A match report from the game day captain:
A maiden trip to High Beach CC for the ‘Pinks’ culminated in a close game with two evenly matched sides and a mere 10 runs difference after 70 overs of cricket. The setting itself was picturesque, giving views over East London and the skyline of Canary Wharf in the distance. The field was a quirky, sloping and undulating terrain which made the batsmen work hard for fours. However, the shorter boundary up the hill saw some big hitting from both sides with a fair amount of sixes in the game, 4 by Dan including one over cow corner and a monumental strike by Bell who cleared the cars over long on.
Opting to bat first, Mike and Adam ventured out and were faced with a quick that seamed and swung on a low-bouncing pitch. At the other end, their bowler produced a ball which viciously cut back in to take Adam’s wicket for a duck. As the Gopaul brothers had yet to arrive, Dan came in at number 3 and produced his usual high octane batting as he began to find the boundaries with big shots. Mike ably assisted and also produced an absolutely crisp front-foot drive for four which raced along the outfield. As Dan passed his 50, a rare lack of concentration saw him fish for a wide ball and edge to point. Mike also holed out but had by then ensured a good start by the ‘Pinks’. The Gopaul’s then batted together and progress was steady, running well and taking on the bad balls when available. Both had starts and could have gone on for more but for a great catch which broke up the family affair. Bell arrived and the “White Chris Gayle” smashed the ball to all areas for quick fire score of 30 (including that mammoth six) which rapidly increased our run rate. Daz, playing as an all-rounder this week, also brought his class to the crease and struck some delightful fours. His textbook strokes during the final few overs saw him amass a speedy 46 not out. He was joined by Sam at the end of the innings who looked to play his shots and formed a vital stand with Daz, finishing on 8 not out.
A total of 195 was probably around par but would take some good bowling to defend, especially given the High Beach batting line-up. Taimoor and Sinders opened up and kept things tight for the first few overs, including a fantastic piece of fielding from Dan to pick up and throw at the stumps in one clean movement for the first wicket. After Sinders did his usual old man routine of being knackered after three overs, Darren came on and produced four overs of masterful control, varying pace, length and line to excellent effect. After Taimoor had toiled away for a decent spell of five overs, Nick came on for his full allocation, nicely finding the areas of uncertainty. Indeed, after a small but key fielding change by Bell, Mike took a simple catch to give Nick a well-deserved wicket. Sam huffed and puffed with unfortunately little success on an unforgiving ground and at this point, the game was on a knife edge. Taimoor and Sinders came back on and tightened the rate a little before Darren came back to devastating effect, taking the scalp of their star batter, assisted by a leaping catch from Sinders, who had bulldozed the bowling with a display of big hitting to turn the game upside-down. Another couple of overs from Sinders, Dan and a great piece of seam bowling from Ayush brought the result home to the Pinks and a fine contest ended with a narrow victory.
There were some great performances in the field, especially from Dan, Ash and Ayush and the runs saved here made a huge contribution to the side. Ayush, with his immaculate death bowling, made the captain realise that he should have given him far more overs. So plenty of positives to take away from this performance, including the stand-out show of all round excellence from Darren Patel. I’m pleased to say it was yet another Rosaneri performance where everyone contributed to the win.
Special thanks to the opposition who were welcoming, accommodating and played in the manner we try to play ourselves. We look forward to going back next year for a rematch.