Walker Ground, Southgate Sunday 29 May 2016
On their first London away day of the season, the Tigers went down to a battling defeat in an occasionally stormy contest against a side containing three Herts League 1st XI players. Despite looking to be overwhelmed in both innings they fought back well and with a spot of fortune could have snatched an unlikely victory.
The Adelaide square is beautifully appointed and great for batting: the previous day over 530 runs had been scored from 100 overs as the home side lost off the last ball by one wicket. Batting first, the Tigers made a comfortable start before losing Mike Herlihy and Chris Dane within 3 balls in the sixth over. Despite another serene knock from Ian Porton (59 out of 91 in 18 overs) the innings never really clicked into top gear, the rest of the upper order failing for once. Richard Burgess (21) and Stewart Taylor (20) recovered the situation somewhat, but following a schoolboy run out and Johnson bowling Burgess and Matt Webster with successive balls, four wickets had gone for 12 runs leaving the visitors well undercooked at 141-8 in the 31st over. But the Tigers go to eleven, and recovered with much purpose thanks to a record unbeaten ninth wicket partnership of 85 between Chris Boden (47*) and Mike Delanian (36 not out after being demoted nine places down the order!).
Adelaide’s reply went off like a train, reaching 85-2 by the tenth over, mainly thanks to flat track bully Mahmood, who belted poor Boden for 24 in one over, including two sixes over the 50-foot netting into the adjacent back gardens, one of which was illegally retrieved, Bumble-style, by Herlihy. This is apparently the batsman’s favourite party trick and he raced to 44 before being devastated by holing out to Chris Wright at long on. Daney made up for his second-ball duck by reeling off eight overs and taking the first three wickets to fall for 33 as the home side were reined in to 133-3 by the drinks interval. Sadly, the Tigers could not subsequently sustain any initiative with Ellwood (65*) steering Adelaide home with nearly four overs to spare, despite the bowlers chipping away with wickets. Had a couple of late chances not gone begging the final denouement could have been much closer.
Sadly, we have to report a spot of unpleasantness that occurred when Richard Burgess had his stumps thrown down from behind the wicket when wandering out of his crease (though not attempting a run) believing the ball to be dead. This is always a contentious form of dismissal and not really within the spirit of the game. The square leg umpire having averted his gaze (no doubt also thinking the ball was ‘dead’), could not therefore give a decision and was then subject to a great deal of verbal abuse from the fielding side, later reciprocated by some mild, though highly professional, sledging from Wrighty towards the main miscreant.
Oh no, not him back again!