League round-up for Week 7 (Saturday 22 June)

1st XI

SNCC 1s (169-4 in 36.5 overs) won by 6 wickets against Actonians 1s (168 a/o in 54.5 overs)

Another Saturday, another game of cricket.  Another occasion to gather with friends and watch the Afghan contingent of Stoke Newington CC create wicket-taking chances whilst everyone else in the team dropped them.

Part of cricket’s indefinable charm is its ability to reflect the trials and tribulations that life throws at you.  For the Old Actonians’ opener who spent half the afternoon being outscored by the over count, this was surely true.  It was an innings of stoic self-control which was seasoned with the occasional attempted run out of his teammates.  A highlights package was dominated by a series of increasingly easy dropped catches and a perplexingly straightforward six that raised more questions than it answered.  It was tortured, drawn out and ultimately pointless.  Cricket eh?

The sun made its debut performance of the year and seemed intent on making up for lost time.  Luckily Joe Kingsley-Smith, the Hackney Downs Boss, had brought his industrial-strength suncream.  Originally concocted for the Scottish cavalry guard on their deployments in sub-Saharan Africa, it was a viscous and oily substance that did a real job on the complexions of the fair-faced fellows in the team. Unfortunately the oily aspect, originally intended to have the positively-regarded side effect of making officers quick on the draw, had an arguably even more insidious impact on the Stokey boys.  Sun, sweat and army-grade suncream combined to make the cricket ball as slippery as a fisherman’s dinner.  13 catches went down.

169 was posted by the old Actonians.  Zabe Mohammad took five wickets, bowling with real pace and a real broken nose.  Irfan Momand had eight catches dropped off his bowling.  Zazai, Ishaq Raheel and the Hackney Downs Boss all bowled extremely tidily without the luck they deserved.

Match teas were served and enjoyed.  R Chadwick’s aged grandmother who had come to watch her excellently-talented grandson drop some catches commented favourably on the state of the sandwiches.  Having gained the seal of approval from an OAP with nearly 90 years of sandwich-making experience under her belt, Old Actonians took to the field, eager to snuffle out the early wickets that would put Stokey Bears under pressure.

Unfortunately, their opening bowlers had to contend with Sneaky Pete at his duplicitous best and a notably sober skipper Scott.  The Stoke Newington Bears/Dragons/People cruised to 50 in no time at all, causing granny Chadwick to lament the fact that no wickets had fallen and that her dashing grandson wasn’t at the crease.  Eventually wickets started to fall.  Joel Bayley came in and stroked the ball around the ground like a man who had nearly scored a hundred against a load of 50 year-old champagne socialists the week before.   After lofting a genuinely beautiful extra cover drive for four, he remembered that the only reason he had actually bothered turning up was to watch Sarafat Ali bat.  He got out and scurried back to the vantage point of the pavilion to watch his main man swing the blade. Not wanting to disappoint his burgeoning fan club, Ali went about knocking off the remaining runs.  He formed a delightful double act with Jamaican Hodayne Bryce, who seemed intent on winning the game in quick singles.

Very soon the game was over and Stokey Bears celebrated with a drink in the Old Actonians’ clubhouse. It was a round enjoyed by all and accidentally paid for by the usually parsimonious R Chadwick; I think he felt like he had to contribute to the day somehow…

2nd XI

SNCC 2s (112-4 in 35 overs) won by 6 wickets against Actonians 2s (111 a/o in 33 overs)

On a sunny but windswept day at Hackney Marshes, table-toppers Stokey 2s won the toss and put Old Actonians into bat first.  A wicket in the first over set the tone and Stokey bowled Old Actonians out for 111.  Hussain Shah contributed four wickets, with two each from Montasir Rahman and Irfan Zakhel. 

Chasing 112 to win the 2s decided to uncharacteristically and sensibly apply themselves and won the game in 35 overs and with plenty of wickets to spare.  This chase was masterminded by stand-in skipper Kartik Khatri who scored 62 not out. 

Still top but a long way to go... 

3rd XI

SNCC 3s (43 a/o in 16.2 overs) lost by 65 runs to Edmonton 3s (108 a/o in 27 overs)

Taking a break from the league with a challenging friendly away at Edmonton, the 3s acquitted themselves well in the field, dismissing their hosts for just 108.  Rahem Khan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets.  However, a young batting line-up struggled against a top-quality attack as they fell well short on 43 all out.  This was a tough test against strong opposition and will hopefully be good preparation for when the league campaign resumes against Alexandra Park this Saturday. 

Junior highlights

  • More than 100 juniors attend SNCC’s annual U8s/U9s festival at Hackney Marshes!

  • U10As beat Primrose Hill in a tense finish at the Marshes to go top of Division 1, while the U10Bs make it eight wins from eight in Division 2.

  • U12As win their final league match of the season against Brondesbury (with 50* for skipper Sid Conyers and 45 for Alfie Matthews) to take the lead in Division 1. 

  • U21s secure a winning draw in their opening match in the Middlesex Development League – 76 for U17 Stan Greenleaf and five wickets for U17 Jameel Mulla.