Highgate Wood, 7/17/2021
Bloomsbury Royals won by 5 runs
Bloomsbury Royals: 146
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This turned out to be a particularly close game, but also a bad-tempered one, with a number of controversial moments in the second innings. This was a shame, as the two teams were well matched, and it was a lovely, warm, blue-sky day.
We lost the toss and fielded first. The surface was decent enough, with consistent bounce, albeit very low. Joe Miller (3-20) bowled straight through a very good 8-over spell, and got the ball to talk. Ankit was steady at the other end, albeit not as spellbinding as the previous Saturday. Riaz (2-31) bowled nicely from the far end, and with little luck, as miscued attacking shots all too frequently plopped into vacant gaps on the leg side. Aside from putting down 2-3 regulation catches, we fielded and bowled pretty well overall, and the opposition applied themselves in batting, while never managing to dominate. Kishore bowled another focused, stump-attacking focus, and Ron settled into a lovely spell of hypnotic slow left-arm, as he does. We also had several very strong LBW appeals turned down, which frayed a few tempers, and was the genesis of the frustration that would rise to a boil later in the second innings. A total of 146 felt about par, given their bowling attack and a slow surface.
Venkat didn’t last long. I hung around, til’ one cut back in sharply outside off, and Fenil was lucky to survive a very strong lbw shout. Navin showed some spirit, but the rest of us were out to soft dismissals, and some terrible running / calling, with Ankit particularly unlucky to be run out for a duck. Kishore threatened for a while with some aggressive shots, but got caught up in some verbals and was undone by the excellent Shakil. The game became quite bad tempered as many lbw’s were (quite rightly) not given under relentless appealing from all fielders, even those on the square leg boundary. Two of their bowlers clearly threw the ball. Riaz and DG almost got us over the line, until a flashing square drive from DG was caught in the covers. This was a close competitive game, but spoiled by poor gamesmanship.
In the image below we see Fenil seated on the grassy knoll reflecting upon his innings, Vinay (standing) considering his, and Ankit and Dave G posing as nearby deckchair attendants.