Amwell Valley Cricket Club
Match Report | Mad Dogs won against AVCC
August 9th, 2020
The fifth game of the shortened Covid season saw the first visit of the Mad Dogs to the HGCC. The teams were greeted by traditional hot summer weather, made steamier by the preceding week of rain that included 5 inches from the prolific Tropical Storm Isaias. The day before, the annual Chappell-Hadlee game was played at HGCC, and the strip used created mud that resembled the Somme after a particularly nasty day in 1917. Another 24 hours of dry weather did reduce the amount of moisture in the wicket, but toss winning captain, Adithia of MDCC had an awkward decision to make. Bowl first to take advantage of the moisture, or wait till later and bat on a track that was likely to be damaged by the preceding innings. Adithia decided to bat, and the swinging ball from Uday and Roger had almost immediate impact, putting four of the Mad Dogs back in their kennel with just 21 runs on the board after seven overs. Most memorable of these wickets was the diving slip catch by Quintus to dismiss Noel Greene for a duck. This brought Kimberley to the crease to (almost literally) dig in. Dharamsala hit 10 off an over and departed, but then the classy and powerful Rahul came to the crease. Over the next twelve overs, the pair took the total to respectability of 90/6 before Kimberley fell to a Kishlay special leg-break. From here big hitting from Rahul continued until he reached his 50, and was then joined by Ali, Adithia and others to put up a more than competitive 167/10 on the board.
The AVCC innings started brightly enough, but the wicket was becoming more awkward. Tight bowling from Ali, Aditithia and Rahul saw lots of movement bothering all the batsmen and steadily picking up wickets as the AVCC innings progressed. By the 12 over drinks break, four wickets had fallen, but there were only 40 runs on the board. And from that point on, attempts to increase the run rate were normally lopped off by wickets, mostly caught at long off by Mad Dog George Kinsey who ended the day with four catches. Kishore battled valiantly to stay in the game, and hit the bad ball very hard, but there were few of them. With six overs to go, and more than 10 runs per over needed, the third string of Mad Dog bowlers came on and Kishlay crashed a couple of consolation boundaries at the end. Eventually AVCC ended the chase around 20 runs short.
All in all a fascinating and fun afternoon of cricket.
Match Report | BOCC 104-10 (35) lost to AVCC 105-4 (23.4) by six wickets
August 2nd, 2020
A commanding performance by AVCC saw us home by six wickets with overs to spare, a well-deserved victory where we were outstanding in every department.
Kishlay won his fourth toss in a row to stay 100% and for the first time chose to bowl first on a wicket which did look a little like a cabbage patch with the weeds and crab grass beginning to take control of the situation. With the heavy roller return imminent and the groundsman’s promise to spray the weeds, we are confident that Kishlay will return to batting first while he keeps winning the toss. That said, his bowlers did him proud, Mark Masterson (1-12 off 5) and Udaya (1-12 off 6) bowling splendid early spells and at the first drinks break, we had witnessed a rather pleasant sedate passage of play with BOCC at 28-1 off 12.
For the rest of the innings, it was hard work and BOCC were not helped by some excellent bowling and truly impressive fielding. Kishlay got nice turn taking 1-9 off 4, Tony bowled with flight and guile (1-29 off 7), Roger cleaned up with 3-12 off his 5 overs, but the highlight was when Les Schriber came on to bowl in the 20th over. Captain and Vice-Captain conferred and agreed to have two excellent fielders on the square boundary behind and in front. Sure enough, Les, who hasn’t bowled for two years, dropped his first one short and Praveen swiveled and rocked back for a mighty pull shot that went soaring for a six over the heads of the two square fielders. But wait..! Like a graceful gazelle, Alan George, on the run, leapt in the air, stuck out his left hand and cleanly snaffled the most amazing open-handed catch while just keeping himself inside the rope. When asked for comment, Ben Stokes said he would have been proud of that one himself. Les then went on to bowl really well actually and was a little unlucky to come off with 1-5 off his 2 overs.
From then on it was a procession of great fielding. Boundary catches for Mark, Andy Dick and another for Alan almost became routine and then Les himself took a terrific one-handed catch at point. To finish off the fielding performance, debutant, Sudip Jadhav kept wicket quite beautifully (sorry Q, you and me are out of a job!) which included an outstanding stumping off Andy Dick who wrapped up the innings taking 1-4 off his 2, the last over of the innings being a maiden. BOCC were not at their strongest but they sure were up against it playing an Amwell team on fire.
In reply it was all over bar the shouting at the first drinks break. Sudip completed a marvelous man of the match debut with a quick fire 33 off just 20 balls which included 2 6s and 2 4s and when he was out, we were already half way there 61-1 after 9. After drinks it was a little more sedate, but Andy saw us almost over the line caught behind for 31 in the 19th over and then Alan and Manish brought us home in the 23rd over. But wait..!! With the scores level, Mark Mastesson started removing his pads. We all shouted to stop, but too late, Alan pulled a long hop straight to midwicket and Mark had to hurriedly put his pads back on much to the tent’s hilarity.
Not to worry, Mark hit the winning single and pleasant drinks were had with good friends while we all wondered what happened to all that rain that was promised from the day before. Oh I know, we got that today (I am writing this on Tuesday) when Hurricane Isaias rolled into town.
Til next week.
Match Report | AVCC won vs. Germantown
July 26th, 2020
Ahh, another day hotter than a scotch bonnet enema, so we brave few venture once more unto the breach that is Amwell Valley. Thanks to the ground being set up from the day before, we only had to put up the sails, sorry, sightscreens and we were ready to go. Our opponents from Germantown turned
up with their matching facemasks and we once again threatened Kishlay with grievous bodily harm if he didn’t bat first when he won the toss. Thankfully, we didn’t have to beat him mercilessly as he indicated with a flat hand that we were batting.
Andy and Manish took the opening partnership and quickly asserted their dominance over the guest bowlers from Germantown. Andy was seeing the ball as big as a watermelon and dispatched it all over the ground to cries of “Yes” and “bugger me” from the peanut gallery on the boundary. Manish was
particularly aggravated by the ECB Level One Umpire (I took an online course) not calling wides on 4th stump, but he still put on a good 22 before chipping back to the opening bowler Nikhil. Andy at the other end scored a great 50 before mandatorily retiring. His wife even arrived in time to see him hit a lusty 6.
Quintus and Alan then took to the crease and kept the scoreboard ticking along nicely. Alan fell just 4 short of a 50 himself, bowled by a ball that kept low. Quintus went for 32 before falling to our second Caught and Bowled. Mark “Mastodon” was given out harshly LBW right in front of middle stump, caught
in the crease, below the knee roll, but it was harsh nonetheless. Manish had taken over at umpire and “Itchy finger” Chawla gave out Uday and Kishore LBW as well. This brought out Kishlay and Owen to the crease together and it was like watching Torvill and Dean – synchronized, graceful and coordinated – without the sparkly purple costumes. I once again holed out to someone who could actually catch (rare at our level!) at deep, deep, deep long off (even if Nigel thought it was more mid off!). Kish put on 22 before being run out, forcing Tony to put down his beer and put on trousers and a box to go out to bat. He didn’t even have time to put on socks and Kishlay was put under pressure to declare before Tony reached the square. In the end, he put on one, Nigel put on 2 and the “T” sign was made to bring our innings to an end at 211 off of 34 overs.
Our opening dinosaur Mark set his field, moving Kishore 3.723 inches to his right at gully. Mark bowled a peach of a delivery, tempting and finding the edge with his first ball, straight to the sure hands of Kishore who didn’t have to move to take a simple catch. We kept on the pressure, removing their
opening 4 cheaply. Their number 5 bat, Gupta, was stubborn at the crease, running through partners to bat with as he blocked and nurdled us for 1’s and 2’s. His most productive partner Nikil came in at 7 and was pasting the ball around nicely. It would take something special to dismiss him and boy, did we
deliver! A ball was struck towards Alan at long on and it looked like a six all the way until Alan leapt up at least six feet and snagged the ball in mid air, behind him and just inside the rope. It was truly a highlight catch and it propelled us to mopping up the tail enders very cheaply. Our total never looked
challenged and Germantown were bowled out for 108. Mark ended up with 2-14, Uday 3-14,Tony 2-19, Kishore 1-17, Andy 1-13 and Anantha had 1-9. A very tidy set of figures, even if I am only a video watching level one ECB qualified umpire…
AVCC ended up winning comfortably and we sat around in large socially distanced circle and shared a glass or two with our visitors until the sun set and the fireflies took over the field for their own sporting event. A great day once again put to rest. Onto the next….
Match Report | AVCC 189-8 (35 overs) lost to Columbia 190-10 (32.4 overs) by 0 wickets
July 19th, 2020
Yes we lost by zero wickets, in that Columbia won with no wickets remaining, that is the pitfall of playing 12-a-side. Frankly we lost a game that we pretty much dominated right up to the final drinks break (of which we had many) yet lost, ultimately, rather comfortably.
It all started on what was thought would be a sweltering hot day. So much so, that our one remaining African member of the squad (yes African’s should be accustomed to heat….. right…?) dropped out on the eve of the game saying it was too hot for his petite flower-ness. It was hot for sure, but I must say, it has been worse and the breeze kept us all sane on the day. But what a long day! We did start a little late, but it was a tough slog for some of our older members when the game wrapped up shortly before 7pm.
It all started so well for AVCC. Kishlay won the toss again (still 100%) and was quick to bat first and Mark Marsan (later to be known as Marsden / Masterson / Mastersdon / Mastercard, take your pick, they all annoyed the heck out of him which of course made it funnier) got us off to a flier smashing 32 in double quick time and included five 4s and a six. Indeed, when he hit his second four in just the third over of the day, it was commented that we had already hit more boundaries than in the whole innings of the previous game.
Unfortunately he rather missed out, caught at slip off a full bunger, a magnificent one-handed catch, but boundaries continued to flow from the very impressive bat of Kishore Gupte. Clearly Tony and I had it all wrong with Kishore as we thought he was a bowler, but this season, having gone to several nets, he really has got the taste of this batting lark and put on the innings of the day, scoring a terrific 46 off 58 balls which also included five 4s and a six. He was especially strong on the pull and it was a really impressive show that put us firmly in command and allowed others to play around him. Yousuf scored a pleasant 23 and Anantha a hard-working 22 and with Tony getting 8 and Kishlay a quick 10 at the end, we felt pretty confident setting 190 on a slightly tricky wicket which kept a little low.
All the more reason to be confident when “Mastersden” picked up three quick wickets in the first few overs, two pop ups to Yousuf at cover and a third played on. Columbia didn’t give in and kept playing their shots, but a couple of wickets from a very nice spell by Yousuf who took 2-32 off 5 and what seemed a decisive spell from the bowler of the day, Roger Woods who got their main man caught and bowled to end 2-20 off 5 kept us in control and then two ugly wickets for Anantha in his one over left them at 129-9 with ten overs left.
Then came that last drinks break and it started well as Kishlay wrapped up the tenth wicket with another caught and bowled and surely that was it..?! But wait, it was agreed at the start that we would both bat 12 and Amit who had earlier retired hurt came back out and saw them home quite comfortably with their more than capable No.11 Aakash who finished 36 not out. All a little disappointing having done so well for so much of the game.
But it was a great day and as hot as we all were by the end, drinks were drank, songs were sang and masks were worn and we go again next week.
Match Report | AVCC 102 All out (plus two) vs Galacticos -3,497 for two – (17 overs)
July 5th, 2020
In this post-apocalyptic world that we are living in now, any chance for a sense of normalcy is grasped at, no matter how ridiculous it seems. Despite the heat and humidity being slightly north of Satans jockstrap, 13 intrepid AVCC members signed up to play against the Galacticos. Rules were set, things
were forbidden, and we all got an early night in anticipation of us each scoring centuries and taking gazelle like catches in the field.
As this was the first game of the season, the call went out to rally up at 10 and turn the barren wasteland of the Amwell Valley into a shining oasis of cricket. The two most committed and eager members looked at each other at 10:30 and questioned if it was worth leaving a cold wife and a warm
bed for the vast expanse of clover that passes for our outfield. Slowly but surely the other crazies, sorry, committee members and president Emeritus (Alan, Alan, Al, Steve) turned up and we began the process of staking out the marquee. Thankfully the local mouse population had chewed us several vent holes in the tent so we were able to check to see if the blast furnace was directly overhead, or merely teasing us with an indirect roasting. We also sustained our first of three nasty injuries of the day at this point. The most handsome, tallest, fittest, thinnest Englishman and all round good egg (and Author of this report) forgot that the door to the shed was a lot lower than he remembered. The result was a two inch gash across the crown of his head and a pair of busted Oakley sunglasses.
While I was incubating a concussion, we sustained the second and perhaps the nastiest injury of the day. Nigel, Alan and Tony had taken the mower out the shave another 1/3 of an inch off of the top of the road that passes for our middle strip. This was in anticipation of Kishore banging down on a good line
and length, causing the batsmen to go weak at the knees and capitulating like we had dreamed of the night before. Unfortunately, like most of us on AVCC, the mower is old and knackered and decided to throw a strop and refuse to play with us. Nigel gave it a hard stare, Tony muttered “bugger this for a game of soldiers” and Alan looked pensive and was silently calculating the cost of a repair versus our slim reserves. As this didn’t fix the situation, what was needed was for someone to get stuck in.
Literally. Our favourite Southend Fan (there aren’t many to chose from) put his hands into the jaws of the beast and literally was bitten by the blades (just to clarify, not United). Nigel's first finger turned a nice shade of puce and went numb. This was only the second injury of the day and this was even before Tony had had his first beer, so you know it was REALLY early in the day. The rest of the team turned up with various excuses (snow, wrong kind of leaves on the lines, I never got the email saying turn up early and help set up) and we all ganged up on Kishlay and threatened him with physical violence if he didn’t win the toss and, if he did win the toss and chose to field, worse physical violence involving force feeding of that rag that passed for a Liverpool scarf into certain orifices that is designed to be one way only…
Scared out of his wits, he duly won the toss and chose to bat. Our visitors graciously agreed to letting us bat 13 and play 35 overs. Sadly their main man, Nikhil was not able to suit up and we were at least spared from his ferocious batting and sage captaincy on the field. Neil and Alan duly padded up and strode out to the middle and was faced with the most intimidating field setting ever. 9 slips and a wicket keeper. They also knew how to bowl to that cordon and soon Neil edged a sharp chance to the 17 th slip and he held onto it. The ball was keeping low on the on side and low on the leg side which seemed to confuse us. Perhaps it was the remnants of Nigels nail on the pitch that was aiding the bowler – yeah that seems like a good excuse for our dismal performance – The Black FINGERNAIL (one for all you Sid James fans)! The only highlight was an 18 run explosion from Mr. M. Marsden and 15’s for both Andy Dick and Manish. Every half chance catch was snaffled up and every gap was closed at a moments notice. The fielding from the Galacticos was as if they were greyhounds, who had been fed expresso enemas and given an intravenous injection of red bull to speed them on their way. The bowling was good, with a mix of pace and genuine spin with excellent flight and guile. The quicker ball from their spinner would’ve gotten anyone out, except for your dear author, who defended it with a cry of “Ha!” like I knew it was coming…. In reality I was shitting myself and hoping
that he didn’t do that again. Thankfully, I only had to face another ball as a sure fire six was robbed from me on the next delivery by a wonderful, sure handed catch in deep, deep, deep mid wicket. If only there was a replay to check if he wasn’t over the line, I would still be batting now.
In the end, we were wonderful hosts who set a modest target of 103 needed. The Galacticos thanked us and were wonderful guests, getting us off the field in only 17 overs. The third and final injury was sustained by Kishore mid innings, he took a great catch in the covers only for the ball to split his finger
wide open. After we doused the ball with sanitizer, Mark then used that as an excuse to fling a ball at the batsmens head with a cry of “whoops, sorry, it slipped!”…! The only blight on the innings was a batsman who, having almost played keepy-uppy with the ball, hit it into his pads for Manish to take a
relatively simple catch behind the timbers. Everyone appealed, ran in and started to congratulate Manish for finally doing something (yeah, yeah, 15 runs blah, blah blah, second top scorer yaaawn) in the game. The umpire stood, unmoved, contemplating his top 10 chinese food orders, the batsman
equally as statuesque in his crease. This prompted an appeal that John MacEnroe would’ve been proud of from our Keeper du jour. “You CANNOT be SERIOUS?!?!” was screamed and Nigel gave the batsman a hard stare that Paddington would’ve been proud of. He wilted under this combined pressure and skulked off… They did need at that point less than one run an over to overhaul us…!
At the early close of play, we all sat around socially distanced and had a couple of rehydrating beers, a couple of fingers of Uday’s excellent spiced rum (does that man have a bad bottle in his closet? I think not…!) and a good chat with the visitors from Manhattan. A hot day, but a good day was the general consensus and we all agreed that we must do better next weekend against those Mad Dogs from Connecticut…here.