwak Zazai 5-0-1-39
Irfan Mohmand 5- 0-2- 37
Irfan Zakhel 3-1-3-2
After a brisk lunch of spicy sandwiches played resumed. Scott Doody and Abul played with typical flair and very soon Stoke Newington were above and beyond the required run rate. Then, with the score on 72, Scott was adjudged LBW. After theatrically standing his ground and casting looks of bewilderment in the direction of the umpire, he stormed off the pitch, chuntering on to anyone who would listen about how he wasn’t out, the umpire had got it wrong, and how the world was so unfair. Unfazed by this Abul continued to score freely, now join at the crease by Stoke Newington’s answer to Gary Ballance, Rob Chadwick. After playing what some people (me) have described as ‘the greatest cover drive in the history of the game’ he was tragically bowled out, an agonising 75 runs short of his maiden 100, by a bowler so old he had a free bus pass.
M.S Tobhi then joined Abul at the crease and the run rate once again quickened. Stoke Newington looked set to win at a canter, the only question still remaining was whether Abul would make his hundred, a question soon answered as Toby blasted 12 off an over to win the game in style, leaving Abul on 85.
Scott Doody -35
Abul M Nalla- 85
Robert Chadwick- 25
Toby Jenkinson- 23*
And so concluded another game of cricket which ended with Stoke Newington being the winners. Great for the boys, great for the club, not great if you happen to play for ‘All Lions CC’ who face us next weekend. Game on!