Sunday 29 July 2012 Southgate CC


For the second time this season the Tigers were saved from almost certain defeat by the vagaries of the weather. The home side were well on their way to an impressive victory when the ground was hit by a very heavy shower. Whilst not quite the apocalypse of Entrecasteaux, the ground, already damp from earlier rain, became totally drenched, making it impossible for the game to continue.

After weeks of frustration caused by lack of player availability and sodden outfields, the Tigers had not managed to get on the pitch since the win over Dinder back on July 1st. Another blank day looked in prospect when scheduled opposition CAMRA pulled out at the last minute (presumably too inebriated to travel across London during the Olympics), but was remarkably rescued by Matt Webster, who initiated a fixture with Southgate CC at the famous old Walker Ground, following a late-night encounter with Southgate’s Sunday XI skipper, the circumstances of which are probably best left to the imagination.

Inevitably, after a ten-day drought and heatwave, the rain returned to almost ruin proceedings, though the players braved the showers until the final downpour. The home side fielded the usual club Sunday side mixture of first and second eleven players, plus fit young sprogs from the  junior ranks. Reeling from a Middlesex Premier League mauling by Winchmore Hill the previous day (the match was finished less than hour after lunch with only 42 out of 120 overs utilised), Southgate were clearly in no mood for another defeat, restricting the rusty Tigers to 129-9 from 40 overs.

The visitors did well to bat out their full allocation despite never getting on top of some accurate bowling. After Richard Burgess had been run out ballwatching, Mike Delanian (15), Chris Boden (17) and Stewart Taylor (16) all got starts but lost their wickets attempting to increase the tempo. The situation looked as gloomy as the sky at 69-6 until a 40-run partnership between skipper Craig Murray (22) and Barnaby Pinfield (27) for the 7th wicket, admittedly against some slightly less demanding bowling, Pinfield looking the best of the batsmen on his  Tigers’ debut. When the talented young turks Sugumaran and Dias were back on only 11 runs were leaked from the last 8 overs, which included a boundary from Jimmy Carter in the very last over, Sugumaran finishing with the highly impressive analysis of 3-3 from 7 overs.

The rain began to fall again as the players took the field after tea. Matt Webster can dine out on his dismissal of a descendant of an English Test cricketer when he bowled Bill Edrich’s grandson Tom for a duck, but that looked like being the only success of the evening. Hampered by a wet ball and outfield, accompanied by Stygian gloom, not to mention some highly professional batting from Dunnett (57*) and D’Aeth (24*), Southgate were romping to victory when the black clouds began to compound and the promised thundery deluge hit the ground at 6 o’clock.

* Yes, I know!  Our sub-editor has promised no more appalling Tiger puns in future despatches.


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