Miraculously dry given recent weather. Decent track.
Regular readers of these reports (both of them) will know that Woodford Green is a historic spot with cricket having been played here since way back when Eddie was in short trousers. With the recent weather having also been quite biblical, villagers looking to the heavens on this sabbath felt blessed to see a mix of clouds and blue sky. For the second week running we were probably very lucky to get a full game in, this time with just a single shower going through towards the back end of the Woodford innings.
Captain Morgans won the toss (Narrator: “there was no toss”) and elected to bowl on a pitch that lent itself to such a decision. It would turn out to be a good deck that did not misbehave once. In what may be a Village first, we began play less than 20 minutes after the advertised meet time which meant that we started with 10 of our boys on the pitch augmented by one of theirs, who was literally a boy. The oppo had four youngsters on their side - the warning signs were there from the start.
Oldish villager Archit and newish villager Goose opened the bowling and both kept it remarkably tight. Runs were very hard to come by and Morgs could not resist adding more and more personnel to the cordon; at one stage the skipper had not quite a full umbrella but certainly something that would not have looked out of place perched on his Coke down the Vine.
With the Olympics taking place in Tokyo it was perhaps appropriate that famously-erotic on-film part-time beach-volleyballer Goose took the first Woodford wicket, clipping the top of Apur’s off stump with an excellent delivery which then flew past Morg’s ear with a bail in hot pursuit.
Only the Village have spin twins who were (re)born 1,984 years apart and TRC enjoys playing at this ground having taken a 5fer the previous season. He was soon at it again, this time with three different dismissals. Eddie first removed Gobind with one that gripped and clattered into off; his next was out c&b and his third wicket came having enticed Rikkil down the track only to miss it and give Morgs a simple stumping.
At the other end it looked like Klav might go home empty handed, especially when the best chance off his bowling was hit down the ground at a comfortable height towards Bosh languishing at mid-off. “Just like they do in the volleyball,” as he would later explain, Bosh thrust a single hand up towards the red and managed to palm it inexplicably yet perfectly into the air such that it came down right under his nose and straight into the breadbasket.
Rish was providing batting resistance at one end but fell to a triangular effort from Toby, Avi and Ekky. Toby provided some chirp about the run rate, Avi bowled, and Ekky took the catch at mid off. It’s a simple game really.
Jagdeep played well for the Green before Archit and Goose were brought back at the death and he ran out of overs. Along the way Archit cleaned up Rav and then had Darren out caught to the second miracle grab of the day by P Bosh: a big edge that looked destined to go straight over the head of the Village’s new best catcher (now promoted to slip) but this time the Jalfrezi Jonty shot up both hands and took this sharp chance perfectly.
Woodford had accumulated 117 runs off their 35 overs which looked seriously below par on a very reasonable batting surface.
With Graham out on Dad duty, Abrar and Pitcher were sent out to have a go at the top of the order in a captaincy decision which at first looked inspired. After his first three balls Pitcher was going at a strike rate of over 150 which is something we do not often see from a Villager opener. Normal service was resumed with Pitcher’s fourth ball which was a straight one, which was missed.
Morgs came in at 3 and struck up a nice partnership with Abs who was looking solid despite some serious (and Covid secure) partying into the small hours that the young people like to do. Unfortunately a rather Village collapse broke out with four wickets going down in a bit of a flurry. Abs turned one round the corner nicely but straight to square leg. Deano became the second villager of the day to miss a straight one. Morgs got an edge that ballooned up to mid-on who juggled the catch but took it on the second go. Bosh felt aggrieved to be considered caught behind in the eyes of Umpire C-Pitch but the net result was only 53 runs on the board and 5 wickets down.
No need to panic through as we had plenty more batting to come. YTdM and Goose looked to be going along nicely despite some very handy bowling by Razan, one of the Woodford teenagers. But then Razan had Tobes bowled followed by Goose with a return catch and now there really was a game on. 35 runs needed, overs not a problem, but 7 down. Eklavya and Avi were at the crease, chipping away at the target, and Village seemed to be back in the driving seat. Klav then nailed one to cover, bringing in Archit who looked like he might be able to hang in with Avi before nicking off and Eddie was cleaned up with Village six runs short.
Some villagers stayed around to support Woodford’s bar before some villagers stayed around further to enjoy some mixed mezze at a local Turkish joint.
C Pitcher 7th August 2021.