Corporate 6 a-side semi-finals
Mishcon de Reya 89-5 beat Coutts 85 all out by one wicket
Our first semi-final game saw Mishcon de Reya on a quick turnaround after their fine performances on Thursday as they took on Coutts who were one of two unfortunate five-win teams not to make it to the finals automatically. Batting first, Coutts got off to a strong start as Ben (15) and Kunal ran between the wickets aggressively to see them onto 26-0 after two overs. Mishcon bowling was a little erratic, but they made the breakthrough in the third over when Tom struck for two wickets in two balls – the first caught off the wall, the second parried and caught by the man on the leg side. Kunal and Phil steadied the ship for a few overs before the former was caught off the side wall for 17 to leave his side 68-3. Phil (16) was run out not much later, and the mini collapse continued when Ajeet was caught out cheaply with the score 73-5. The last man, Vip, played well to score some vital runs but when he was caught and bowled for 9 you felt Coutts had missed out on a bigger score.
After navigating the first over safely, the Mishcon run chase hit a hurdle when Mike was run out for just three and new man Tom P was caught just three balls later. On 21-2, Tom W and Richard counter-attacked well with quick running, whilst Coutts wild bowling gifted them some much needed runs. Just as Tom (12) looked set, he was caught by the keeper after skying one, but Richard and Tim played assertively to keep the total within reach. Needing 34 off the final four overs, the pair continued to knock the runs off and needed just 14 off the final 12 balls. Having played so well, Tim (18) now departed, caught off the wall and new man Waqar was run out to start the final over with eight runs still required. Several wides appeared to be gifting the game to Mishcon, but a tough edge chance went down for Coutts as Richard (26*) survived and completed a nervy win in a great game.
Simmons & Simmons 97 all out beat Catch 22 44 all out by 53 runs
Simmons & Simmons got off to a strong start in their innings, as Gerrard and Mike looked to score runs early and often. An unfortunate wicket on a no ball gave the pair a reprieve, but Catch 22 generally bowled and fielded tightly as S&S reached 39-0 off four overs. Mike (16) was caught off the wall in the fifth over, whilst Gerrard retired to bring two new batsmen to the crease. Pete hammered his first ball for four but then nicked one behind that was well held by the keeper. Kunal and Boyd nudged the score up beyond 60 before the former was clean bowled for 10 by Henry who picked up his second wicket of the day. Boyd (16) had batted well but was run out on a miscommunication after pushing the score beyond 80, whilst the returning Gerrard (27) was dismissed when the keeper threw the stumps down for a run out. On 86-5 it was last man standing for S&S and Hisham took to the challenge well, grabbing some vital runs including a six before seeing his partner run out.
The Catch 22 innings was grounded before it took off thanks to a devastating spell of bowling by Kunal and Michael. Vince was the first to go, off the second ball of the game before new man Colin nicked one behind to leave them 2-2. The end of the over was no relief, as Michael cleaned up Henry before the returning Kunal raced one through Simon’s defences. After three overs, C22 were 10-4 and Kunal had three wickets for four runs. He and Michael would combine for 4-0-16-4. With the primary target now avoiding embarrassment, Nick and Ben set about rebuilding the innings and the pair did well to survive some blood-thirsty S&S bowling. Ben hit a glorious straight six before picking out the man on the rope for 14, whilst Nick added 21 of his own to ensure the contest wasn’t too one-sided. In the end, a comfortable win for S&S on the back of a devastating bowling performance.
Catch 22 84-2 beat Mishcon de Reya 83-5 by four wickets
After their tight victory in the first game, Mishcon batted first against Catch 22 and got off to another strong start, picking up 20 without loss from the first two overs. Mike and Tom were batting well together, but a ball smacked right back to the bowler saw the latter (10) stranded out of his crease for the first wicket. Mike hammered a six to swing momentum back Mishcon’s way and he and Tom P pushed the score up to 45-1 off four. Mike retired before new man Richard was run out without scoring and Tim was caught off the wall. Suddenly in trouble, the innings took another turn for the worse when Tom P (14) nicked one behind to leave them 63-4 off six overs. Chris (11) and the returning Mike (35*) batted conservatively to ensure that Mishcon saw out all the overs but the score of 83-5 was short of what they looked like achieving earlier in the innings.
Mishcon got off to the perfect start in the field, picking up a run out in the first over on a direct hit from a tight angle to leave C22 5-1. Henry and Colin scored efficiently, picking up threes in the gaps and taking advantage of some loose Mishcon bowling to score 50-1 off five overs, including a fine six down the ground. Needing 29 from the final four overs, C22 saw Henry (25*) retire but Colin and Simon picked off the runs with ease. With the scores tied, Simon (7) was caught off the wall and after the players walked off and then back on again for the final run, Colin (23*) and Ben (1*) sealed the deal. A good win for Catch 22 to keep their final dreams alive.
Simmons & Simmons 119-3 beat Coutts 85 all out by 34 runs
Simmons & Simmons got their innings off to an explosive start with sixes in each of the first two overs as Gerrard and Kunal flew out of the blocks. Gerrard (15) was run out by the keeper to give Coutts the breakthrough at 32-1 but Hisham batted confidently to keep the scoreboard rolling. Kunal retired with the score 53-1 before Hisham was run out for 14 on a brilliant piece of fielding. Michael and Peter continued to bash the ball about, moving them on to 76-2 off seven but the former was caught off the wall for 13 to bring Boyd to the crease. In the final couple of overs, Peter smeared a few brutal shots down the ground as S&S raced past 100, and even after he retired (25*), the returning Kunal (29*) and Boyd (18*) grabbed some vital runs to ensure an imposing total at 119.
The Coutts chase got off to a strong start, as Phil and Kunal picked up runs to all parts of the wicket and ran well. On 31-0, Phil (17) was run out from the toughest of angles as S&S made the crucial breakthrough. Vipin added seven crucial runs before chipping into the wall and being caught whilst the accelerating Kunal (24) was unlucky to see a full-blooded drive caught at mid-off. A crucial six by Ajeet to end the sixth over saw them up to 61-3 with a chance in the game, but Ben was caught out cheaply to bring the final pairing to the crease. On 75-4 after eight, it was going to take a minor miracle to win this one for Coutts and when JD (7) was caught on the boundary and Ajeet (18) run out with the score on 85 it completed another impressive victory for Simmons & Simmons who were the only team to win both games.
Catch22 79-4 beat Coutts 78 all out by two wickets
Two wins for Simmons & Simmons meant that Coutts were already eliminated and Catch22 would have to win and then hope the other result went their way. Hoping to make the other game a formality, Coutts batted first but saw Vip run out on the very first ball of the game after some indecision cost him dearly. Kunal and Phil responded well to the early adversity, scoring fluently in the first few overs as C22 found themselves chasing the game. Phil hammered a six down the ground to bring up his 25 and retirement, as they reached 41-1 off just three overs. Kunal (19) was the big wicket, and C22 got him when Henry induced a catch off the ceiling to leave them 58-2. Ben (6) had just got in when he got out, caught well off the side wall whilst Ajit nicked one behind early doors to leave his side in a bit of trouble at 62-4. The returning Phil (25) had been in ominous form, but even he couldn’t stop the slew of wickets as sharp fielding from C22 saw him run out by a direct hit. JD was left as the last-man-standing, and he batted well in the late overs to nudge the score beyond 70 but another run out in the penultimate over ended the innings on 78 - a slight disappointment after the promising start.
Hoping to avoid the ignominy of three first-over wickets, Vince was able to score some quick early runs with some trademark quick running, although he was caught off the wall in the second over to leave Catch 22 20-1. Henry and Colin were both in fine form, pushing the score up steadily beyond 30 and then 40, knowing that it was wickets rather than run-rate that would derail the chase. Colin (15) was brilliantly caught-and-bowled by JD to leave his side 49-2, but Henry continued to bat with composure at the other end as C22 required just 20 to win from five overs. Simon (2) was run out at the bowlers end to give Coutts some life, before Nick was caught for a duck to suddenly make the game rather interesting. Ben and Henry were not to be caught out on this occasion however, hitting a couple of crucial boundaries with the field drawn in to secure the two-wicket victory and turn all eyes to the other fixture…
Simmons & Simmons 130-4 beat Mishcon de Reya 100-3 by 30 runs
Knowing that a win would see them into the final, S&S batted first in the last semi-final tie, but got off to an inauspicious start when Gerrard was caught off the wall in the first over. Kunal hammered a six down the ground in the second over as he looked to take the attack to MdR but he too was caught in the third over, chipping one off the wall to a fielder. On 21-2 the innings was in danger of wobbling, but Hisham and Michael showed nerves of steel to see off the danger and then start cashing in runs. Michael hammered a couple of boundaries in the fifth and six overs to bring up his retirement but Hisham was bowled for 19 by a delivery that snuck through his defences. Boyd and Peter were in no mood to rest on their laurels, delivering some brilliant clean hitting in the final few overs, including back-to-back sixes in the ninth over. In the final over, Boyd (25) was stumped out on a wide but the returning Michael (25*) and Peter (25*) picked up some crucial runs to take the score up to a challenging 130-4.
Needing the run chase of their life to beat S&S, Mishcon started well, as Tim and Mike played some lovely shots in the opening overs to give the innings a solid foundation. On 25-0 after three overs, they were well-set but needed to accelerate, unfortunately Tim (15) was run out just as he looked to up the rate. S&S bowling had been exemplary all day, and so it proved in the final game as Kunal and Peter kept it very tight and were ably backed up in the field. On 34-1 after five overs, MdR needed to attack and Mike (27*) brought up his retirement with a booming six. Richard (6) hit an easy return catch to the bowler a couple of balls later to bring Tom and Waqar to the crease, and though both men batted well, the game was slipping away. On 73-2 after eight overs it was going to require the kind of finish usually reserved for Hollywood to win this one, although a six to bring up Tom’s (27*) retirement was a pretty good start. Waqar (12) and Chris (7*) saw the innings through to the death but couldn’t challenge S&S’s imposing total, ensuring a perfect three-for-three for the fielding side and a spot in Thursday’s final.
A high-quality set of semi-final games, but one team stood clear as the best on the day as brilliant bowling and brutal batting took Simmons & Simmons into the final. Congratulations to all teams involved on a great effort this season, and best of luck to S&S on Thursday!
|Team||Played||Sums of W/L||Runs scored/Wickets lost - runs conceded/wickets taken|
|Simmons & Simmons||6||4||42.00|
|Mishcon de Reya||6||4||29.35|
|King & Wood Mallesons||6||4||20.52|
|Made Simple Group||6||1||15.62|
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