Nigerians show endeavour at Botany Bay
Botany Bay, 2/8/2020
London Nigerians won by 3 wickets
Strongroom: 227-4 [G.Jones 70, J.Gower 45]
London Nigerians: 229-7 [Falaye 64, S.Akinyemi 40*]
View the Scorecard
Our first visit to Botany Bay was met with hazy sunshine and a nice cross breeze. Nigerians turned up with 16 men, so high are levels of interest in cricket, post-lockdown. DP won the toss and batting first was a no-brainer, given the conditions. Left-arm seamer Akinyemi made an immediate breakthrough as he worked one through the defences of Marco, and J.Gower came out to join Gwyn in the middle. These two then put on 105 for the 2nd wicket in 14 overs, mixing watchful defence with ruthless counter-attack. Our progress was then checked with the introduction of crafty veterans Sam and Big Mak. Sam (2-22) soon accounted for Jon (45), but Jack couldn’t hold back and played a lively cameo (20). Gwyn (70) meanwhile was showing excellent patience and considered shot-selection as the Nigerians tightened their bowling, but even he was somewhat surprised when a well-struck pull shot was well judged and taken inside the square leg boundary. By now it was clear that conditions were optimal for batting, and the skipper (22*) and son Otto (34*) both played comfortably to see us to 227-4 off our 35 overs.
The Nigerians produced their usual quality food for those who were happy to partake, given ongoing covid-19 sensitivities.
Openers Gabbay and Ojomo started with aggressive intent, but D.Gower and Vinay held their nerve, and both were dispatched. However, experienced no.3 Falaye (64) proved to be a quality batsman, and he frustrated us with his assured composure and ability to dispatch bad balls with a steely whip of his wrists. Riaz (2-38) bowled really well, and Vinay (2-41) came back well from a Falaye assault, and no’s 4, 5 and 6 all came and went in quick succession, leaving us feeling confident at 69-5. Otto had also returned to remove both Falaye and Akin with good pace and zip. However, we did not realise how deep the Nigerians batting order was, and numbers 7, 8 and 9 all threw the bat, and took the game away from us with four overs to spare. Veteran Sam (28*) and Akinyemi Jnr (40*) were particularly brutal, and launched a destructive boundary assault that disfigured the figures of a few of our bowlers. Sam Asieule won the game in some style, launching an enormous straight 6 into the hedge.
We were probably 30-40 runs short in our total, a specialist bowler short, and bowled too many wides, but we were also unaware of how deep their batting order was. Good game though, as always with London Nigerians, played in an excellent spirit.
Written By: J.Gower