Words: Stephen Kent
This is ultimately a tale of two batsmen and their knees, 400 runs and one ball. Let me explain.
On a pleasing summers day the Cavaliers welcomed the Dodgers. The toss was lost and the Cavaliers invited to bat and did so by depositing Sacha Hatteea OBE and Dharmesh Vaghela at the crease to open. Dharms, despite being an incredibly winning 1st XI captain struggled with his hangover and his bat, and soon walked back to the sideline. Sacha continued receiving able support from his batting partners: Ed Faldo (15), Fahad (43), Steve Wilkinson (10*) and - making his RCC comeback about about 6 years - Sunni Sethi (15). Having made his ton with a wide range of swashbuckling shots, and increasingly looking creaky in the knees, Sacha holed out.
Overall the Cavs could be proud of posting a competitive total with 201 recorded off 35 overs and had a good deal of fun doing so.
Tea: redefining delicious.
The Dodgers’ innings started with them batting well and keeping broadly in check with the required run rate, despite some marvellous bowling by Badger Ewins and Steve Wilkinson. Their opener, Kamal, looked in good nick and the Cavs were forced to try and chip away at the partnership. The excellent bowling continued with Sunni (despite insisting that he hadn’t done any nets or private coaching sessions in 6 years) treating us to an incredible spell of bowling. It was Sethi who eventually snagged the other opener, ‘KQ’, and the race to bowl out all the Dodgers not called Kamal was on. Then disaster struck! It turns out that Kamal doesn’t have decent ligaments in his right knee (and a lot of surgical scars to prove it) and a runner is called. Still he goes on and still the Cavs keep plugging away with Sunni and Abi in particular getting stuck into all the non-Kamals the Dodgers can send our way. Then a biggie - Abi bowls Kamal! - and Dodgers have gone from 120/4 to 191/9 with two tail enders facing.
And then they need 10 to win from the final over.
It turns out that one of the Dodgers’ tail enders, a chap called Jon Hillary, is actually rather good under pressure and managed to find the gaps to get the ‘ask’ down to 4 runs from two balls. The field moves in … the net tightens … and the ball is whipped over a fairly vacant backward square leg for the Dodgers to win with a ball to spare.
Centuries to Sacha Hatteea OBE and Kamal, both of whose knees had abandoned them by the end of the match, 403 runs scored in 69.5 overs and, frankly, a fantastic match at Roehampton’s Home Of Cricket which we’re already keen to repeat next year.