Roehampton CC 3rd XI vs Old Rutlishians CC 5th XI
Roehampton CC won by 15 runs – Bilal and Pulak set a strong foundation for the bowling attack
After winning the toss, Fahad elected to bat with openers Madhav and Bilal showing classy restraint to see out the new ball. As both batsmen began to find their rhythm and look comfortable at the crease, Madhav caught an odd bounce and lofted the ball to mid-on for a regulation catch, going for 16 just before the first change. In comes Tom Parker, who is severely betrayed by the troublesome pitch on only his second ball, playing through to be caught behind without troubling the scorers.
Meanwhile, at the other end, Bilal anchored the innings superbly; going on to score an immensely stylish 80 runs off 106 balls, almost carrying his bat before getting bowled in the 38th over trying to accelerate the rate in the final overs. He was well supported by his partner Pulak, scoring 55 off 76, in what I believe is his first 50 for the club. The pair put on a crucial 128 together which cemented the innings and gave the remaining batsmen license to swing. Bertie and Haziq Sarfraz both offered 7 respectively, and Tanzirul contributed an incredibly noble 2 getting run out on his first ball in far less controversial fashion than Bairstow yesterday. Innings ends on 204 for 6.
After setting a seemingly above par target of 205, Fahad doubled down and set an attacking field with 3 slips, and men in close to the bat. Umer and Mohsin dutifully met the challenge and sent down textbook line and length with enough shape to just beat the bat on many occasions. No chances fell to the slips but the breakthrough came early doors through Umer’s bowling with a misjudged forward defensive that offered a chance for Tom to take an excellent catch at short extra cover. Umer struck again shortly after with great reflexes to catch their no.3 off his own bowling.
At 25 for 2 after 7 overs, Old Rutlishians were seemingly in the mud. However, their opener kept his nerve and mounted an impressive stand that brought them back in the game and in line with the run rate. Haziq Sarfraz toiled away in a period of attrition that was then aided by clever field placement from Fahad that restricted boundaries and constrained the batsmen. Combined with consistently accurate bowling, this frustrated Old Rutlishians, and Pulak eventually broke the tension with Fahad also picking up an important wicket. Old Rutlishians slowly fell away from the required run rate, and despite causing some concern in the final overs with a spree of boundaries, they ultimately fell 15 runs short of the required total with the game going the full 80 overs. Umer takes the most credit with the ball, taking 2 wickets for 18 runs off 8 overs, and maintaining the pressure with 3 maidens.
The win sees Roehampton 3s remain at the top of the table with eager anticipation for next week’s game against Putney CC currently sitting in 3rd.