4th Game – Newport Pagnell

“Calmness and Sobriety”

Having had a washout against Spartans last week, the C’s were looking forward to returning to league action hosting Newport Pagnell. Bolstered by the return of Umar, Kashif, Usman and Simmo, the C’s were looking strong. With the football on at Wembley the opposition was caught up in traffic and eventually turned up at 13:45. Jay lost the toss and was put in to bat (something he was going to do any way had he won the toss).

In went Gary to open with Umar and he set the tone straight away by hitting the opening bowler straight through the mid-on region for 4. He followed that boundary with another in the same over and with another 2 added, he got the score to 10 in the first over. Umar on the end was being watchful and played some good defensive shots to see out a maiden from their main bowler Hefferson (who may I add was a bit of an unusual character who later went on to berate his own team, some of whom he did not know!). Gary carried on his attacking style and after a couple of nice flowing boundaries he was caught out for 19 playing one shot too many. A reasonable start with the score on 25-1. In came Omar in a slightly tentative mood and he did not stay for long getting caught behind to a rising delivery for 6. At the other end Umar was batting beautifully and hit some nice boundaries along the ground. Unfortunately, as the ball was bowled, Umar slipped in his crease losing his balance and was bowled for his highest Caddington score so far of 21. With 3 wickets down for 47 in came the skipper Jay to meet Shahbaz who was batting at 4. There followed a sustained period of calm batting wherein defensive play and singles were on show. Jay advised Shahbaz to carry on playing as he was, defending the good ball and looking for the gaps for the bad balls. Shabaz toiled hard and played his part by almost seeing out the main bowler from the opposition when he was bowled on the last ball of Hefferson. Whilst Shahbaz was understandably angry, his score of 10 was worth more having saved the remaining team members from playing Hefferson who bowled well. Having returned to the fold, Kashif was the new man in at 6. Jay again prepared him by explaining the bowling he would receive and most importantly instilled confidence in Kash so that he could play his natural game. The partnership was a good one and yielded 71 runs with Kash contributing with a score of 29 after he was bowled out playing an aggressive shot due to extreme fatigue. With the score at 141 for 5 off 34 overs the C’s were looking good when Jay was joined by Simmo. Jay got to his 2nd league fifty with a sumptuous boundary and carried on batting with ease as the running between the wickets had improved.  Simmo was done for by a good full length delivery for 8 with the score reaching 161. So long was the C’s batting line up that Usman one of the sweetest timers of the ball came in at 8. He did not hold about and hit a memorable straight six which can only be described as “lazy elegance”. Together with Jay he kept on finding the gaps and departed for a well-made 18 when he was caught playing an aggressive shot. With the score at 191, doc entered to force the score over 200 so that the C’s got full batting points. Both Doc and Jay managed to do just that with the C’s finishing on 202-7 and Jay 76 not out with Doc on 3 not out. Great display of batting by the C’s and everyone chipped in and played a part in the eventual total.

After the usual excellent tea which consisted of various variety of filled baguettes (no Doc did not make these, he got them from a professional tea maker!) the C’s were fully nourished and raring to go.

Jay got the team together in his familiar huddle and explained that we had finished the first half superbly by getting a great score on the board and now it was up to the bowlers to bowl in the right channels and for the fielders to do their bit in the field. Having experimented with Winston Churchill, Jay left the team and especially Doc with some wise words in the way of the greatest civil rights leader Malcolm X;

“We must be courteous, we must be respectful, we must play with good spirit, but if someone hits you for a 6 you send them to the cemetery”.

(disclaimer, Malcolm X did not fully say these words, to see the full quote please go online)

With laughter coming from the team, the C’s were ready for the task at hand.

Jay opened up with Doc and immediately Doc found his line and length troubling the openers. On the other end, Raj was given the ball and his start was a revelation as he was bowling at a reasonable pace but most importantly with a bit of nip. Raj was rewarded for his good start when he bowled a slower shorter delivery that was missed by the opener hit middle and leg. Doc toiled hard on the other end and in to the latter stages of his spell he got one to swing away catching the edge of the bat for a comfortably catch to Simmo. The C’s had 2 wickets within 10 overs. With Doc tiring Jay decided to give him a rest so that he could bowl later and brought himself on. Raj on the other hand was bowling beautifully and had a couple of hard chances and one easy chance (yes it was me) put down. As Jay came on the wickets fell when his first ball a loose delivery was hit straight to cover at Umar who took a tough catch having initially lost the ball as it was coming to him. Jay’s swing bowling was too tough to handle and he bowled an in dipper to get rid of the opposition number 3. Therein followed a period of consolidation however, Jay was again on hand to bowl another on the money delivery castling the number 5 batsman. Meanwhile, the most important player of the opposition, Gary Hefferon (yes I mentioned him earlier) was setting up a tent and some fire as he was in for the long haul. He played some nice defensive shots with some boundaries added in there for good measure. Realising the opposition was never going to get our score, Jay went on the attack bringing all the fielders in the circle and such was the form of Simmo Jay even called in fine leg into an attacking position. it worked a treat as Jay bowled another cracker getting the opposing batsman out bowled. With his tail up Jay bowled another beauty getting his first five for in Caddington colours, a feat he celebrated by standing in the middle of the pitch with hands aloft (yes Ghaf the same pose I do when I beat you almost always at anything competitive). Jay then got an lbw in the same over to get his 6th wicket and the C’s were now 2 wickets away from victory. In came a youngster who batted brilliantly but was bowled by the ever dependable Usman. Gary Hefferon continued blocking Jay out and was lucky to still be there when an lbw shout was not given. Having bowled his 11th over, (yes Jay had miscounted but the opposition scorers also did not intervene and advise!) Usman came on to bowl his 4th over with the field in and the instruction to bowl a few just above the eye line. Gary Hefferon did not take the invitation and blocked out. On the last ball of the over, Gary shouted to the number 11 to “gate your skates on”. Usman bowled the perfect delivery which was blocked by Gary who then inexplicably ran, in went Jay picking the ball up and hitting the non-strikers stumps to send his team into jubilation. What followed was testament to the team’s unity as Jay was swamped by the team with Doc (now accompanied by Raj) screaming with delight. The C’s won by over a 100 runs and with over 11 overs to spare.

Captains Corner

Great victory once again, the whole team played its part in this victory and the unity amongst the players was something to savour for me. The way the batting is clicking is a revelation with most players batting with as Ramiz Raja would put it “a measure of calmness and sobriety”. The fielding has improved greatly as well together with the bowling. I am really excited about the talent that we have in our side and I hope that the rich vein of form that we are in continues as our goal is nothing but promotion.

Notable performances by all and whilst I did make 76 not out and take 6 for, I could not have done this alone so for this week all the team are designated as Men of the Match.