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Amwell Valley Cricket Club
SUNDAY JUNE 2ND 2019 VS BOCC
So what a terrific day it turned out to be. The weather forecast did not bode well and with the game two thirds’ of the way through, it looked like a very one-sided game would be brought to a thankful premature end. Remarkably the storms rolled around Amwell Valley’s Hillsborough cricket field (both sides) and then Mark Marsdon and Tariq Ajaz literally turned the game on its head and whilst, sadly, we fell just short of our tough target, it was agreed by all that this was one heck of a game of cricket, just how friendlies should be. With the weather in mind, Tony was mortified to lose the toss and we were consigned to the field again in stifling humidity. BOCC openers Vishnu and Chris got to drinks unbeaten and a platform was set for an onslaught. That onslaught came to an extent, but a flurry of wickets, FIVE in the last two overs, did peg them back somewhat, but 186 was still a huge score for a weary bunch of hot and bothered (and in one case, starved) old men. Udaya and Mark both bowled pleasant and probing opening spells with no luck and Tony and Kishlay got through their allocation with respectable figures, but runs flowed steadily throughout, even with Nipun, Alan and Mark picking up late wickets along with a couple of run outs due to fine work from Tariq.
In reply, it was a tough start. Alan got ripped out by one keeping really low and then Sushil and Pankaj got a little stuck in the mud as Vishnu and Paraj bowled miserly spells. After the first ten overs, we were 19-1 with Udaya who was scoring, when asked the score, pointing out most of the runs came from wides, saying “we are on 17-1 and only 9 of them are honourable runs!”. Equally Kishlay who was umpiring asked the scoreboard to be updated and when it was, he noted it didn’t change. It was tough going. Sushil got caught one-handed at gully, Andy Biharacharya ran out Pan and then got cleaned up himself and at 30-4, we looked done and dusted and wondered when the rain would come. But then the rain never came and the bowling got a little friendlier and Mark and Tariq started to find their feet. Both batted beautifully, hitting the bad balls when they could. They had a little luck, Tariq especially who was dropped a couple of times, but they genuinely got us back into the game.
For those that don’t know, it is currently the holy month of Ramadan. Tariq did try to excuse himself from the game but with BOCC having a drop out, we loaned them Roger and Tariq kindly rocked up to play. Imagine fielding in that heat for 35 overs and then batting for an hour or so as well without even a sip of water all day..??!! He did try to conserve energy by running gently but he batted magnificently and eventually conceded defeat, retiring on 45, an immense effort. Mark was joined by Armitage and the rate continued in line with a victory. Sadly, Mark was eventually caught on the boundary for an equally impressive 45 and it was left to Armitage, Thandi and Kishlay to bring us home. Alas, Vishnu brought back all his experienced bowlers and whilst Armitage finished on a brave 30 not out, we just couldn’t find the boundaries needed and fell just five runs short. An incredible effort from where we were in the first half of the innings.
The day was wrapped up with fine burgers cooked lovingly by Udaya and a circle of key members of both teams drank through to when the storm finally did hit the ground leaving us all sprinting to our cars as it swept in from the usual corner of the ground. You could literally hear the rain coming. A great great day.
Til next week.
MATCH REPORT BY NIGEL ARMITAGE
SUMMARIZED MATCH STATISTICS
AVCC LOST BY 4 RUNS
BOCC: 186 FOR 9
AVCC: 182 FOR 8: TARIQ 45 NOT OUT, MARK 46, NIGEL 30 NOT OUT
SUNDAY APRIL 28TH 2019 VS BOCC
So Amwell Valley CC took on their last “warm-up” game before the PICF and it was a highly pleasant affair. Boosted by two of our Australian guests who are joining us at the tournament, we put in a very fine display against a decent BOCC XI. Angus Palmer and Patrick Sinclair do have those eccentric Australian accents, but beneath all that they are very pleasant young men and indeed, fine cricketers. I think everyone could agree that their energy and enthusiasm lifted the whole team and we were rewarded with an impressive win by 4 wickets with over 2 overs to spare.
Losing the toss, stand-in Skipper Armitage was happy to be told by BOCC’s Chris that they wanted to bat first. We didn’t have the best of starts as their two openers got off to a good start, but with Kishore needing a break after a lively opening burst, Patrick immediately dropped into a lovely spell and with Roger cutting down his pace, we very much dragged ourselves into the match. Angus took a very fine catch on the deep cover boundary off Patrick and then Patrick took a terrific catch to remove Vishnu off Roger’s bowling. A firm drive to mid-on, had Patrick leaping to his left, palming the ball into the air and then diving full length to catch the rebound inches off the ground. After that, Angus replaced Roger and you could see his class right away. Keeper and first slip quickly realized they had to drop back a few paces and then admired his pace and accuracy for his four over onslaught. He only took one wicket, but it was the key one of Paraj getting him to whole out to Kishore at deep mid-off. From then on it was a procession of wickets down to fine bowling and wonderful fielding with each bowler taking a wicket and three to debutant Nipon Ragoowansi.
What a debut he had, indeed just part of the usual affair of arranging a cricket XI. Incredibly on Wednesday, we already had a firm XI and then by Friday, Mark from Philadelphia CC asked if he could join and then late that evening Udaya let us know he could join. So Saturday morning, I am driving to the ground wondering how to give everyone a game. Ten minutes out, I get a call from Nipon saying he is at Hillsborough wondering where the game was. After I told him he was in the wrong State, it was clear he was going to be late. Udaya decided to take it easy and rock up when his hangover wore off and Mark was asked to get there as soon as he could. Add in one of our original XI had a bad car accident the day before, we of course took the field with 9 and a BOCC fielder. Mark and Nipon both got on to the field before the ten over mark and then Nipon was asked to bowl. None of us had seen him play so did not know what to expect. His first delivery was rusty to say the least, but after an over or two, he dropped into a lovely gentle rhythm and started to take wickets. He cleaned up Nikhil; benefited from an amazing one handed catch low to the ground by Tariq from a line drive by Chris and then had the last man caught out on the boundary by Angus, 3-26 off 4.3 was some debut and we look forward to seeing him more through the season.
In reply chasing 126, we got off to our usual start losing both openers in the first thee overs. Mark was run out amid noise and confusion and Kishlay got a nick from a rather ugly shot. But Alan and Azam repaired the damage with an impressive patient partnership. Azam took no risks and worked the ball around for 1s and 2s while Alan hit the occasional bad ball away. Running was tough as Alan’s hamstring injury worsened, but after Azam finally perished LBW for 11, Tariq took the game to the oppo and put us in control. Alan eventually retired on 28 and Tariq was cleaned up for an excellent 24 but by then only 50 was needed from 15. Angus scored a nice 25 but a little wobble occurred with him going and then Patrick for 7, but Armitage and Udaya both were 7 not out at the end to bring us home. All in all, a very fine win indeed over fantastic hosts.
So, on to the PICF. We have tough games for sure, but with three talented Australians, Nikhil boosting our ranks and the rest with a bit of confidence, maybe we might bring a win or two home. We are already ahead of last year, as last year we were 0-6, but this year we only have five games, so we can’t be as bad, right..?
MATCH REPORT BY NIGEL ARMITAGE
SUMMARIZED MATCH STATISTICS
AVCC WON BY 4 WICKETS
BOCC 126 ALL OUT: NIPON 4.3 OVERS 3 FOR 26
AVCC 129 FOR 6: ALAN GEORGE 28 NO, ANGUS 25, TARIQ 24
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SSUNDAY JUNE 9TH 2019 VS HOBOKEN
A perfect summers day greeted Hoboken on their visit to the GCC this Sunday. Their side looked like it had great balance of youth and experience against the Amwell Valley veterans in a 30 over game. The wicket appeared to be in good shape, but not with mid summer hardness. Captain Thandi lost the Toss and Anwell were inserted. The Hoboken attack proved to be very good, with medium pacers swinging the ball quite appreciably at good pace, if inaccurately. As a result the first 12 overs did yield 75 runs as Mark Marsan played some aggressive pulls and cuts to reach 36. After the Mid innings drinks break it time for spin, and Captain Thandi anchored the back half of the innings with an aggressive 26. But it was extras with a total of 57 that allowed AVCC to reach 164, a very competitive total.
The Hoboken innings started poorly with early wickets for Uday and Kishore, with Kishore’s wicket a memorable catch to Mark at first slip. From 0/2 in the third over, Hoboken lost regular wickets with Mark bowling first change, and taking three wickets in his spell, the pick of the attack.
At the twentieth over, Hoboken were 102/8, and on the brink of defeat. But BIP (yes BIP) strode to the wicket and proceeded to thump an unbeaten 50 from #9. And despite a close run out, he pushed Hoboken to victory by 1 wicket and three overs to spare. Cue the Anwell team shaking heads and wondering “how did that happen”?
Great day, lovely opposition, even game, cricket was the winner: etc.
MATCH REPORT BY NEIL KIMBERLY
SUNDAY MAY 18TH 2019 VS MERION
It was a beautiful day at the MCC (not that one - Merion Cricket Club). The sun shone all day, the sweet potato fries were delicious and the beer was cold. Unfortunately those were the highlights of the day for Amwell, who lost by 4 wickets and three overs for the first post festival game of the Amwell Valley Season.SInce Merion was struggling to put a team together, this was a Gentlemen of Philadelphia team that Amwell faced. Craig Martin (the MCC captain) added two young guns from Haverford, Clarke Thomas and Andy Dicks from PCC, and (inevitably) Charu to their team. Amwell had 12 present, welcoming new players Pan and Joi. We were reduced to 11 as yours truly injured his groin, and was replaced by Kitu from Haverford - returning us to 12. Amwell batted first, posting 138/10 in 30 overs. We ground out the score as best we could, but the combination of the wicket (a shifting mat on flicx) and some tight bowling limited boundary opportunities. Top score came from Alan, who scored 38 runs to set a decent base for the team. Luckily we also had a substantial contribution from William Wide, to create a competitive score.
In reply, the GOP put young bearded Nate from Haverford at the top of the order, and he proceeded to strike boundaries to the longest parts of the ground in an impressive display of power hitting. He put the GOP well ahead of the scoring rate, and despite some tight bowling from Tony and three wickets for Raj in the second half of the their chase, the result was really never in doubt. The GOP reached 139/7 in the 26th over. The game was played in the best traditions of the game, and the post-game beers were gratefully downed as we all remembered what an 80 degree day felt like. Here's to the same weather, but better results as we go forward into the 2019 season.h h
MATCH REPORT BY NEIL KIMBERLY
SUMMARIZED MATCH STATISTICS
AVCC LOST BY 4 WICKETS
AVCC 138 FOR 8: ALAN GEORGE 42, SHANTANU 16
MERION 139 FOR 7: TONY THANDI 4 OVERS, 3 WICKETS FOR 16 RUNSere.
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SATURDAY APRIL 6TH 2019 VS HAVERFORD
So the Amwell Valley CC 2019 season kicked off in fine style. Not that we won the game, far from it, but the weather was spectacular, and the fine style came from a very impressive bunch of young American lads who are exceptionally well drilled and made us look something of a rag-tag bunch. Not that we were humiliated, indeed, It's fair to say, we put up a fine showing and not one of us couldn’t hold their head up high as there was plenty of endeavor, energy and no little skill. The fact is, we were beaten by the better side on the day.
Losing the toss, Captain Tony did manage to get the game up to a 30-over affair as opposed to the 25 that was originally planned. Considering the distance most of us travelled, it was the least they could do, albeit our two “guests” Roger and Andy live 5 minutes away. But losing the toss did consign us to a hard afternoon in the field. We did take two early wickets, courtesy of President George getting a catch snaffled by Roger at cover and cleaning up the No.3 bat first ball, but after that, it was a long afternoon of chasing leather and fearing life and limb with the, frankly, dangerous outfield. Their third wicket partnership put on 100 and after the break, they really accelerated. Young Syd (Anil’s son), a mere 13 years of age with more talent than most of us put together, bowled a delightful spell before the break, but went for a few after and then our change bowing really suffered as they looked to pile on. Tony finally brought himself on and got the breakthrough with a very fine one-handed catch by Kishlay at midwicket and Azam cleaned up another wicket within the carnage, but on they went and they finished 192-4 with their skipper still there unbeaten on 95. We left the field nursing sore bones and bruises, especially Roger and Alan who were most in the firing range.
In reply, like them, we lost two quick wickets, both openers, Syd and Kishlay nicking off. Tony and Andy hung around for a while, but Tony too got an edge and Andy also got caught soon after, having played a spritely knock. The best partnership of the innings then followed with Neil Kimberly and El Prez playing very fine innings’. Kimbo indeed had the shot of the day, a fine pull that went one bounce for four over on the far pavilion boundary, but after Kimbo got cleaned up with a quick yorker, wickets followed in a steady fashion around Alan who was last man out for a very fine 46, caught on the boundary when the deserved four would have brought him his 50. That catch summed up the difference between the two sides, as their fielding was exceptional. Add in their running between the wickets and that was the difference in scoreline, a loss of 60 runs.
It was a fine day though and we now look forward to visiting Merion, the finest ground in the region.
MATCH REPORT BY NIGEL ARMITAGE
SUMMARIZED MATCH STATISTICS:
AVCC LOST BY 59 RUNS
HAVERFORD 192 FOR 4 - ALAN GEORGE 5 OVERS 2 WICKETS FOR 29 RUNS
AVCC 133 ALL OUT - ALAN GEORGE 46, NEIL KINBERLY 15
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PICF TOURNAMENT GAMES
Thursday May 2nd (weather – gloomy start, but glorious from then on)
So 13 men fine and true set off for Philadelphia for the infamous PICF. Well… most set off super early that Thursday morning for the first game, the early 9am start, the more wise of us, made their way up the night before and got a fill before the tournament even started. Amwell Valley CC is going through something of a ‘transition’ right now, player numbers dwindling, but new blood starting to creep in, certainly a new vamped committee is helping. We did manage to put together 10 men, with Neil Kimberly, Yogesh and Amar picking and choosing certain games, but we were certainly bolstered by the Kookaburras not being invited this year and we were able to sign up three of their finest players, Angus Fraser, Pat Sinclair and Matt Baden. Tony got a little confused on the first morning, so eventually referred to them as Aussie No. 1, 2 and 3, I think in order of meeting them, but rumor has it, in order of height.
Anyway, as most of us drove to Philadelphia CC in the most dreary, grey and drizzly weather, it did not bode well for a potentially spoiled weekend by the weather. Not so! Within an hour, the sun started to break through and by the end of our first game, it was positively glorious. As was our performance in the first game. Batting first, we chugged along at a good rate against Pittsburgh CC. Pittsburgh attended the tournament with a….er… mature side and their fielding wasn’t the best. Nikhil Manchada kinda missed out, but Baden (43 off 39) retired, George (26 off 17), Kimbo (14 off 18), Armitage (21 off 19) and Fraser (12 off 10) all made relative hay and we felt 148 was plenty. Plenty indeed, as there was really no resistance at all, Fraser (1-10 off 3); Sinclair (2-9 off 4); Thandi (2-8 off 2.4) and particularly Kishlay (2-8 off 4) ran through them like butter and they were all out for 48 in the 17th over, a handsome win by exactly 100 runs.
Instantly, the bulk of the team started dreaming of silverware, the wiser of us reminded everyone that there were tougher games to come and indeed next up was West Haven, former winners and regular finalists. We had a rest and a change in the hotel before the late game that day and on arrival we were duly stuck in and kept down to a meagre 85. Matt Baden again retired on 40 but it was hard going on a tricky wicket with variable bounce and tight bowling throughout. Especially notable was the difference in fielding to the morning’s game. Positively no freebie runs! Sinclair batted nicely and Alan (ALAN..!! ALAN..!! ALAN..!! … AL..!! AL..!! ALAN..!! …Oh wait… STEVE..!! STEVE..!!...) George scored a few at the end, but it was never going to be enough. Yogesh bowled beautifully at the start and did get their skipper and superstar Prassanna for 0 caught at cover by Baden and we did take another wicket, but then they put together a steady partnership and got home with 4 overs to spare.
So off to Dave & Busters for burgers and pool and whilst Alan continually complained about the TV being too loud (well it was the play-offs and we were in Philly), it was a very fine evening.
Friday May 3rd (weather – grey and cold, but the rain stayed away)
The next morning was another early start at BOCC’s ground. The wicket was in fine condition but it was cold, grey and the ground very wet, so Tony decided to bat first. It worked to an extent as you could see the Toronto boys were not keen in these conditions. Yogesh and Alan had a fine start with Yogesh especially making easy work of Toronto’s surprisingly rather ordinary bowling attack. Yogesh retired on 40 off just 25 balls and after Alan was bowled for 29 off 28, Baden joined Armitage for a fine partnership, Baden really taking a liking to the bowling (41 off 23 with 3 sixes). Armitage was eventually out for 34 off 37 in the last over with good support at the end from Owen Nurse and Angus and we came off pretty confident on 158, our highest score of the weekend. Alas, the batting first trick did only work to an extent. The ball was still wet and it did not swing, so Nikhil and Yogesh was not the potent forces we hoped for. Their openers were clearly a class act and they had batting in depth and whilst they were a little arrogant about it all, you could not begrudge them their win, as they wrapped it up with 9 balls to spare. The bowling figures were not pretty, but Yogesh capped a fine game with 3-26 off his 4 overs.
With a break between games, we stayed at BOCC for our 4th game against RAC. Armitage was granted the reins for this one and he decided to field first for the first time of the tournament. And what a game this one was! RAC are truly very British, very British indeed. The posher you spoke, the better player you were it seemed. Jones and Pilcher were very fine players indeed and to coincide with that, I think they may be related to Royalty. Add in ginger headed Magnus, there were lots of chuckles to be had. I was a little unhappy that Pilcher came out with a runner and proceeded to take the innings away for us somewhat (not sure he could have hit the ball so far if he had been as knackered as I was early in the day, should he have done his own running), “Yes Magnus run those two for me will you old boy, Pip Pip!”, but they finished on 152 and we felt after the way we batted on the same track in the morning, we were in with a shout. But things were different. The bowling was better, the ball dryer. Nevertheless, Yogesh again got off to a good start, hitting two mighty sixes before falling short of a third, caught in front of a jeering crowd by Magnus. Alan rather missed out, but Matty Baden once again batted superbly to get us back in the game, retiring again on 40 off just 22 balls this time, hitting 7 fours. Needing 7 an over, we ticked away, as Nikhil, Amar and Angus all fell around Azam who had batted throughout the innings. Azam had started well rotating the strike and swung and swung as best he could, but the big hits did not come and eventually he was caught for 30 off 50 balls in the 18th over. Kishlay so nearly brought us home, but Jones came back to bowl a fine last over with 8 needed and Kishlay was caught and Sinclair and Armitage could not find the boundary to win it, we fell just 3 runs short of what would have been an amazing victory.
An exhausting day of two fine games of cricket which so nearly brought glory, but it was washed away with a splendid meal in the Nirvana Indian restaurant that evening, where all but Neil attended. A lot of fun was had especially with the Galacticos on the next table.
Saturday May 4th (weather – glorious start, clouding over later)
And so to Saturday, with our final game. Fortunately, it was the late one, so we had a very relaxing morning before venturing over to Haverford. The good weather returned and it was again a glorious day. It did cloud over for our game, but the rain stayed away and it was a very pleasant temperature indeed. Armitage again kept the reins and bowled first. This game was played with a slight spice based on the thumping we took there at the start of the season. We didn’t quite have the bowling that day to expose their long tail. This day we did! With very first ball of the innings, Angus clanged one on to the helmet of the opening bat. It wasn’t particularly short but it leapt up and was too quick for him. He went off a little shocked more than dazed and you could see the trepidation in the following overs. We kept it very tight and held our catches. Patrick Sinclair bowled a terrific spell and Nikhil and especially Tony kept things tight toward the back end of the innings. Alas, the skipper got a little generous and gave Roger Woods (guesting for us in the absence of Yogesh) a bowl and he just couldn’t find his length and the over was a costly 16. Nevertheless, we felt 112 was eminently chasable. Amar and Alan got us off to a good start, Amar hitting some lusty blows, but their bowling is clearly vastly more superior to their batting (goodness knows how good Honolulu must be to rack up 188 in the game prior to ours!) and we were kept in check. Angus batted nicely, but he and Alan fell quickly and it was for one last time, down to Baden to bring us home. In the toughest of all his knocks, he was superbly supported by Neil Kimberly and they chugged along at a good rate, before Neil perished for an outstanding 18 and Matt retired in the penultimate over with just 6 needed. Kishlay and Roger took us to the brink, Roger hitting a couple of fine blows, before a “Lance Klusener” kind of run out had us on the edge, but Kishlay hit the winning runs with 3 balls to spare. A terrific win to wrap up our weekend.
So, quick showers were had and we attended the usual fine banquet with a fascinating speech from guest Ali Bacher. That was it for most of us. Some went home that evening, some early on Sunday.
A couple of links for you…
The Haverford game was televised. Not exactly Sky Sports coverage, but if you are really keen, check out https://youtu.be/byLuD5alwf0
And the PICF website has a couple of our scorecards should you wish to see the carnage… http://www.cricketfestival.com/past-festivals/festival-2019/
Sunday May 2nd (weather – rain, rain, oh, so much rain!)
I think just Al stayed for the brunch which was a damp ending to the tournament, as the whole day was sadly washed out. Buckeyes and West Haven shared the trophy.
But what a great weekend and special thanks to the Aussie boys who we take to our hearts for ever more. No one can deny they made us look a half decent cricket team and weren’t half bad blokes either. I hope we see them again. Also kudos to Nikhil Manchada who came all the way from Pittsburgh leaving behind a disgruntled wife and, finally, well done to Kishlay who put together this splendid affair for us. We were all lucky to be a part of it. Come and join us this season and next year!
Next year’s tournament is already on my calendar. Til then.
MATCH REPORTS BY NIGEL ARMITAGEyour paragraph here.
SUNDAY MAY 26TH 2019 VS COLUMBIA
It was a beautiful Sunday. With rain expected later and warmer temperatures in the 80's, AVCC won the toss and elected to field first. Columbia scored 210 for 7 from their allotted 30 overs, giving AVCC 7 an over for the chase. Not much more to comment on. AVCC were all out for 72 with extras top scoring on 27 and no one else in double figures. Fatigue was a major element and some fine swing bowling from Columbia. On to the next fixture...one to forget.
MATCH REPORT BY TARIQ AJAZ
SUMMARIZED MATCH STATISTICS
AVCC LOST BY 138 RUNS
COLUMBIA 210 FOR 7
AVCC 72 ALL OUT: EXTRAS 27your paragraph here.