Corporate 6 a-side challenge
Catch 22 49-4 beat Sizmek 47 all out by two wickets
Playing with just four men, Sizmek got off to the worst possible start when Sunil was run out in the first over after a miscommunication with Will saw him stranded. Things went from bad to worse in the next over when more hesitation led to another run out, this time Ken returning to the bench for just 1 as Sizmek slumped to 16-2 off two overs. Will and Tej (7) started the fightback, picking up some well-run threes but the latter was dismissed in the fifth over, feathering one through to the keeper to leave his team down to their last wicket. Will (28) had fought valiantly all innings, and he nudged his team up beyond the 40 mark but another run out – the third of the innings – ended the resistance with Sizmek on 47 all out.
Needing a fast start, Sizmek got just that when a brute of a delivery from Tej spat up at Henry who could only fend it off straight to the man at gully, 3-1. Vince and Colin steadied the ship with some good running, aware that as long as they kept wickets in hand they would knock the total off. After a stoic 15, Vince was removed by Will when a dribbler of a ball found its way past the bat to rock the wickets. Needing just 12 to win, Lance hammered two boundaries to bring the win into touching distance. Tej returned to the attack and struck immediately though, Colin (15) caught off the wall and then Nick removed for a golden duck by a brilliant delivery that rattled the stumps. Suddenly four wickets down it was a nervy moment for C22, but Lance and Ben kept their nerve to collect the victory off just six overs.
Mishcon de Reya 54-1 beat Mindshare 53 all out by five wickets
Making their tournament bow, Mishcon de Reya took to the field first and made a second over breakthrough, Rupert edging one behind for just 3. Rob and Nick were living dangerously, but pushed the team on to 25-1 off three overs before Nick was run out after being stranded halfway down the pitch to set them back at 27-2. As has happened far too frequently, one run out led to another, with David setting off for a suicide single after hitting one right to the man at mid on. Rob continued to bat well, but he too went via run out for 22, when a ball skied off the ceiling was collected and thrown to the keeper. Harry and Ben pushed the score up to 49 but both edged good deliveries to sharp MdR fielders to leave the side languishing on 53 all out – a great performance from Mishcon in the field.
After seeing off the first over and picking up three runs, the Mishcon run chase exploded into life in the second over where two big sixes saw them score 26 and virtually end the contest before it had started. Mindshare had chances at run outs that they could not take, but Rob and Kris were both playing effortlessly. Kris retired in the 4th over on 27*, with his team just 10 runs short of victory and although Rob (18) was run out on a ball hit back to the bowler, Rhymal and Waqar eased them across the line with a few well-taken singles. One win from one for the new side!
Mishcon de Reya 140-3 beat Sizmek 44 all out by 96 runs
Batting first in their second game, Mishcon de Reya got off to a flying start again, as both openers continued their rich vein of form. Kris flew to another early retirement, with Rob (25*) following him not long after as the side reached 85-0 off just six overs. Rhymal and Waqar continued where they had let off, bringing up the century mark off just seven overs as extras began to rack up for Sizmek too. They made the breakthrough at last in the eighth when Waqar was trapped in front by a slow leg-breaker before new man Stopford went quickly as he chipped a return catch to the bowler. Rhymal (20) was then run out to bring Kris back to the crease and he continued to punish the Sizmek bowlers, eventually scoring 42* alongside Tim who grabbed 22 runs of his own as they scored a formidable 140.
The Sizmek run chase was again going to be made considerably trickier by their shortage of two players and when Will was stumped in the first over two leave his side 8-1 they faced a serious uphill battle. Sunil hammered an impressive six but then set off on a suicide single to run himself out for 8 and leave the final partnership at the crease in the third over. Ken and Tej attempted to rebuild, picking off easy singles but on 35-2 after five overs the contest was all but over. Attempting to up the run rate, Ken was run out for 8 and left as the last man standing Tej (16) hit out but could only find the safe hands of the fielder on the boundary. 44 all out as MdR completed another convincing victory.
Catch 22 104-3 beat Mindshare 103-4 by three wickets
Mindshare’s innings got off to a bizarre start when Harry was run out going for a second run between the wickets after a great throw to the keepers end to leave his side 9-1 after the first over. Ben and Vinny rebuilt with great poise from here though, at first playing cautiously and then accelerating as they manipulated the ball into gaps and ran aggressively. Ben (20) departed caught-and-bowled in the fifth over as Colin held a good catch but Vinny continued the assault with a crunching six. Henry cleaned up the new man Nik for just 6 but Rupert helped to rebuild as Mindshare continued to rattle along at 10 runs an over. Vinny’s retirement brought Rob to the crease and the star of game one was promptly run out without facing a ball – diamond duck! Vinny (38*) had barely sat down but had to return to the crease, where he and Rupert (24*) continued to bat well and post a very competitive total of 103 off their ten overs.
Vince and Henry laid a solid platform in response, picking up threes all over the place with good running. On 39-0 after four overs they had navigated the early overs well although Mindshare had kept the run rate firmly in control. Henry (16) was removed caught and bowled to a nice catch by Harry but new man Lance picked up the slack seamlessly. Vince hit a rare boundary as he approached retirement, although his huge swing and miss next ball suggested the power may have gone to his head. He duly retired soon after to bring Colin to the crease, his partnership with Lance starting to push C22 towards victory as they reached 84-1 off seven overs. Lance (23) eventually departed to a brilliant catch on a scorching drive and new man Nick was again dismissed cheaply as a ball off the ceiling was nonchalantly plucked from the sky one-handed by the very same fielder. On 94-3 it would have required an epic collapse to see the game slip away and a battered six by Colin all but secured the win as Catch 22 picked up their second win of the day with a couple of overs to spare.
Sizmek 91-3 beat Mindshare 90-5 by one wicket
The final game of the day pitted two winless teams against each other as they both tried to salvage a victory to end on a positive note. Mindshare hammered 18 runs off the first over as they started aggressively, Rob and Rupert both playing some attractive shots. Sizmek began to turn the screw after this however, conceding just five from the next over and then seeing Tej remove Rupert (12) on an easy catch to mid-off. New man Vinny didn’t survive long, bowled by a screaming delivery to leave his side 25-2. Rob and Nik rebuilt well, with the help of a growing number of wides, as they brought up the half-century mark in the fifth over. Rob retired but Nik (11) was removed soon after, Will getting the wicket via a good catch. Harry and Ben took them through to 79-3 off nine overs before a wild final over saw Ben (6) have his stumps uprooted for Tej’s third wicket and Rob run out for 29 although some vital runs from Harry (18*) guaranteed a competitive total of 90, especially given Sizmek’s short batting line-up.
The chase got off to a disastrous start when Sunil was removed in the first over by a run out, but Will and Tej did brilliantly to rebuild from here, with a massive six supported by an all-run five (first of the year) to reach 38-1 after three overs. Will was retired in the fourth over but didn’t get much of a break as new man Ken was bowled early on by a well-flighted delivery from Ben. Aware that they were on top of the run rate but couldn’t afford to lose wickets, Will and Tej built cautiously, going for safe threes and singles as the score creeped up beyond 50. On 71-2 after six overs, it appeared they had played it perfectly, but drama struck when Will (41) ended his sublime innings as he was caught after clipping one off the wall. Last-man standing Tej needed just 11 runs off three overs and he batted sensibly, picking off singles and avoiding ambitious shots. The scores were tied heading to the final over, and although Tej decided to follow the advice of the scorer and try to hit a six to win it, the ball landed safely off the ceiling to secure the win for Sizmek, his 42* the crucial knock in a tense victory.
Catch 22 91-2 beat Mishcon de Reya 90 all out by four wickets
The final game of the day pitted two unbeaten sides against each other for the chance at a perfect day that would go a long way towards making the finals. Mishcon batted first and after hammering 16 off the first over they went one wicket down when Vince (intentionally?) dropped a regulation catch only to see the keeper throw down the stumps with Lynch (19) well out of his crease. On 28-1 after two overs the innings was well set however, and Kris continued his remarkable day with a third consecutive retirement. In the meantime, Stopford had been run out cheaply as miscommunication continued to dominate the day and new man Rhymal was brilliantly caught at midwicket on a well struck shot. At 69-3 the innings could have gone either way, but wickets kept falling as Tim was run out on a brilliant direct hit to bring Kris back to the crease. At 80-4 after six innings, 120 was still on the cards provided the pair batted sensibly but Rob (13) departed in rather confusing circumstances when he chose to kick the ball away to avoid a run out! Kris (34) clearly felt left out of the run out action as he too departed in similar fashion to complete a pretty stunning collapse – although take nothing away from Catch 22’s fielding!
The Vince-Henry axis atop the C22 line-up again got the side off to a steady start, 19-0 off two overs although Henry was trapped in front of the stumps trying to turn one into the leg side for 5. Vince and Lance lived dangerously at times, but rode their luck as they knocked off the runs, a big six down the ground by the latter the highlight. Vince retired with the side on 49-1 after five overs – well on their way to victory but taking nothing for granted after MdR’s earlier collapse. Colin joined the crease and put in another steady innings as Lance retired too with his side on 70-1. Apparently deciding the chase needed some excitement, Nick ran himself out for another cheap score but Colin (17*) and Ben (10*) had ice in their veins, bringing the scores tied in the penultimate over and then knocking the winning run in the final one to secure their third victory of the day.
Some vital wins for Catch 22 and Mishcon de Reya during Thursday’s action as the race for semi-final spots heats up entering the round robin’s final week. All to play for at Lords!
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