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Match Report
Superstars gathered surprisingly early for the game against Bricklayers Arms at Wandsworth Park; even JB was on time. Even more surprisingly, Barry won the toss and opted to bat first.
However an inspection of the pitch revealed alarming craters which Paul G likened to the surface of the moon.
George and Matt opened and the pitch quickly showed its character. Matt went early, bowled by one that seamed and kept slightly low (much worse was to come). George and Paul G dug in and chiselled out some runs mostly in singles in the face of straight bowling. The introduction of spin brought Paul out of his shell as he shimmied down the pitch and lofted one for 6 (to the crowd's amazement). Eventually and inevitably the pitch came to the fore again with Paul (15), Diwaker (2) and George (13 all in singles) torpedoed by shooters.
Gigg went quickly and Sam, having made a bright start was out in the obligatory comedy moment. A ball jumped at him so that he could only parry it skywards, the fielders closed in but could not get to the catch, however Sam in a state of confusion or panic started to run, was sent back and comfortably run out. Was it a coincidence that JB was at the other end for yet another run out? On this occasion perhaps it was.
JB steadied the ship and once he got his eye in, accelerated things a bit until he ran out of puff and retired exhausted with the high score of 22 (or was it average protection). By this time we had agreed to bowling from one end to avoid the sun behind the bowler's arm at the west end. Harish went first ball, Gary hit two fours and then trod on his wicket for a 3 ball 8 and Chris was stumped off the last ball trying to get the left arm spinner away, leaving Mike D on 13 not out. Our total was 102 with extras joint second-top scorer alongside Paul.
On a difficult pitch 102 felt defendable and Gary got us off to a good start with a couple of quick wickets courtesy of the pitch again. Harish and Sam were steady enough but the Bricklayers were always above the required rate and we were not finding the same devil in the pitch that they did. Of course it might have helped if we had hit the deck more often instead of bowling so many full tosses. Changing to spin bought us a few more wickets (Chris T, Mike D and Diwaker getting one each) but at the cost of more runs as the home team exploited the short, downhill legside boundary and they strolled home with 3 overs and 5 wickets to spare.
Drinks outside The Bricklayers Arms (which is always further away than I remember) were interrupted by an (over-)friendly Scot and we made our way disconsolately home.
Barry Gigg (c), Michael Duggan, Sam Farnham, Paul Gaught, Matt Conway, Aaron Harris,
George Warren, Chris Thomson, Diwakar Patwal, John Bishop, Gary Plahe.
This was Diwakar Patwal's 50th Superstars match - which he celebrated with a peach of a delivery.
Another dodgy old wicket - perhaps Wandsworth maybe, just may be, appoint shoddy private sector companies to do their cricket pitches.
Good fielding by a dog early in our fielding innings.
Match Action and Scorecards