Corporate 6 a-side challenge

31st Oct 2016

Lords Taverners 94-5 beat JP Morgan 68 all out by 28 runs

The first game of our Halloween edition of the tournament saw the debut of this year’s Lords Taverners side against the returning JP Morgan outfit. The debutants batted first and after safely navigating the first over they gifted a wicket to JP Morgan when a ball hit straight to mid-off saw an attempted run. The fielder had all the time in the world but still almost inexplicably missed the bails – Ed (6) nonetheless had to depart. The new batsmen came and went as a ghastly shot outside off stump was safely pouched at gully for just three. From 17-2, the Taverners rebuilt well, first playing it safe but later accelerating, although Phil can consider himself fortunate that a routine catch was spilled – a mistake that would haunt JP Morgan. Phil retired in the 7th and poor new man Gordon was welcomed to the competition with a diamond duck! Great fielding saw the Taverners captain go without a ball faced. New man Anthony followed suit soon after, as a fine ball ghosted between bat and pad to demolish the timbers. Johnny (27) and Phil (47*) were reunited and the pair batted calmly to see out the overs before an impressive 10th over assault brought the total up to 94.

Like a bat out of hell, JP Morgan went flying out of the traps in response, racking up 22 in the first over as they decided attack was the way to go. Phil slowed the assault down in the second over, picking up a brilliant caught and bowled to dismiss Salim for 9. Jonny then delivered an over of terrifying inswingers, removing both Chetak and Govind cheaply and reducing JP Morgan to 31-3. Danish and Rob attempted to steady the ship, but great spin bowling and fielding from the Taverners meant runs were hard to come by. With the run rate still at hand on 49-3 after 5 overs the game appeared in the balance, but Rob was run out for 12 in the next over to halt JPM’s momentum. Laura and Danish battled valiantly, but with the required rate ever-climbing the pressure told as Danish nicked one behind for a gutsy 21 and Laura was caught for 5 to end the innings on 68 all out – a fangtastic (I’m really sorry about that one) victory for Taverners who get their campaign started with a bang.

Simmons & Simmons 120-1 beat Human Force 27 all out by 93 runs

The returning Simmons & Simmons side batted first in this opening match-up against the debutants Human Force. For a while the game was in doubt as just three players turned up on time, but we eventually had enough cobbled together for an eight over game and S&S got off to a strong start, scoring 22-0 off the first two before an over dominated by extras pushed the score up to 42. Mike and Kunal both batted wonderfully atop the line-up, with 27* and 30* respectively, whilst their replacements Rory (25*) and Peter (18) hit out with style, several huge sixes punctuating their acceleration and despite a couple of tight overs and a late run out they set a frightening target of 120.

Human Force unfortunately got off to a ghastly start in response, as a second ball run out dismissed Ross and his opening partner Max later walked after being clean bowled by Kunal. The very next over saw Luke hit one hard but right at the bowler to be dismissed only for new man Abdel to inexplicably set off for a run when it was hit right back to Rory who easily ran him out. On 10-4 and with batsmen walking to and from the crease like zombies, Human Force needed to settle down which they did, nervously, as some close calls whistled past the bat. The lowest score of the tournament was under serious threat, and looked likely to be beaten when Justin, perhaps shocked that he made contact with the ball, refused to set off on a routine single and was run out by half the pitch. On 12-5, it was up to Ivan to put together some kind of fightback, which he did, nudging singles and picking up wides – as extras quickly became top scorer. With the lowest score successfully avoided, Ivan nicked a good ball behind to end the torment – a frighteningly dominant victory for Simmons & Simmons.

Lords Taverners 174-4 beat Human Force 54-4 by 120 runs

The Taverners followed up their impressive opening win with a massive batting display, putting up the tournament’s top score so far. On 47-0 after 2 thanks to a host of wides and some good running between the wickets, we saw an early retirement for Ed who was batting with haste and Gordon, who had inserted himself atop of the line-up presumably because that made it physically impossible to score a diamond duck… Johnny (25) and Phil picked up the slack, continuing the assault on the errant Human Force bowling, although the former found himself bewitched by a straight delivery that was played on to the stumps. Phil soon retired and new man Anthony plundered some runs before being nonchalantly caught one-handed off the net. Gordon (25) was removed LBW but Ed 45* and Phil 42* ensured Lords Taverners posted a frankly supernatural 174 off 10.

Human Force were always going to be up against it in response, and although Max (10) and Ross (9) got off to a solid start, the winner was never really in question. The breakthrough came in the third over, when a brilliant diving catch on the boundary made the score 19-1. New man Luke announced himself at the crease with a cracking six down the ground, although he was removed a couple of balls later by some cat-like reflexes on the leg side to pouch a flick off his legs. Ross and Ivan fought valiantly, but the latter was removed by a catch off the ceiling. Justin added one as Ivan once again put in a stoic performance to score 20*, and although the performance was a marked improvement on the first game, the 54-4 off 10 did not trouble the result. Another easy win for the Taverners.

JP Morgan 109-4 beat Simmons & Simmons 108-2 by one run

The game of the day took place over on pitch two, where JP Morgan looked to pick up their first win of the day against Simmons & Simmons. Dan and Salim got off to a strong start, picking up 35-0 off three with some good running and loose S&S bowling. Dan looked to up the pace with a fierce strike down the ground that looked destined for six before it was plucked on the rope one-handed to remove him for 13! New man David went for the same shot and got away with it as both teams played with significant attacking intent. S&S had a couple of runout chances they couldn’t take as Salim retired, before more wonderful boundary fielding saw Rahul run out for just four when a direct hit the length of the pitch saw him out of his ground. Another retirement brought Govind and Chedar to the crease, but both men soon departed as the innings stalled late. Salim (38*) and David (28*) returned to bump the score up to 109 but it was not the scary total that looked on the cards at one stage.

Simmons & Simmons suffered an early runout when Robert hit one off the ceiling right to the man at the non-strikers end to depart for 6. Danoush removed Rory for 16 caught and bowled to set the run chase back at 28-2, and he went on to complete a wicket-maiden – a particular rarity for indoor cricket! Kunal and Peter took the initiative from here however, with the latter in particularly swinging the bat with some brute aggression picking up boundaries at will. The aggressive approach did seem to have them missing out on easy 3’s however, and when Peter retired (26*), 42 runs were still needed off 18 balls. Mike hit out well, picking up 14 off the first three balls of the penultimate over, and when Kunal retired (26*) and Laura came to the crease the pair picked up two fours in two balls off overthrows and missed runouts. Suddenly it was 9 to win off the last over, but tight bowling and fielding that including a dot ball with 5 needed off 2 ensured that Simmons & Simmons fell just short despite a brilliant 17* by Mike. JP Morgan were given a scare but held on for a hair-raising victory.

JP Morgan 55-1 beat Human Force 54-5 by five wickets

The final game of the day for both sides pitted JP Morgan up against Human Force. Looking for their inaugural victory, Human Force batted first but suffered an early run out when a direct hit at the bowlers end sent Luke packing before Justin unveiled a textbook leave… on a straight delivery. Laura picked up the scalp with some devastating swing to suck the blood out of the Human Force innings as they were 8-2 after one over. JP Morgan were keeping this observer particularly happy with their lightning over-rate, although Human Force navigated their way through three overs with no more loss. It was at this point that the game turned on its head thanks to a devastating over from Laura. Removing Max clean bowled to start the fourth, she then proceeded to clean out Ivan and Abdel with the VERY NEXT TWO DELIVERIES! An unbelievable, all clean-bowled hattrick that was a stake to the heart of the HF innings. On 14-5, the innings once again looked likely to derail before it had begun, but once more a stoic effort from the last man standing, in this case Ross, who successfully batted out all the remaining overs to push the score up to 54 with a brilliant 36*.

Knowing that as long as they kept their heads the final destination was going to be victory, JP Morgan got off to a solid start, picking up 14 off the first over. Laura and Rahul looked comfortable at the crease, picking up easy runs off the wall and throwing in the occasional boundary from time to time. Human Force did have one more trick (or treat) up their sleeve, as Rahul was well pouched after lifting one off the ceiling to leave his side 38-1, but David (9*) joined Laura knowing that barring any paranormal activity the win was all but secured. So it proved, as Laura (18*) struck the winning runs to lift JP Morgan to a comprehensive victory and their second win of the day. Commiserations to Human Force who came back to life as the day went on but were unable to find a win in the end.

Simmons & Simmons 89-3 beat Lords Taverners 86-5 by two wickets

The sixth of our six games sees Lords Taverners try to secure their third win of the day whilst Simmons & Simmons attempted to bounce back from their heart-breaking loss to JP Morgan. The Taverners batted first but had an absolute nightmare running between the wickets. All five of the wickets that fell were run outs as LT did everything they could to run themselves out of the game. Opener Johnny managed 5 and final man Colin 6, but other than those runs the team had a great deal owed to Phil who stuck around as the mayhem took place. To S&S’s credit, several of the run outs required some brilliant fielding, although having had Taverners under the cosh on 35-5 they will be disappointed that Phil was able to stay at the crease for so long to push the score up to 86, with his individual total a wonderful 50*. Indeed, he was the only man to reach a half (jack-o-lan) ton on the day.

(Warning, terrible forced joke incoming)

Simmons & Simmons opener Rory apparently had his autumn festivals mixed up, as he celebrated Bonfire Night early with some fireworks to start the innings, smashing the first two balls for six down the ground. He would go on to retire in the third over, as S&S got off to an ideal start, on 31-0 after three overs. However, the run out bug would then bite the chasing side as Kunal found himself stranded for 5. Mike and Peter rebuilt the innings, with the latter smearing a couple of brutal sixes until he was well caught and bowled by Johnny for 15. On 61-2 after six, the run rate was in hand but wickets could be an issue given the team was batting a player short, and when Shekhar was run out the Taverners must have felt that they had a sniff. The returning Rory (34*) fell straight back into his rhythm however, and ably supported by Mike (11*) the pair knocked off the remaining runs without much of a scare.

Another cracking day of action down at Lords, with a terrifying team score, some ghastly running between the wickets and even a hair-raising hat-trick! At the end of the session, three teams had secured two wins as the battle for position begins to heat up.

Apologies in advance for the awful Halloween puns!

Table as it stands

Team   Played Sums of W/L Runs scored/Wickets lost - runs conceded/wickets taken
JP Morgan   6 5  8.94
King & Wood Mallesons   6 4  5.34
Simmons & Simmons   6 4  24.39
Coutts   3 3  -6.71
Mindshare   3 2  2.18
Sticky Wicket   3 2  -6.62
Gardiner & Theobald   6 2  -3.14
Catch 22   3 2  0.25
Lords Taverners   3 2  9.05
Barclays Capital   3 2  -0.92
AlixPartners   6 1  -15.03
British Land   3 1  -0.90
Human Force   3 0  -49.17
Sizmek   3 0  17.26
Mishcon de Reya   0    
Made Simple Group   3 0  -14.90

Please email Barny Clargo for the full table.

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