The Natural World

WINCHMORE HILL CC  SUNDAY 16 JUNE 2013

JUDD STREET TIGERS 227-7 beat OCTOPUS CC 161 all out by 66 runs

StevieB ThumbnailEthologists may have long pondered the outcome of a struggle between an octopus and a tiger (at least since yesterday!), two species unlikely ever to encounter one another in the natural world. At a damp Winchmore Hill, the argument was briefly resolved, as the Panthera Tigris overcame the Octopod in an intriguing and entertaining battle on the cricket field.

The result had been in doubt for most of the day until the final quarter of the match, when the bowling of Chris Dane (4-33) and Simon Warren (3-22) broke the back of the Octopuses resistance (metarphorically speaking).  Earlier, a new club record third-wicket partnership of 117 between Mike Herlihy (69) and Ian Porton (64) had laid the foundation of the Tigers’ impressive total of 227 in their 40 overs.

Asked to bat first, the home side opened in conditions better suited to cephalopods, the already damp earth subjected to an hour’s persistent drizzle, with the ball wobbling about and occasionally spitting off a livelier than usual wicket. Mike Delanian was bowled early, then Chris Dane looked set for a big innings again before falling for 22 – his third successive dismissal at that score. But the partnership of Porton and Herlihy made the innings; Ian mixing his natural aggression with some sensible circumspection, and Mike scoring more quickly, including three boundaries in one over. Later, bright cameos from Chris Wright (22*), Simon Warren (14) and Rowan Allerton (13) kept the momentum going.

Conditions were better when Octopus batted, but Hayward went to a Wright ball which lifted awkwardly, then Pandya- Smith (61) and Ketineni (47) consolidated in the first ten overs, before opening out against some fairly average bowling in the next ten. This pair added 88 in no time and the match seemed to be swinging their way until just before the drinks break when Daney held a fine catch on the boundary to dismiss Ketineni. At 105-2 after 20 overs, Octopus still looked slight favourites until the skipper found the right bowling combination (himself and Warren) to rip through the rest of the innings. A smart tactical move accounted for the impressive Pandya-Smith, ‘keeper Jimmy Carter standing up to the stumps, causing the batsman to play back to a Warren delivery he should have gone forward to and subsequently being bowled. The last nine wickets went for 63, Dane hitting the stumps three times and Warren twice in another well structured team performance.

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