“It was great to see the Big Tackle back in the runs. Long may it continue.”
The first team flew the flag on Saturday, enjoying an emphatic victory over Finchley on the Green. The threes had much the better of a drawn game against high-flying Acton whilst the 4s lost narrowly in a knicker-gripper against Finchley. The 2nds came off second best against a buccaneering Finchley second string whilst the 5ths battled against all the odds to at least put up a decent fight against Lohana 3rds.
McCabe magic sees the 1s home
The ones continued their good recent form to cruise past Finchley by 76 runs (see here for the card). The win takes them further in to mid-table (see here), 14 points ahead of Brondesbury in 9th place.
The fact that Finchley won the toss and opted to bowl certainly helped the Ts’ cause. On a track that generally helps spin as the day progresses, stand-in skipper Clint McCabe was no doubt licking his lips at the thought of bowling late in the day.
The batters nonetheless needed to come to the party and give him something to bowl at. And, that they did. Don Manuwelge’s 69 (84 balls) was the stand out performance, although 33 (47 balls) from the ever-consistent Rhys Davies and 26 (25 balls) from McCabe also helped push the score along. 219 was something that the hosts felt was eminently defensible.
In reply, Gurjit Sandhu hit the ground running, removing one of the openers whilst Jakub Bhula made good use of the hard cherry to spin out the other. McCabe then opted to have a go himself. The result was a scene of batting desolation and carnage. 19-2 became 40-4. A mini-revival saw Finchley recover to 60-4, but a major wobble led to three further wickets falling without a run being scored. 60-7 and the Ts were racing towards victory.
Davison and Khan dug in admirably for the visitors, putting on 72 for the 8th wicket but in due course they, too, departed, Davison (43 in 63 balls) last man out, bowled by McCabe. The Horse’s 6-58 means he’s now taken 14 wickets in two weeks. A decent effort!
Silver medal for the twos
The twos had a less happy story to tell. Finchley batted first and scored runs for fun. The hosts declared on 308-6 off 47. Dean Gahagan (78 in 61 balls) and Tom Power (68 in 63 balls) were the stars of the show, whilst Jay Plaha (3-51) was the best of the Ts’ bowling attack (see here for the card).
Despite the fact Twickenham had 53 overs to make use of, their reply never really got going. Tom Field (28) and Jay Plaha (23) were the best performers in an otherwise forgettable batting display. We move on.
Acton cling on at St Mary's
The thirds, meanwhile, can be very pleased with their day’s work. Acton were top of the pile at the start of the day yet an improving third XI gave every bit as good as they got.
The Big Tackle (Stuart Amos) led from the front, helping himself to an impressive 68. He was well-supported by the middle order flotilla of Sam Cliffe (36no), Mark Smith (31no), Steve Watts (29) and Kev Cavilla (22). One can only hope that the decision to open the batting with Ant Hill was an aberration that skipper Watts never, ever repeats again!
With 245 on the board the Ts certainly had something to bowl at. Dom Thamby certainly thought so, and his 4-45 (from 19 overs) was very well deserved. Mark Smith’s 2-25 also pushed the home side in the right direction.
The big problem, however, was visiting skipper Vish Jadanath. Jadanath has been round the houses many a time and he soon realised that chasing down 240 plus wasn’t happening. So, he dug in from his opening slot, ending on 106no. Old stager Ali Sarder joined him at the end meaning that the Ts had to settle for a winning draw.
A win, of course, would have been fantastic, but the 3rds have still managed to move in to 4th place (see here). Whether they can make up the 21 points to Acton (in second) is a moot point. One thing is for sure; they’ll give it a damn good go.
Drama for the 4s
The poor old fours were involved in arguably the game of the day. Finchley looked dead and buried when their last man came to the crease. Chasing 227 they needed 28 to win with their last batters at the wicket.
Hinay Dassani and his troops chucked everything they could at the final pair, but it wasn't meant to be. The hosts got home by the skin of their teeth. Details are sketchy, but let's hope Uzzi Khan produces one of his excellent match-reports in due course.
Impressive Stickability from the Magnificent Seven
The fifths also found themselves empty-handed but they can be very proud indeed of even getting the game on. Paramdeep Saini (and Hinay Dassani) moved heaven and earth to get a team out on the pitch and with that in mind even being competitive was a real achievement.
Phil Walker’s magnificent season continued with the bat as he helped himself to 84 whilst the skipper contributed an admirable 41no. That left Lohana needing 222 to win.
Given that the Ts weren’t playing with a full compliment, it was always going to be tough defending that – or indeed any – total. But they gave it a good shot in what was stifling heat.
Nitin Parab (3-41) and Vishal Shetty (3-39) made sure that Lohana never had it all their own way, but the visitors ultimately got home with four wickets to spare. Respect due to all concerned.
Today sees plenty of cricket for those who fancy cheering on the TCC sides. Both the TCC U9s and the U10s are in action in the morning. The MDL side look to continue their good start when they entertain Osterley on the Green, whilst the Sunday Club XI travel to leafy Chobham. Rumours that TCC bar manager, Nigel Gordon, is making his seasonal debut there are indeed true. If news of that doesn’t make the headlines on Sky Sports News then I’ll be having strong words …
Updated 10:27 - 8 Jul 2018 by Dan Hough