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Match Report
For the first time in our history Superstars travelled to Mill Hill CC to face St. Anne's Allstars, in what can't be described as a star-studded match up. The serene surroundings, with cows grazing the open fields and greenery as far as you could see, looked more accustomed to a village setting rather than zone 4 on the Northern Line. The pitch itself looked in good condition with short straight boundaries and a slope across the pitch similar to lords, the only comparison which could be made to the home of cricket that afternoon.
Following a turbulent week for sport in which the ESL was both formed and disbanded there was an element of normality as Gigg returned from the middle having lost the toss meaning Superstars were asked to field first. The green wicket certainly provided some assistance to the Superstars' opening pair of Chodzko-Zajko and Plahe. The bowling and, in most part, the fielding was excellent as St Anne's were restricted to only 11 runs in the opening 9 overs, presumably some sort of niche Superstars record.
However, it was the first change of H.Kumar who made the breakthrough with Sears taking a well-judged catch at short third man. This brought the effective number 3 to the crease who looked to increase the scoring rate. He looked relatively untroubled as St Anne's headed into the drinks break now moving towards a competitive total. The drinks break gave Superstars an unexpected lift as S.Kumar, relaxed by his choice of lager refreshment, found the edge of the number 3 with Warren completing the catch behind.
Runs and wickets continued to flow as Gigg rotated his bowlers, Aranha picked up two wickets in a tidy spell of bowling, beating the batsman's inside edge and finding the off stump on both occasions. The Superstars fielding was noticeably above average but amongst the good there was one comedic drop when, with three players circling a high ball, Aranha appeared to call for the ball, this call was in fact was a shout of "where has it gone" before the ball predictably made its way to the ground.
It was left to Chodzko-Zajko and Plahe to finish off the innings with the latter picking up a well earnt wicket, through the stumping of Warren, to finish with impressive figures of 5-3-7-1. St Anne's had scored 169-5 off their 35 overs which many considered to be a 'good score'.
Superstars opened the batting with Warren and Bishop facing an aggressive St.Anne's field. Despite the (relative) lack of run out drama there wasn't a shortage of wickets as Warren (8), Bishop (2), Hewlitt (10) and S.Kumar (4) all fell cheaply to leave Superstars staring down the barrel at 28-4. The reliable [for run outs? - Ed] Gigg was joined by the Harris who hit some hefty blows before also departing for 11.
This brought Sears to the wicket and the pivotal moment of the match. While struggling for clean connection early on Sears started to find the middle of the bat and Superstars continued to build the partnership at a steady rate. Sears passed 50 and the partnership passed 100 (the second century stand in two games, again likely to be a niche Superstars record).
In the 29th over Sears was bowled for an excellent 67 but Superstars looked to be cruising to victory with 12 needed off 6 overs and 4 wickets still in hand. Gigg and Thomson played out two sensible overs and victory was in sight with 5 needed off 4 overs. Stay tuned reader. After two unremarkable overs Superstars needed 3 to win off the last 2 overs before a double-wicket maiden, with the bowler at one point on for a remarkable hattrick, sent panic through the Superstars ranks. This still left 3 remaining but now off the final over. Following 3 dots balls (!!!) Gigg finally found the gap and scampered back for 2 before hitting the winning run the next delivery to end on 44*.
All in all, an excellent day's cricket and good preparation for the Gigg-Bishop run-out-athon next Sunday. St Anne's were an excellent opposition and on another day could have taken the win, we look forward to more matches in the coming years!
Barry Gigg (c), George Warren, Gary Plahe, James Hewlett, Arron Harris, Matt Sears, Konrad Chodzko-Zajko, Harish Kumar, Chris Thomson, Sandeep Kumar Chintala, John Bishop, Merv Aranha.
Matt Sears and Barry Gigg's partnership of 113 was a new club record for the 6th wicket. This replaced Meyler/Anand (94) v Dodgers in 2014.
Superstars had century stands in two games running. I'm not checking that but i'd be amazed if either have happened before.
The dropped catch (essenitally by Merv) was an early contender for that end-of-season award.
Matt Sears' 67 was his highest score for the club. Aaron Harris scored his 100th run for the club.
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