Sunday 21 April 2013 North London CC
JUDD STREET TIGERS 162-4 beat RAILWAY TAVERNERS 158 all out by 6 wickets
Despite having only nine players the Tigers eased to a comfortable victory in Crouch End on rare pleasant Sunday afternoon. Chris Boden was the star of the show, bagging five wickets and hitting 46 in the visitors’ reply. This was ideal opening fixture for the team to get its teeth into; played on a well appointed ground against friendly opposition of a similar standard, whose bowling was not quite as comparable as its batting.
Winning the toss, skipper Chris Dane opted for new tactics in inserting the opposition. With short boundaries behind each wicket and a surprisingly quick outfield, anything loose went to the perimeter in short order, but the bowlers beavered away successfully to limit the Taverners to a score of 158.
Matt Webster and Chris Wright both claimed early successes, but Spee, having survived a close call for lbw first ball and a bizarre incident when a Webster inswinger clipped his off stump but failed to dislodge any bails, began to open out, smacking Daney and Chris Boden for straight sixes. Fortunately, the latter outed him for 30 with a well pitched-up ball before too much damage could be done. Opener Clarke battled away for 40 and Pirongs also looked dangerous at No.7, hitting a brisk 25 before becoming another Boden victim. Wrighty mopped up the tail in his second spell and the final total of 158 seemed well under par in the good conditions.
Mike Delanian, looking a tad rusty, chipped a couple of sand wedges into no-man’s- land before being adjudged caught behind, but Boden and Dane had little trouble against an attack that was almost entirely spin based, and unlikely to do much damage on a slow early-season wicket. Boden hit ten boundaries in a stylish 46 before being trapped leg before, but this only let in Barnaby Pinfield, who went after the bowling from the start, hitting three sixes in an unbeaten 49. There was a brief wobble when Pacey bowled Dane (29) and Richard Burgess with successive deliveries, leaving the Tigers 131-4 (effectively 131-6), but Wrighty’s experience steered the visitors to an opening victory with nearly 18 overs to spare.
Whilst not unusual for a team to be short of players at the start of the season, the prognosis for the next couple of games is not promising. Only 10 players have re-signed and there is not sufficient cash in the bank at the time of going to press to pay for home pitches. Some loan signings may be a possibility to tide things over.