Sunbury saved by the snow
Sunbury, SW London, 11/4/2021
Match abandoned (to snow)
Strongroom: 250-7 [B.Hartridge 53]
Sunbury: 153-7 [R.Karve 48, G.Baldwin 42, M.Picceri 5-41]
View the Scorecard
Not since 1978, according to the home side’s veteran captain Nobby, had a cricket match at Sunbury been abandoned due to snow. Perhaps it was fitting that in an extraordinary year the first game of the 2021 season should end in unprecedented circumstances: match drawn under a blanket of snow. Strongroom, however, could claim the moral victory. Sunbury appeared to have little hope of bettering Strongroom’s total of 250-9 from 40 overs and were drifting at 145-7 courtesy of a devastating spell of swing bowling from Mario Picceri.
Vinay won the toss and elected to bat under clear blue skies. The top order, led as ever by Gywn (29), laid a strong foundation, with Vinay (35) finding early season runs and Ben (58) notching his first fifty for Strongroom. Any danger of a wobble after Vinay and Ben fell in quick succession was quickly knocked out of the park by Strongroom’s middle order hitters. The flashing blades of Fenil (22), Dev (24) and Nisar (23) were anchored to the end of the innings by the returning Seb (8*). The selectors will be pleased that each of Strongroom’s batsmen spent time at the crease and that the side managed to use all their allotted overs to reach 250-9.
The Sunbury chase had started brightly with the young opener Baldwin (42) looking especially threatening. After Mike Gabbay claimed Strongroom’s first wicket of the season, Baldwin and Karve (48) made serene progress, zipping boundaries across the fast outfield despite Guy’s trademark sliding stop-and-throws. Nilesh and Nisar (1-20) threatened but could not make the breakthrough. The Strongroom fielders began to fret. Just as the game looked like it was getting away from him, skipper Vinay turned to Mario’s left arm swing.
Last season’s leading wicket taker took one over to shake of the winter rust before clean bowling both set batsmen. Simple. The wicket of Karve especially pleasing as it came one ball after the number three was disrespectful enough to switch hit Mario to the fence. From then on, none of the Sunbury batsmen looked like they would be able to last the distance and Mario claimed his five-fer with the last ball of his spell to finish with figures of 8-0-41-5. Special mentions must also go Vinay for his excellent ’keeping and captaining and Dev for marking his debut with an assured all-round performance.
The two photos below show the ground before and after the snow.
Written By: B. Hartridge