Corporate 6 a-side challenge
Gardiner & Theobald 63/2 beat Made Simple 62 all out by 4 wickets
G&T got off to a flying start when Johnny picked up three (3!) wickets in his first over – the first clean bowled, the next two caught – to leave Made Simple reeling at 16-3. The batting team responded pretty well, as Matty plundered runs all over the wicket with some nicely angled strokes although he left Josh stranded two overs later when a skied shot fell safely only to see both batsmen at the same end… Four wickets down, it was up to Joe (5) to hold steady at one end which he managed for an over before nicking behind. Left by himself, Matty (23) continued to bat valiantly, and after a close stumping appeal was overturned he wonderfully led his team to 62 before being removed on a run out.
With a small but potentially challenging total to chase, G&T set about the run chase by smashing q5 off the first over… but not without casualty. Andy (7) hit a ball down the to mid-on before setting off for a suicide single, the fielder trusted no-one but himself as he demolished the bails to put the batting side a man down. From here, Ed (20) and Joe (15*) batted wisely, picking off runs to both sides of the wicket and running smartly to put the team within touching distance. Jared picked up an important scalp when he removed Ed clean bowled but an outrageous reverse sweep followed by a wide saw G&T home safe and dry on 63/2 after just 5.4 overs.
Catch 22 123/5 beat Gardiner & Theobald 121/5 by two runs
The game of the tournament so far, this match-up saw Catch 22 pile up the runs in an impressive first innings display. Not that you would have known it after one ball, when miscommunication saw Henry run out for a diamond duck… the second in just four days in this tournament! Despite the early setback, Vince (27) and Colin (30) chipped away cleverly, picking up important runs with consistent 3’s to all sides of the wicket, and once the former had retired, Lance picked up the slack. Nick (7) came and went, when he was left stranded on a run out, but with the team rattling along at 12 an over a massive score was on the cards. Ben (13) was caught brilliantly by Joe off his own bowling, just inches from the deck, but the return of Colin and Lance ( 38*) saw the team through to an enormous 123-5 off 10 overs.
The first ball of the chase was a wide, the second… a wicket! Ed popped up an easy delivery to the keeper to immediately set the G&T chase back. Joe and Andy (6) hit well as they attempted to keep up with the lofty run rate, but the former departed when a skied ball off the ceiling fell with both batsmen at the same end. The very next ball saw Johnny hole out to the man on the leg-side and at 34-3 it felt like the game was beginning to slip from G&T’s reach. The ball was swinging wildly at this point, and Vince almost held two outrageous one-handed catches on the off-side, although both “drops” mattered nought as Chloe was run out after another mix-up. James held up an end well for a couple of overs as Joe continued to batter the ball to all fields, bringing up his 50 and keeping G&T with a slight sniff. When James (15) was run out, the game appeared over with 19 left to score off the final over. Joe, however, spat in the face of adversity as he spanked a six down the ground among some brilliant running, leaving himself 3 to score off the final ball. The game ended in incredible controversy, when a wide delivery was adjudicated to be within the boundaries of the stumps to secure a Catch22 victory, with Joe left devastated on a frankly stupendous 78*… an innings of utter inspiration but ultimately for nowt.
Catch 22 95-2 beat Made Simple 93-4 by four wickets
Made Simple once again found themselves behind the eight ball in their innings, as the second over removal of Josh saw them requiring a rebuild. Joe and Ashley hit wonderfully from here however, picking up brilliant three’s with clever running, pushing up to 46-1 after 5 as Catch 22 struggled for a response. When they both retired, Matty picked up the slack, although his partner Jared was removed by an outrageous one-handed catch by Lance off the wall before Nick followed that up with a smart caught and bowled to return Chris (12) to the dugout. The very next ball saw the returning Joe (27) picked off by a stunning one-handed catch by Vince (although the reporter was reliably informed that this was in fact a retired hurt… the reader can decide for themselves). Some good late hitting from Ashley (31) and Matty (16) pushed the score up to a more than respectable 93.
Catch 22 got off to a flyer in response, as Vince and Henry this time survived the first delivery and picked up a rapid 17 off the first over. Some smart 3’s were mixed with some fortunate run-out escapes before Vince holed out for 11 – possibly with a 10pm train from Paddington in mind – to bring Colin to the crease. He and Henry continued to build well, staying ahead of the run rate and pushing the team on to 55-1 off five overs when Henry (25*) was forced to retire. Lance entered the game but saw his partner Colin (19) clean bowled soon after. With 30 runs still required, the game was far from over but intelligent running from Lance (20*) and Nick (10*) saw the team close and then comfortably home with 2.4 overs to spare as Catch 22 picked up their second victory.
JP Morgan 99/3 beat Catch 22 98/5 by 3 wickets
JP Morgan registered their first win in their opening tie against Catch 22 with a remarkable all-round performance. While JP Morgan produced some tight bowling, Catch 22 openers, Vince (13) and Henry (30) showcased good running between the wickets. Henry whacked the ball around the park before getting run-out. JP Morgan had reasonable number of run-out chances but they couldn’t hit the stumps. David displayed fine seam bowling. The ball hit the stumps like a rocket which resulted in a run-out, Nick came in to bat at number four. Nick (23*) opened his account with a beautifully timed four. David continued his exceptional bowling and almost claimed Nick’s wicket. But the wicket-keeper misjudged the catch and Nick survived. Nick saw this as an opportunity and hit a massive six straight above the bowler’s head. He smashed a four on the last ball of the innings to take his team to 98. Govind was the sole bowler to pick up a wicket for JP Morgan as Colin was caught in the slips for a duck. JP Morgan lost their opener Ketan (4) in the second over. Ben dismissed Ketan with a one-handed catch. David (26*) made sure he kept the scoreboard ticking for his side as Rahul departed without scoring. Nick bowled a tight over with the fielders backing him as Rahul nicked the ball and the ball nicely sat into the wicket-keeper’s gloves. Nick received some bruising as he bowled his second over but he made a quick recovery. David along with Govind (21*) hit few sixes and Ratnesh (16*) too joined the party. Catch 22 gifted JP Morgan two consecutive wide balls as JP Morgan achieved the target in the seventh over.
JP Morgan 61-3 beat Made Simple Group 58/5 by 3 wickets
The match promised to be an exciting one as Saleem scalped two wickets in the opening over of the game. After opener Joe (0) and Matty (1) made an early exit, Josh (0) was sent back to the pavilion by David as the bails were dislodged and he was declared bowled. Ratnesh who was bowling right-arm over the wicket discarded Jared for a naught. David, who had a decent game continued to keep the pressure on Made Simple Group batsmen as he pulled out a brilliant caught and bowled in the eighth over. Coming out of a comfortable first match victory and restricting their opponents for a low score would have made it look easy for JP Morgan. But Made Simple tried to give them a fight as a good throw Prakash (1) was run-out in the first over. Ratnesh (1) attempted an aerial shot and was caught on a ball bowled by Chris. Made Simple Group made the game look alive till this stage. They were taking wickets at regular intervals. Rahul was run-out after hitting a six. The tables turned when Tejas (22*) and David (17*) were at the crease. In a low-scoring game the pressure to defend the total would be higher and bowlers are unable to keep their nerves. This is probably what happened in this game. Tejas and David battered the bowlers but their job was made easier with a stream of no-balls supplied to them by the Made Simple Group bowlers. It indeed was a thumping victory for JP Morgan as they finished off the game in the fourth over.
JP Morgan 79/0 beat Gardiner & Theobold 76/4 by 6 wickets
Joe, who had a splendid match against Catch 22 was expected to continue his form into this game. He top-scored for T&G as he remained not out on 25. The JP Morgan bowlers were keeping a close watch on Joe during his innings against Catch 22. JP Morgan bowlers would have planned to get Joe out early on. Instead, they were able to take Jimbo’s wicket. A rightly judged direct throw by Tejas in the third over meant Jimbo would have to return. Solid bowling from JP Morgan, coupled with stellar fielding performance led to an inability to build concrete partnerships. The bowlers were being rotated after a great deal of discussion amongst all the JP Morgan players. Ketan was the only bowler to pick up a wicket. He was able to remove Tom (14) who was looking to settle after scoring two fours. Chloe (4) was run-out on the last ball of the last over while Andy (11*) and Jen (1*) too couldn’t make large contributions. Two hefty wins that were secured by swift run-chases meant JP Morgan could rip apart any bowling side. The opening pair of Saleem (27*) and Ketan (30*) worked well for JP Morgan as they cruised to a victory without the fall of a wicket. They shared a 55 run opening partnership. With just three overs bowled, JP Morgan had sprinted to 46 runs. Saleem and Ketan engaged in some hammering by showcasing their six hitting ability as the G&T bowlers were forced into being mere spectators. Ketan completed it in style for JP Morgan with a six. With all the wickets in hand, JP Morgan wrapped up the innings in the fifth over.
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