Shortened format gives Strongroom first win
Highgate Wood, 8/15/2020
Strongroom won by 22 runs
Strongroom: 155-6 [D.Gush 50*]
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Both captains agreed to a truncated 20 over format, given heavy overnight rain and a 65% likelihood of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Strongroom were buoyed by the return of veteran Rich Woolhouse, and semi-veteran David Siddal. DP lost the toss, and surprisingly we were inserted to bat first on a damp surface.
Paul Lichtenstern (27) again accumulated runs in a composed and unfussy manner, whereas Rich was in a more aggressive mode. After being dropped off a very high swish to square leg, moments later he was promptly snared by a stunning, one-handed catch by Shomit at short cover. Today, however, was to be Dan Gush’s day (50*). Dan, who nearly pulled out of the game mid-morning due to feeling a bit groggy, wasted no time in cracking four 4s and two 6s in his inimitable, swashbuckling style. David Siddal lived up to his reputation by straight driving his first ball over the bowlers head for 4, but was sadly stumped a few overs later, as he shimmied down the wicket. Gaieties bowling was not quite up to their usual high level, and our final total of 155 was higher than expected in these conditions.
Otto wasted no time in knocking back the stumps of Cooke, with a trademark inswinging yorker, and to everyone’s surprise, the prize scalp of Shomit soon followed, as he mistimed a backfoot drive off D.Gower to Paul in the covers. Thereupon a stand of 51 between Sen (31) and Tim (23) gradually worked Gaieties back into a good position. As with Shomit, an error of judgment led to the crucial downfall of Tim, as he mistimed a legside force off Vinay and popped up a simple catch. Vinay fully deserved this wicket though, as he was the pick of our attack, delivering a tight line and length that gave little scope for batsmen to tuck into anything loose.
At this juncture we felt the game was ours for the taking. However, Waddington and Dampier wouldn’t let it go, and kept throwing the bat in a strong counter-attack. Throw in a few shoddy overs from our bowlers, and Gaieties were still in with a chance. But then we saw a stupendous catch on the midwicket boundary by Paul Lichtenstern - one of the best I have seen in 20 years at Strongroom. A huge and high slog prompted Paul to run at full pelt from a widish long-off, and he must have run 20-30 yards before taking a tumbling catch at shin level. Unbelievable. A run out of the dangerous Dampier soon followed, and Gaieties eventually fell 22 runs short.
This was our first win over Gaieties, after a decade of failed attempts, and two ties. Let’s see next time if we can repeat this over the 40 over format. Thanks should also be given to Gaieties for lending us a fielder for their innings (due to the naughty absence of Riaz).
The photo below shoes Siddal replacing Woolhouse.
Written By: J.Gower