Words: Harry Purnell
When West Ham play Tottenham Hotspur, Spurs fans like to say it's the Hammers' cup final. This loss, albeit deserved for a poor batting performance, felt like just like Croydon's cup final.
We bowled first and bowled well. Early wickets for Mo and Umer put Croydon on the back foot. Croydon laboured to 74 for 4 at drinks on an unpredictable track: one end sending Archer-style fire, the other grass cutters. Their situation at drinks made the decision to bat first seem even more odd. However a dip in fielding and concentration saw Croydon put on a couple of decent 7th and 8th wicket stands. Maybe they should re-jig their batting order? Special mention to Raju for screaming 'He's dropped it he's dropped it' as Purnell H took a blinder. Feel free to ask me for more details. I'll happily take you through the whole thing.
JP did his best impression of Tim Murtagh from one end and Dan Wrenn was hard to hit. Huntley, bowling from the Jofra Archer end, ended Croydon's innings with the dreaded straight ball. Pick of the bowlers was Umer. Chasing 139 on a tough pitch.
What was lower at the time of writing - Mods' strike rate in this match or my age? Anyway, Mods and JP opened up. Mods dug in, JP tried to get the ball over the rope but the grass was long and pitch slow. The Roehampton collapse began after JP was given out stumped. I'll leave him to bore you with the details. Mods nicked off for 20ish much to JPs delight. With the collapse very much in full swing, only cameos from Umer, Saqib and Max gave us much hope. Had Umer stuck around (I know, I can't believe I'm saying this either) we might have won. But then, if my grandma had wheels....
Most other batsmen, including the crap Purnell/good Purnell (delete depending on preference) stuck around for a few balls, offering not very much. All in all it was a fairly drab performance and I think Croydon just wanted it more. We remain in contention for 1st and 8 points sees us promoted. One to forget but certainly one to learn from.