Words: Josh Wilmott
And so it came to pass on another warm and muggy Saturday on Putney Heath, that the Roehampton CC 2nd XI won their 4th game on the bounce, and without really realising it, suddenly gave themselves a (very) outside chance at promotion.
A strong 2s side by and large arrived either early or (pretty much) on time, which gave us the slightly concerning prospect of having the time to carry out a warm up. Having lost the toss and been put into bowl, there were some confused looks amongst RCC players wandering around their whites, with sight screens already erected and stumps in the ground, not sure what to do with all of this ‘extra’ time before the match commenced. A warm up of sorts was taken, whereby we took it in turns to hit the ball at each other whilst standing various distances from the person hitting the ball. Fuchsy looked in the best touch we’ve seen all season, although maybe that’s just because he’s good at hitting the ball in the air to the fielders, who knows. Either way, lots of very good catches were taken, and when the clock struck 1pm, 11 RCC players took to the field looking almost like a cricket team ready to play cricket.
Opening bowlers Shahid and Fred were certainly ready to play cricket, settling in to a testing opening spell that accounted for a number of early wickets (including 2 in 2 for Shahid, alas another missed hat-trick for the 2s though) and 2 good early wickets for Fred, bowling with good pace and control to limit the scoring options. Fred was replaced by the 2s resident ‘good cricketer’ Dan Wrenn, who proceeded to bowl like a normal cricketer, clearly playing cricket for RCC is starting to rub off… Shahid finished his 9 overs with 4 good wickets, deserving a 5fer to be honest with Churt struggling at 20odd for 6. A bit of a recovery was staged by the Churt lower middle order, but with the introduction of Yas and the wily left arm spin of Fuchsy, the 2s kept the pressure on and kept picking up wickets. Eventually Chut were all out for 84, with Yas and Fuchsy picking up 2 wickets apiece. Not only did the 5 bowlers used give nothing away, the standard of fielding by Roehampton was one of the best all round performances that many of us can remember. No dropped catches or misfields, literally nothing for ‘level headed Stu’ to get annoyed about, all in all pleasantly surreal. Clearly shows the benefits of even the smallest warm up, should probably take a note of that for future weeks…
As Churt only managed to bat out 30 overs, and with the tea still unmade, a quick turn around was made and Sacha and Mods strode to the crease with the intention of knocking the runs off as efficiently as possible to ensure we could all go and enjoy a belated tea with a cold beverage or two. And that’s exactly what they did. Hatteea (OBE) did the bulk of the heavy work, despite struggling to name a part of his body that wasn’t injured in some way, racing to an unbeaten 50 at nearly a run-a-ball, well supported by the more circumspect Mods, happy to rotate the strike and find the gaps. The runs were knocked off with ease, no wickets down, ensuring having packed up we were all back in the club by 4.15 and unsure what to do with the rest of the day. Needless to say, the BBQ was fired up and we found various ways to amuse ourselves to while away the rest of the afternoon, celebrating another very good win, another very good all round performance, and working out the unlikely and obscure ways other results could go for the 2s to have a shot at promotion. Either way, we look to continue the winning streak next week away against Godalming