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Friday 28th April. ARM TECHNOLOGY.
Venue: Cantabrigian Rugby Club. Toss won by Barry. Format: 20 overs.
SUPERSTARS 101-7 Jev Harrison 23, Singh 21 and Taylor 18no
ARM TECHNOLOGY 103-2 Konrad 1-21, Taylor 1-12.
Superstars lost by 8 wickets.
The Superstars season and tour began in promising style, with the weather being far better than the cold forecast. Then Barry pulled a huge surprise by winning the toss. Superstars struggled early with George out to the second ball (his first) of the season and Paul and the bat swirling Alok calmed by good bowling. It was (inevitably) a non-Superstars player, Ian's mate Jev, who got us out of a hole. The most inevitable run out in the world ever occurred when Barry and Steve were at the crease, the only surprise being that it was good fielding rather than hapless running and confusion that was the cause. Mike Taylor's late cameo took the final total to an unimpressive but defendable 101-7.
Despite taking a bit of a beating in the field there were highlights. Konrad's bowling, the traditional Mike Taylor bizarre wicket (caught by keeper Warren off a ball wider than the English Channel), the traditional Mike Taylor drop off his bowling (Jason to blame for a really dolly dropped), the traditional Steve Meyler genius moment (he decided to trap a lusty blow to Long Off on the volley a la Messi, Ozil or Arnold Muhren with his foot) and the traditional Steve Meyler hapless moment (a bit of footwork that kicked the ball over the boundary to lose the game a la Carlton Palmer, Grant Holt or Carl Leaburn)
Team: Gigg (c), Gaught, Warren (wkt), Singh, Harrison, Anand, Meyler, Taylor, Marchant, Forman, Chodzko-Zajko
A tough loss for the Superstars against superior opposition. But after doughnuts and beer with the oppo we headed to the Tram Stop pub for beers and later on 'stylish' kebabs. The barmaids in the pub had volume almost as loud as the lady in the Regency Cafe!
Saturday 29th April. PEMBROKE COLLEGE.
Venue: Pembroke Colledge. Toss won by Pembroke. Format: 30 overs.
SUPERSTARS 165-2 Walker 51ret, Meyler 45ret, Goel 26no
PEMBROKE COLLEGE 49 ALL OUT Marchant 3-5, Forman 3-9, Gundry 2-4
Superstars won by 136 runs.
This fixture was a rematch from last year’s tour. Superstars were humiliated in 2016 with none of our batsmen scoring 20 runs and extras scoring 46. So this year our team turned up very apprehensive of another humiliation but were greeted with their captain making an apology that he only had 8 players (this turned to 9 later when a nearly six foot tall 11 year old turned up). So after Will lost the toss we were put into bat and Pembroke took to the field with 3 Superstars sub fielders. The opening bowler was an American who asked the umpire where he had to bowl from with the immortal words "Do I have to pitch from in that box" as he pointed to the bowling crease. Mike Taylor, who was umpiring at that end, then had to explain to him how and where to bowl. When he finally did start bowling he bowled a good spell at a reasonable pace creating a few problems for our batsmen but also offering the occasional easy run ball. The other bowler was one of their players from last year who bowled some excellent deliveries that whistled past the outside edge on numerous occasions. There was much cheering and clapping from the boundary, from what was left of the Superstars side, when George scored his first run of the tour after suffering a golden duck in the first match. An innings was slowly built with Darth doing lots of running until the point where he was about to collapse and so retired exhausted for 45 no. Will hit a quick fire 51 before retiring and Superstars ended the day on 165 for 2, not bad compared to the 121 for 8 from the previous year.
After a short turnaround Pembroke took to batting with the American as one of their openers, apparently he had to rush off somewhere. After defending his first ball he asked the WK if he was allowed to go down the pitch to hit the ball then proceeded to charge down the track miss a straight one and be bowled by the next ball; then he rushed off somewhere. It had to be said that Pembroke definitely did not have as strong batting line up as last year as tight bowling spells from Jason Marchant 3-5, Dan Forman 3-9, and Simon Gundry 2-4 devastated their inexperienced line up. There was even time for the usual Superstars dolly drop, this time by Ian Moxon and the field was at one point pushed back to ensure that the 11 year old scored a run, a sporting gesture that was very appreciated by the oppo. There was also a very strange non dismissal with the umpire and the batsmen agreeing that he was run out only for several of our players calling him back and accusing Will of breaking the stumps before the ball hit them. Pembroke were eventually all out for 49.
Team: Walker (c, wkt), Goel, Moxon, Gundry, Warren, Anand, Meyler, Marchant, Forman, Chodzko-Zajko, Patwal
A convincing victory for Superstars, if rather discredited by the opposition having a few cry offs. Still it was a performance that the watching Lord Smith seemed to approve off. A few Pembroke Ales were enjoyed by all at the beautiful ground. After beers and teas with the opposition we headed to the St Randegund pub, but didn't get to the sports bar for Joshua v Klitchko - luckily it was a pretty poor fight (!!!!!!).
Sunday 30th April. REMNANTS.
Venue: Fitzwilliam Colledge. Toss won by Barry. Format: 2 innings of 20 overs each (combined score).
REMNANTS (1st Inns) 112-4 Taylor 2-22
SUPERSTARS (1st Inns) 155-2 Walker 50ret, Patwal 50ret, Gundry 29no
SUPERSTARS (2nd Inns) 118-6 Goel 50ret
REMNANTS (2nd Inns) 106-9 Anand 3-21, Duggan 2-21, Gundry 2-23
Superstars won by 55 runs.
Superstars arrived at Fitzwilliam College, the location of a famous win against St Radegunds the previous year, knowing the winning/losing nature of the tour rested on this one game. Barry won the toss (2 in 2) and came back to explain the rather unusual but exciting 2020 test match format with both sides batting twice. With Remnants batting first Superstars bowled tightly with Anand, Moxon, Taylor, Plahe, Duggan and Goel doing an excellent job of restricting the Remnants. The was even a catch off Mike Taylor's bowling, totally breaking tour protocol [Ed - a serious breach of club rules this]. The Superstars reply started with controvsery with Gaught incorrectly given out caught behind, but Walker and Patwal attacked the short boundary in particular and both reached 50. Gundry's 29no included some lusty end of innings blows and Superstars were 43 ahead when a ccracking tea was enjoyed.
It was agreed Superstars would bat first second time around, partly to ensure both sides had use of a new ball and partly to set a target. Superstars carried on with their batting order so Anand and Goel opened. While a succession of batsmen came and went Sandeep played an excellent opener's knock and retired for an invaluable 50 that kept the innings on track. In the end Remnants were set 162 to win in the 4th innings of the game. They started steadily with as befits a fourth innings it was the spinner, in this case Duggan, who turned the game with a wonderful double wicket maiden. With assistance from Anand and the loosened up Gundry wickets came at regular intervals to ensure Remenants were playing out the last few overs - Barry even had the luxary of granting Gaught an over.
Team: Gigg (c, wkt) Walker, Goel, Moxon, Gundry, Gaught, Anand, Taylor, Duggan, Patwal, Plahe
A good victory for Superstars against strong opponents which sealed a "winning tour" (the third in four years). An excellent tea with the opposition was another high point too.
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