League round-up for Week 8 (Saturday 29 June)

1st XI

SNCC 1s (155-1 in 26.2 overs) won by 9 wickets against Perivale Phoenicians 1s (153 a/o in 37.2 overs)

This week the 1s played Perivale 1s at Hackney Marshes.  Having romped to a six- wicket victory the week before, it felt as though Stokey had regained their mojo.  Their mojo, which had temporarily gone missing, is perhaps their most prized asset other than their excellent collection of boundary flags.  Their boundary flags, provided by world cricket’s second favourite car brand, denote where Hackney Marshes ends and cricket begins.  They are a symbol of a common purpose and a shared passion.  They are representative of the unifying force of cricket in an increasingly disparate world.  With both really short and really tall people sharing the pitch together in happy unison, it is possible to catch a glimpse of a world free from the divisive rhetoric of those that seek to unsettle us.  Untouched by the political faultlines of modern Britain, the flags are a silent reminder of what is possible when people play cricket instead of talk about politics. In a more tangible sense, they also mark the boundary extremely effectively.

Anyway- less bojo, let’s get back to the mojo.

Stand-in skipper Joel won the toss and elected to bowl.  He then came back to the changing room and lied about winning the toss so as not to encounter the wrath of his teammates when they found out he had opted to field on the hottest day of the year.  The sun was indeed in rampant form, spraying rays of light around the Marshes with gay abandon, seemingly unaware of the effect they were having on the pallid complexions of half the Stokey team.  Under the increased scrutiny of the sun, the clouds went on strike, leaving a very blue sky in their wake.  This compounded the problem.

For once Zabe Mohammad didn’t take the first wicket.  Instead it was the work of Big Handsome James (Davies) who bowled the best ball of his life in order to remove one of the worst batsman in the league. His football friend had come to watch him bowl and so James was extra-chuffed as he bounded back to fine leg at the end of his over, eager to tell his friend just how much the ball had swung.  Wickets fell regularly as Zabe bowled his quickest spell of the season.  He was aided by some smart catching from stand-in keeper, Hodayne, who even decided to run the length of the ground in pads to stop a ball going for four.  He saved an entire run which later proved to be absolutely decisive in the wider context of the match.  It is difficult to predict the ramifications this saved run could have on the season, but some people are already saying that it has the potential to be important.

At this point it looked like Stokey might bowl the opposition out for under  50, but then they remembered that they loved dropping catches and so decided to do a bit of that instead.  The drops, combined with Perivale’s answer to Shahid Afridi coming to the crease and banjoing  50 off 20 balls, meant that after Zabe had claimed his 5th wicket of the day, Perivale had scored 153 all out.

BHJ finished with four  wickets and Irfan Momand continued to be the most unlucky bowler in the history of cricket.  “Cash in the Atiq” also claimed his first Stoke Newington wicket by going upstairs with a short ball, the batsman only succeeding in lofting its straight into the Atiq (‘s hands).  Mojo restored.

Jovial banter dominated tea as members of both teams watched the Afghanistan vs Pakistan game together, Zazai in particular was vocal in his support for his countrymen in blue and red.

Confronted with a 153-run chase, Stokey started slowly but steadily.  But then all of a sudden Sneaky Pete realised that the opposition bowlers were in fact the worst in the league.  He quickly deposited a couple of balls into the bushes.  The score ticked over with R Chadwick blocking full tosses to fielders in the ring and running.  Mercifully he was soon out, a victim to the much underrated ‘straight ball’.  This brought Ishaq Raheel to the crease.  He promptly made a mockery of just about every other batsman that day by hitting 52 off 18 balls including 28 off one over.  He then mojoed his way off the pitch to be greeted by his delighted team mates.

A nine-wicket win and the mojo fully restored.  Bring on the rest of the season.

2nd XI

SNCC 2s (53 a/o in 25.3 overs) lost by 85 runs against Perivale Phoenicians 2s (138 a/o in 32 overs)

It was a tough day for the 2s who made the long away trip out to Perivale.  Despite having to bowl first on a baking hot day, Stokey did well to bowl out their hosts for 138 with leggie Kartik Khatri taking 4-33.  Unfortunately, the 2s top-order offered no resistance to Perivale’s opening attack and subsided to 29 for eight.   Despite a fighting rearguard action from veteran Sardar Rashid (16), there was no way back from such a poor start and the 2s ended up well-beaten by 85 runs. 

Old-school team manager, Richard Greenleaf, is certainly looking for a reaction from his troops this Saturday back at Fortress Marshes against in-form Ealing Hanwellians… 

3rd XI

SNCC 3s (301-6 declared in 42 overs) won by 152 runs against Alexandra Park 4s (149 a/o in 40 overs)

An assured performance from a Stokey side which included eight juniors saw the 3s wear down and eventually defeat a much more experienced Alexandra Park 4s with a very mature performance at Hackney Marshes. 

Having won the toss and unsurprisingly decided to bat in the positively Saharan Marshes sunshine, openers U15 Max Trowler and U16 Rayyan Patel got the 3s off to a free-wheeling start at seven runs per over with Max (67) racing to his maiden senior fifty.  From 123 for 2 off 18, U15s Mueez Taj (57 – another maiden senior fifty) and Archie Parnum (48) accelerated the scoring rate still further in their contrasting styles as Alexandra Park stuck gamely to their task.  But the stage was left for a blistering last-over assault by U17 Jisan Farhan - 18* from five balls! – as the 3s declared on 301-6 leaving themselves 50 overs to bowl out the opposition and seize the 12 points. 

A ferocious double-wicket opening burst from U15 quickie Max Trowler (who finished with 3-46) rocked Alexandra Park, who nevertheless continued to fight hard for a draw.  U16 leg-spinner Rayyan Patel was unlucky not to pick up more than a single wicket from an excellent nine-over spell, while the other seamers - U16 George Neyhus and U15 Archie Parnum – bowled accurately on another excellent batting pitch at the Marshes.  Despite stubborn resistance from AP’s middle-order, the youthful 3s sustained the pressure in the still-sweltering heat and steadily worked their way to victory with ten overs to spare. 

Junior highlights

  • Nine wins from nine for the U10Bs who secure the Division 2 title!

  • U11As win their final league match of the season by beating Area Cup winners Brondesbury by 26 runs in a thriller at Regents Park.

  • U11Bs form the Guard of Honour for Australia v New Zealand at Lord’s – and play kwik cricket on the outfield during the interval.

  • U12As are crowned Division 1 champions!

  • U12Bs finish their league campaign with a win over North London – their fourth in four games!

  • U15s win away at Finchley (with 50* for Will Holden) to stay in the hunt for a place in the County play-offs

  • U17s snatch a 5-run victory from the jaws of defeat against Tower Hamlets in the Middlesex Youth Cup.

Stokey U11Bs at Lord’s with the World Cup!

Stokey U11Bs at Lord’s with the World Cup!