2019 didn’t bring everything that Twickenham CC might have wanted, but all things considered the club’s five sides have done pretty well. Two promotions and three ‘hold the fort’ positions from the other sides represent a job well done.
5ths twiddle their thumbs
The fifths were officially the first Twickenham side to finish the 2019 season. Unfortunately, they did so early doors on Saturday morning when Wembley’s 5th XI cried off. Always a disappointing way to win, but even more so when that’s the season’s last hurrah.
Finishing 6th nonetheless represents a good, solid season for Chris Wylde’s men (see here for the table). That means they’ll remain in Division 6B next season. Two sides they won’t be playing are Kensington and Chelsea 3s and Chiswick 4s. K & C won what turned out to be an incredibly close title race from Chiswick by virtue of having the better head-to-head against them. Harrow St Mary’s 4s were also just one single point behind the both of them. It doesn’t get much closer than that.
Twos win and settle for 2nd place and promotion
The twos and the fours were the main foci of attention throughout the day. The twos knew that whilst their main aim – promotion – had already been secured, they still had business to attend to. If they beat Brondesbury, and Stanmore lost to Hornsey then they’d also claim the league title gong along the way.
It quickly transpired that that wasn’t going to happen. Hornsey were skittled for 63 and Stanmore knocked the runs off in double-quick time (for the loss of no wickets). The title was Stanmore’s, and every respect to them (see here for the final table).
The Ts were also having everything far from their own way on the Green. Batting first, 11-2 became 41-4 as the top order struggled to get going. 105-6 represented something of a recovery, but at 133-7 the Ts were still rocking a little.
Sanjit Sandhu (65 off 76 balls) did his best to steady the ship, particularly alongside the most consistent number ten in the league, Nakul Vishvanath (38 off 52). By the time they went their separate ways the Ts had recovered to 195-8, leaving Kit Wilson (23 off 34) and the ever-belligerent Eugene Berger (10 off just 4 balls) to close the innings on 244 (see here for the card). Kush Kanija led the way for Bron with 5-39.
In reply the visitors started badly, then wobbled a little before eventually closing on 85. At one stage Kit Wilson had bowled three overs for no runs and had three wickets in the end column, as Bron stuttered to 11-3. Alex Kirkpatrick (23) did try to steady the ship but as his partners came and went the chase began to look ever more forlorn. Tom Field (3-24) and Berger (2-25) supplemented Kit Wilson (4-15) nicely as the Ts cruised to their final 10 points of the season.
Fours complete historic victory
It’s got to the stage where it is hard to know what to say about the fours. They have simply been brilliant all year. Any side that goes 18 games unbeaten deserves all the plaudits it gets.
Ultimately, the Ts won Division 5B by 39 points (see here). Acton chased hard for much of the season, but a last day defeat against Indian Gym saw the Ts increase their winning margin to what is in effect nearly four games’ worth of wins. Impressive indeed.
Batting first at Broom Road the Ts’ batting again impressed. Dave Jones (52) and Martin Fairn (34) led the way, but with no less than 9 of the 10 players who went out to the middle making it to double figures it was clearly a solid effort all the way down (see here for the card).
258 wins most games at most levels of club cricket, so Chiswick will have known that they faced a tough task in chasing the total down. Opener Rob Fernandes (49) and number three Steve Brookes (32) certainly gave it a decent go, but once they departed the Ts quickly turned the screw. Dave (3-29 off 12) and Anthony (2-15 off 5) Jones did much of the damage, with Chetan Ubale (4-13) finishing things off impressively. 149 all out and a suitably emphatic 109 run win for the fours.
Ones come off second best
With the ones safe from relegation, there was only pride to play for as they travelled to Shay Boo.
The hosts had first hit and at 24-2 it looked like the Ts had their tails up. Solid contributions from Max Holden (54), Alex Blofield (60) and Andrew Wilson (63) saw the Bush slowly get back in the box seat, eventually closing on 270 off their 50 overs. Gurjit Sandhu (3-36 off 10) led the way with the ball.
The Ts started well enough with Dave Russell and Scott Newman adding 31 before the loss of the first wicket. Don Manuwelge (42) and Carlos Nunes (31) kept things moving, but wickets fell too regularly as ultimately the innings ran out of steam. The Bush won by 77 runs.
The defeat means that the Ts finish 8th (see here). On the face of it staying above Stanmore by virtue of winning more games sounds like a ‘skin of your teeth’ affair, but safety was actually secured last week and indeed the Ts have finished the season with a couple of defeats following what was an impressive June and July. Room to be optimistic for 2020? Certainly. Areas where we can improve? Definitely. Onwards and upwards.
Threes get silver medal at MTSSC
The threes came off second best in (yet another) grumpy encounter against MTSSC.
The Ts batted first and immediately ran in to serious problems as they slipped to 7-3. Stand-in skipper Connor Finney (20) and Sam Cliffe (50) did their level best to steady the ship, whilst Anu Agarwal (22) made sure that the Ts posted a score that had a modicum of respectability (144).
In reply, MTSSC made hard work of things. Ozzie Qavi (0-14 off 7) kept things tight at the beginning, leaving it to Mark Smith to make inroads in to the wickets column. Smith’s 4-37 off 11 saw Twickenham in with a fighting chance of pulling off a surprise against their promotion-chasing opponents. Wickets for Agarwal, Cliffe and Robbie Bosier put the hosts under further pressure, but eventually they came through with three wickets to spare.
The 3rds finish 6th (see here). Not where skipper Steve Watts would have wanted, but at least there was no real danger of slipping in to the relegation dogfight. MTSSC, meanwhile, get promoted. Rumours of cheers at that news from the away dressing room remain yet to be confirmed.
So, all in all, a decent effort. Well done to everyone who contributed. Bring on 2020!