TIGERS FAILURE TO ATTACK

Winchmore Hill CC Sunday 19 August 2012

JUDD STREET TIGERS 138-5 lost to OLD GRUMBLERS 140-5 by 5 wickets

The Tigers slumped to a fourth successive defeat (all after batting first) at a sticky Winchmore Hill, though this was a far improved performance, the loss due more to lack of resources than lack of effort under taxing conditions. After being restricted to 138 from 35 overs, they had their opponents in trouble at 65-4 midway through their innings before running out of bowlers.

Summer in north London

Tigers are an endangered species, even more so when two selected players failed to pitch up. An eleven of sorts was eventually cobbled together and they batted first on the main club pitch, albeit one that had 110 overs bowled on it the day before during the controversial Middlesex League contest between Winchmore Hill and Hornsey (see below*).

It wouldn’t be a Sunday if it didn’t rain, and an unscheduled brisk shower just before the game freshened up the wicket. The now established opening partnership of the two Mikes, Delanian and Herlihy, got off to another steady start with the ball swinging in the humid conditions – 24 from six overs before Delanian was caught behind for 12. Skipper Dane missed out for once and when Herlihy was controversially adjudged leg before the Tigers were struggling at 64-3 from 20 overs.

Chris Wright was dropped behind the wicket three times and made the Grumblers pay with a somewhat ungainly but typically pugnacious 58, well supported by Richard Burgess (14 – retired hurt) and Barnaby Pinfield (13*). Nevertheless, a final total of 138-5 looked below par on a good wicket surrounded by a huge outfield.

The Grumblers’ reply started brightly with 35 for the first wicket, the front four bowlers all putting in great shifts in now sweltering conditions (Simon Bomford 1-20, Dave Scally 1-24 and the luckless Wright 0-18). But it was Chris Dane’s spell of 3-18 that turned the game, pinning Kolmayer lbw, having Lee caught behind and getting the dangerous Ward (27) brilliantly picked up by Wrighty off his toes at mid-wicket. More catches had gone down, but finally some were taken and the match was in the balance.

This would have been the time to unleash the fifth and sixth regular bowlers, but sadly none were available. Bomford, on his Tiger debut, was more like a panther in the field, but with two crocks elsewhere it was always going to be difficult. The three occasional bowlers that followed went for a combined 57 off 7 overs as James (44*) and Nero (32) upped the tempo with a brisk 64 for the fifth wicket. What could have been a Tiger Riot was hampered by nothing left to put in. Herlihy executed a perfect catch on the deep mid-wicket boundary to dismiss Nero, but by then the game had gone.

Nevertheless, Cricket Performace Director Steve Bignell was not downhearted afterwards. ‘We gave absolutely everything and showed great mental strength,’ he told the local reporter. ‘We played with good spirit, we were serious and put the effort in, but ultimately it was not quite enough.’

*Middlesex League leaders Winchmore Hill’s match was Hornsey was controversially abandoned by the umpires with ten overs remaining and WH needing 32 for victory with 6 wickets left at 8.25 on Saturday night, due to bad light. Hornsey had taken almost four hours to bowl 52 overs with much time wasting by skipper Paul Weekes, the former Middlesex stalwart. The umpires also failed to intervene when Middlesex bowler Anthony Ireland sent down endless overs of bouncers in fading light. WH players and members were clearly unhappy as their team was awarded only 1 point for a losing draw due to a slower overall scoring rate and there were ugly scenes in front of the pavilion post match.

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