Lions of England

Sunday 21 July 2013 Winchmore Hill CC

JUDD STREET TIGERS 237-5 beat CAMRA (SW London) 231-6 by 5 wickets

About the same time England finally wrapped up the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord’s, Matt Webster launched a huge six over long-on with the final ball of the penultimate over to put the seal on an unlikely win for the rampant Tigers. Last week, the team failed by one run to overcome their opponents’ identical total from the last ball, but this week did it with six balls to spare.

The victory was all the more remarkable since the home side were severely depleted, with many of their top batters absent and Jimmy Carter bravely fielding for both sides despite a broken finger. CAMRA only had nine men, though it impacted little on the outcome as they only needed eight batsmen to rack up 231 on a flat pitch, surrounded by a parched outfield, and were loaned a fielder during the Tiger innings.

A time game was agreed by the captains, which was just as well since skipper Craig Murray did not have a lot of bowling options, and having to field first in the heat was probably the last thing he needed. Runs flowed from the outset, with Matt Webster – a lion amongst tigers on this day – sending down ten consecutive overs from the pavilion end, and having to watch most of his deliveries flying through and over the slips into Ford’s Grove. Hamilton (35) scored most of his runs this way before his luck ran out, brilliantly caught low down at point by the stricken Carter. Matt then pulled out a corker to bowl Mavenga, off stump cartwheeling without disturbing the leg bail, a delivery comparable to that of Jimmy Anderson to dismiss Clarke at Trent Bridge.

Murray then put in a fine stint, bowling McCraken and Carter to leave the visitors 93-5, but with the bowlers tiring, Everett (42) and Blackmore (63*) put together a century stand for the sixth wicket as the heat began to take hold, though the fielding held together well despite the ball disappearing to all parts on the bone hard outfield. Dave Scally was the pick of the bowlers in the conditions, conceding only 20 runs for one wicket in his 7 overs

A target of 232 looked distant at the outset, particularly with the regular No’s 3, 4, 5 and 6 batsmen all missing. But the opening partnership of the two Mikes is paying dividends. Herlihy rotates the strike effortlessly, whilst Delanian provides the fireworks. By the ninth over Mike D had blasted 40 out of 68 in 9 overs, which included 38 in boundaries, before being bowled. Richard Burgess (16), adopting the Chris Dane/Jonathan Trott role, added a further 34 with Herlihy, but the runs began to dry up as CAMRA cannily took the pace off the ball.

Needing 132 when the final 20 overs were called, a draw still looked the most likely result, especially when Stewart Taylor holed out to the mid-wicket boundary and Herlihy went leg before for another excellent 63, but Webster, promoted to N0.5 in the absence of the stray cats, and Ian Daffern (26), went big as CAMRA wilted, adding 67 for the fifth wicket in just 6 overs. Ian hit two consecutive sixes off Hartley, only to fall with 3 runs needed, but Matt finished the game with a flourish for a magnificent 73 not out (10 fours 2 sixes).

‘And gentlemen 0f England, now a-bed, Shall think themselves accurs’d, they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap… (Shakespeare – Henry V)

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