11 months ago
By Chris Goldie
The 1st XI played well at Ealing and were unfortunate not to secure the winning draw. However there were defeats for all other sides.
League Saturday 10 and another difficult weekend for Richmond with virtually a whole team of senior players unavailable for what are always tough fixtures against Ealing. The 1's saved us from another pointless day with a hard-fought and well deserved 2 Point draw against the league leaders who had only failed to win one match out of 9 prior to this match. However the 2's, 3's, 4' and 5's all came up short.
At Corfton Road, Griff lost the toss - our 7th lost toss in 10 games - and we found ourselves in the field again. Fair to say, the first hour did not go our way as Ealing's openers set about some wayward Richmond bowling to race to 111 without loss in less than 20 overs. However, Richmond's spinners, Abdullah Nazir and Abhishek Jhunjhunwala in particular, pegged the home side back, taking wickets at regular intervals taking 4 and 5 wickets respectively. Ealing, perhaps surprisingly batted their full allocation of overs and declared at 288 for 9 off 66.
In reply, Richmond did not score a run for the first 5 overs as Ealing's openers demonstrated great control and when James Irvine-Fortescue went with the score on 12, there was a lot of work to. However, by building partnerships, Richmond's reply was strong and, although the rate was rising, there was always a chance of a positive result. But, we lost wickets when we least needed to and in the end, had to settle for a 2 point losing draw 9 down, just 3 runs shy of the winning draw. Ben Compton top scored again but there were also positive contributions from Bhavesh Pankhania, Abhi, Alex Griffiths and David Blows. A heartening but ultimately frustrating performance.
The 2's, much understrength, restricted Ealing to 230 for 9 with all 9 wickets falling to Kshitij Desai who bowled unchanged at one end. After a great start from Stephen Bail and Zain Bhatkar, Richmond seemed well-placed but it was not to be. Some rash shots, some inexperience and steady bowling saw wickets tumble and Richmond lose by 63 runs.
The 3's suffered a similar fate. Ealing scored 162 with Niranjan Shimoga taking 6 for 61 but the batting failed and we were dismissed for just 121. The 4's batted first and scored 143 against North London who chased it down the loss of 6 wickets. The 5's managed to field a side, primarily thanks to Colts patents Mohammed Sait and Neil Wharton and some of our keen youngsters but MTSSC 3's were too strong and we lost by 9 wickets.
So all to play for in the last 8 weeks. The simple fact is that availability must improve as must individual performances.
Updated 09:06 - 23 Jul 2017 by Richard Zotov