“Anir Guharaja has the grace of David Gower, the steel of Virat Kohli and the playboy looks of Paul Johnson. On a cricket field there is nothing this man cannot do”
Cricket Week is up and running
The annual TCC cricketing bonanza started with a real knicker-gripper on the Monday (see here for the card). Redditch CC, as has become the tradition, travelled down the M40 to provide Twickenham's first opponents of the week. The visitors took the opportunity to come down to the South East the day before; they watched the TCC Ladies XI play Reigate Priory on the Green before moving on to sample the weird and wonderful delights of central London's night life. Excellent.
The Ditch have first dig
The Ditch, as is also something of a tradition, took first hit. There was not exactly a long list of players wanting to open the batting; indeed a number of players were perfectly happy to let their fry ups go down and re-hydrate with pints of water. Or lager. Whatever took the fancy.
On the field, former Redditch player and current TCC secretary, Dan Hough, and Redditch's current OP, Tim Fitch, opened up for the visitors. They added 43 without too many dramas, before Parampreet Singh, bowling a lively spell from the Staines Road end, removed Fitch for 29 (off 22 balls). The dangerous Russell Southwick followed next ball and the Ditch's decent start was quickly becoming a bit of a mid-innings wobble.
Perry Derrick (35 from 52), Hough (33 from 49) and Matt Bendelow (37 off 57) all chipped in nicely, as the visitors took lunch at 152-3. Nakul Vishvanath put in a decent stint for the Ts (3-35 off 11) as the visitors meandered past the 200 mark. Some nice hitting from Adam Gailey at the end saw Redditch up to a respectable 235 (off 48.4), with Chris Wylde taking the final wicket to wrap things up.
The Ts reply couldn't have got off to a worse start, Wylde somehow managing to edge a rank long hop from Steve Du Cros to Matt Bendelow at first slip. Parampreet Singh briefly threatened to make hay whilst the sun shone, but it was really the partnership between opener Nikhil Nomula and number four Varad Rampal that set the Ts up.
Nomula returns to form
Nomula and Rampal put on 95 as the Ts got well ahead of the run rate. Visiting skipper Tom Phelan rang the bowling changes, some with more success than others. Kev Lokenath bowled nicely for his 1-29, but the skipper was less fortunate; 0-20 off 2 tells its own story.
Phelan, however, did strike lucky when he flung the ball to Tom Fitch. He quickly bowled Rampal (39 off 33) and then took a sharp caught and bowled to remove Kev Cavilla. The game was moving forward at a rate of knots.
Nikhil Nomula serenely moved past 100, but once he went (for 112 off 83) the Ditch began sensing an unlikely victory. The hosts had loads of overs left, but would they run out of wickets? James Bevan sent JP Bowman on his way to leave Twickenham 8 down before Vedant Jain holed out deep on the leg side boundary to a Matt Bendelow pie (steak and kidney). Russell Southwick took the rock solid catch.
When the ever-dangerous Eugene Berger was caught and bowled by Perry Derrick the Ts needed 12 to win whilst Redditch just needed to get one of Anir ('The Coach') Guharaja or Phil Smith out. Smith adopted a 'thou shall not pass' approach to the situation, whereas Guharaja was a little more combative. Indeed, just beforehand he'd pulled three deliveries in quick succession in to First Cross Road.
Perry Derrick and the wily old dog, Dan Protherough, tried their best to weedle that last wicket out. But, Coach in particular kept his nerve, ending on 26no to see the Ts home. Indeed, Coach had an excellent day all round, taking his first senior wicket for the Ts (that of Dan Hough) and then bagging a couple more in a Last Man Stands contest on the Green that followed the Cricket Week game. The man's on fire!
All in all, an excellent day's cricket. Tuesday sees the Ts move in to T20 mode when they welcome Old Wimbledonians.
Updated 23:48 - 6 Aug 2018 by Dan Hough