Coalition flourishes as Raghu too saucy for Octopus
Winchmore Hill CC
WESTGENTS 151-4 beat Octopus CC 149-7 by six wickets
West London cricket exacted some revenge over Octopus for last month’s defeat as a joint West X1 and Gentlemen of West London CC amalgam overcame some difficulties to achieve what was in the end a comfortable victory. Both sides lost early wickets but a blistering assault by young lions Raghu Reddy and Rowan Allerton added a record unbeaten 118 for the fifth wicket in only ten overs!
However, the teams bore little resemblance to those that took the field back in Highgate, only five Beggars surviving from the previous line-up along with a similar complement of Octopi. On a lively wicket offering some seam and swing Octopus were stunned by some great opening bowling from Raghu and Suman Rudru, leaving them a precarious 19-4. After an erratic start Raghu produced a pair of jaffas to bowl out Hayward and Gopi with successive in-swingers, on the second occasion the top of the stumps being hit with such force that one of the bails almost reached the boundary!
The middle order of Winter (33), Ogilvie (33) and the cavalier Gokel (44) engineered a fightback, a potentially damaging fifth-wicket stand being ended with a stunning catch by Rowan Allerton at cover, one-handed inches from the ground off a full-blooded square cut. Sanjay Patel bowled out the mainstay Winter with another corker – one of eight batsmen bowled from eleven dismissals on the day. Raghu came back to get rid of the dangerous Gokul to finish with an impressive 4-17.
With another new ball swinging around the Coalition’s innings got off to an equally poor start – 33-4 from 10 overs, as the inevitable Sunday rain at Winchmore Hill kicked in, until Raghu and Rowan came together. Raghu’s approach had been measured up to this point but the two young bucks then seemed to spark off each other. Octopus should be accustomed to the wet but their bowlers lost total control, leaking 31 extras. Rowan’s brutal hitting almost required the fielders to employ taxis to retrieve the ball from the nether regions of N21 – 3 sixes and seven fours in ten overs of mayhem, his best knock of the season, the target being reached with some ease and 14.3 overs to spare.