SUNDAY 26 APRIL HADLEY FIELD, COCKFOSTERS
JUDD STREET TIGERS 150-9 LOST TO SOUTHGATE COMPTON 159-7 BY 9 RUNS
As a rule, tigers do not thrive in a cold climate, with the possible exception of the Siberian (or Amur) tiger, many of which may be found in remote regions of North Korea, where they exist on a diet of processed cheese. It was hardly surprising then, that the London species struggled in the cold and damp of Cockfosters.
The wicket was moist and proved susceptible to both seam and spin. In the circumstances debutante skipper Stewart Taylor wisely opted to field first in the gloomy conditions. Chris Dane might have taken a wicket with the first two balls of the innings, had the fielders been on their toes, but they took an interminable time to warm up with some sloppy fielding and dropped catches.
The opening pair of Walker and Brandon constructed a measured opening stand of 74 in 20 overs, the former accruing most of his early runs through the permeable slip cordon. To paraphrase Alistair Cook – there were plenty of ants, but where were the aardvarks? It took until after drinks to break the spell, Ian Daffern hanging on to a stinging catch at mid-wicket to out Brandon (31).
Taylor shuffled his bowlers thoughtfully with Daffern and his skiddy action proving the most effective, claiming two of a trio of lbws in quick succession, whilst Rowan Allerton threw out the veteran Walker for 59, as Compton collapsed from 119-2 to 120-6. Some impetus from Wallis (24) carried the final total to a moderate 159, being caught by Andy Ward on his Tiger debut.
As the tepid sun made a timid appearance the Tigers’ innings stalled against a superb initial burst from Zia and Bilal – both openers back in the shed and only 16-2 on the tins after 12 overs. Chris Dane (32) and Chris Boden (39) sensibly took a while to refloat the boat, eventually adding 69 in 19 overs before both being dismissed when well set and accelerating sweetly. There was a short boundary on one side, but hitting the ball through the slow outfield proved a challenge. Richard Burgess and Stewart Taylor holed out trying to force the pace; Ian Porton struck some typically bold blows in a brisk 14, whilst Rowan Allerton played out a bizarre cameo, taking the best part of three overs to locate the ball, then sweet- talking himself back to the wicket after being given out caught behind, before finally landing some meaningful clouts; the last hope then disappearing when a lame Wrighty was run out for a blob.
Allerton, Daffern and Jimmy Carter did their best in the final few balls, but it was always an uphill task. Compton’s fielding and catching was exemplary and only floundered slightly in the last few overs. In the final denouement this was probably the difference between the two sides.