It was all going so well, and then…

Greenwich Park  Sunday 18 August 2013

CINCINNATI CC 179-7 beat JUDD STREET TIGERS 97 all out by 82 runs

The Tigers’ long run of success ended as they came unstuck against Cincinnati CC in the pleasant surroundings of Greenwich Park.  Chasing 180, they crumbled to 97 all out in just over 26 overs on a rapidly deteriorating wicket, unable to cope with the vagaries of the pitch and some excellent bowling and fielding by the home team. Cincinnati were formerly the bogey side of West X1 (the origin of the club’s name still being obscure despite several explanations), who never bettered them in five attempts, and the tradition continued for the Tigers.

It had all began so well just a few hours earlier as recent quadquagenerian Chris Dane inserted Cincinnati on a green pitch that seamed and had unpredictable bounce from the start.  It was clearly a struggle for the batsmen and they were soon in trouble at 18-3, then half the side out for under 50. Dave Scally had Ross caught behind, skipper Carlin was needlessly run out, then Daney weighed in with three wickets, outing Shah and Porter with his inswinging full-pitcher and having Abbott brilliantly caught at slip by Richard Burgess.

Shabaz opted for the counter-attack, but the score was still only 60-5 at 20 overs. However, the Tigers’ lack of a regular fifth bowler and their inability to finsh teams off surfaced again as Shabaz (72) and Rock (44*) put up a century stand for the sixth wicket. Simon Warren bowled a fine spell and was unlucky to see three catches put down before he bowled Shabaz with  a beauty in his last over. Stewart (27) carried on the offensive and the final total of 179 was considerably more than it should have been, 119 runs coming from the final 15 overs.

Possibly spoiled by plundering 200-plus totals on the flat tracks of north London against 13-year-old girl bowlers, the Tigers’ innings never got off the ground, with the pitch now scuffed up by spike and ball marks. The two Mikes failed for once; debutant Gisli Bergman was unlucky to be given leg before off an inside edge, as was Chris Dane, disturbing his own wicket attempting to dodge a throat ball, but excellent bowling – using the conditions well – poor batting and great catching accounted for the rest.  No two batsmen could put a decent partnership together – 29 for the third wicket was the innings’ best – though there was some brief resistance from Chris Wright (25) and Ian Daffern (19 – including ten from two balls), but the innings fizzled out in a timid and disappointing fashion.

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