All Lions end 1sts' winning streak

Stoke Newington first XI took on ‘All Lions CC’ this weekend in the balmy July sunshine. Skipper Scott who claimed to be ‘too busy with work’ during the week to sort out  team selection delegated the task to his right hand man, MS Tobhi who jumped at the chance to help out a friend and show off his administrative prowess. He was therefore a little shocked and hurt to find out that Scott had in fact been living a life of revelry during the week, wearing white blazers and attending various high society functions in places like Chelsea.

The Chadwick brothers turned up looking like hungover legends (not really), both of them sneakily hiding in the changing room to avoid having to do any pre match fielding drills. This backfired for Chadwick Jr. as Skipper Scott insisted on giving him a ludicrously high catch as punishment, resulting in a severely bruised finger, some tears that he quickly brushed away, and a loss of dignity/ self respect. Soon after this the toss was done, Scott lost and Stoke Newington were rhetorically asked if they would like to bat on what looked to be an absolute road.

Scott and Abull quickly padded up and hurried off to the middle, both of them secretly hoping the other would get a duck (at this point they were neck and neck for league top run scorer). Neither of them did however and so ensued a ten over period of each batsman trying to outdo the other. This was excellent for the watching crowd (literally one women, who I am pretty sure was on the phone, and a dog) but not great for the morale of ‘All Lions’ opening bowlers. Unfortunately, all good things have to come to an end, Abull falling to a decent catch at Mid On for 34. In came Robert hoping to continue his form from the week before- After playing and missing once or twice he managed to edge a few through the slips and was away. Scott at the other end continued to score freely, playing an alright cover drive as well as a glorious on drive- punching the ball callously back past the despairing bowler whose figures were rapidly going from bad to worse. Meanwhile at the other end Robert insisted on giving catching practice to a fielding side that clearly desperately needed it. After being dropped four times and surviving a couple of convincing LBW appeals, he like Scott, reached his fifty. The pair kicked on, plundering runs off some truly woeful bowling, both (only Scott) looking increasingly comfortable at the crease. Scott then scored the runs that took his score to three figures and nonchalantly raised the blade, whilst inwardly ecstatic to have reached the milestone. Soon after however, he was out for 110 with Robert following suit on 87. MS Tobhi, Zabeh and Ali all came to the crease and smashed a few boundaries to keep the score ticking over before Alex, presumably in search of red ink, came to the crease to block out the final over of the innings. Regardless, Stokey finished on the very impressive 357-7.

Scott Doody- 110

Abull M Nalla- 34

Robert Chadwick- 87

Toby Jenkinson- 37

Sarafat Ali- 13

Ishaq Rakheel- 5

Gus Walsh- 9*

Zabehullah Mohammad- 13

Alex Chadwick- 1*

Lunch was excellent as per usual with watermelon, sandwiches and flapjacks being enjoyed by all. Afterwards the Stokey boys took to the field armed with helmets, this bizarre move was somewhat explained as the first over of the innings was bowled by spin, with four men surrounding the bat. This aggressive move backfired somewhat as 20 runs were plundered from the first 6 balls. The ‘All Lions’ batsman didn’t take a backwards step from there and continued to go after the Stokey bowlers. Latterly Gus Walsh then found the edge of the bat only to see the man wielding it to refuse to leave the pitch. Tempers immediately flared and there was a lot of shouting and name calling, an ominous sign of things to come. The overs ticked by and the scoring was getting out of control. Finally Gus got the breakthrough the red clad boys desperately needed. One brought two and suddenly it was ‘All Lions’ who were panicking. The innings was then slowly rebuilt by the opposition’s middle order and, as the overs ticked by, their pace of scoring quickened again and once more the game was in the balance. Alex Chadwick came on and took a wicket as did Khpalwak Zazai, however, due to the rate of scoring, Stokey were still not in control.

 It wasn’t until Zabeh came back for his second spell that the tide changed. He took a couple of quick wickets bowling with real aggression at a good speed.  Meanwhile at the other end debutant Ishaq Rakheel was bowling fast and with deadly accuracy. Unfortunately and perhaps due to this pace and accuracy,  a few balls hit the batsman, a few choice words were exchanged and suddenly the Chadwick brothers were diving for cover as another mid match bust up started. It was silly, it really was- both teams caught up in the heat of the moment were convinced that they were acting on some sort of moral high horse, both sides blinded slightly by their own burning desire to win, both sides, presumably, now a little ashamed of their antics. Anyway, once play resumed, it was understandably a little bit spicier. Stokey were now pushing for victory having put ‘All Lions’ on the back foot, however, time was running out and wickets were needed. Two great catches, one a team effort in the slips eventually caught by Alex and the other a moment of magic from Ishaq, kept the game alive. Unfortunately however, when the final ball was bowled Stokey were still short two wickets, meaning the end result was a ‘winning draw.’

Khpalwak Zazai- 11.3.1.51

Gus Walsh- 5.0.2.44

Zabehullah Mohammad- 10. 0. 3.30

Irfan Mohmand- 9. 0.0 55

Alex Chadwick- 3.0.1.30

Scott Doody- 1.0.0.11

Abul M Nalla – 6. 0.1. 46

Ishaq Rakheel- 5. 0.0. 26

So Stoke Newington’s red hot winning streak came to an end with a winning draw. Whilst still unbeaten there points tally doesn’t look so impressive, hopefully next week they can bounce back.