Richmond U11A start the season with a convincing win over Indian Gymkhana
By Tom Barrand
"Button to chin, till May be in, Cast not a clout till May be out”
This old English saying could not be more apt than for today’s chilly encounter with Indian Gymkhana. In the frozen and darkness of a lovely Indian Gymkhana ground near Osterley, RCC U11As showed us all what they are capable of when playing well as a unit. To the man, the dedication and determination was displayed, with a victory just reward for some (at most times) great cricket.
RCC U11A batted first, with Hugo and Finlay opening, knowing that from hereon Middlesex do not require any player to retire (what more incentive does one need?). After seeing off a couple of Middlesex borough/county bowlers and some very tidy bowling from IG which yielded a modest 50 runs after 14 overs, the flood gates opened and in the final 6 overs an additional 51 runs were scored at more than 8 an over. This was thanks to Finlay opening those shoulders and biffing a a few mighty fours, with Hugo continuing his mammoth run accumulation which saw him ever so nearly reach our age group's first ever 50. Hugo ended NOT OUT on 46, while Finlay’s innings ended on 25 while trying to hit another mighty boundary but unfortunately caught at mid on. With debutant Nikhil coming in for the final few overs, he and Hugo managed to get the score over the magic 100 number to the great delight of their teams mates. Credit must go to Nikhil for sacrificing his wicket on the last ball trying to earn that extra crucial run.
So RCC U11As set IG a target of 102 to win……..
With 101 on the board, and the cold and gloom starting to take its toll on the long suffering parents (and manager), RCC U11As took to the field to defend their score. One of the key ingredients of this side is the strength and depth in bowling, so 100+ was certainly defendable. Findlay and Sam opened the bowling and managed to restrict IG to 13 off the first 5 overs, which included an ever so nearly caught and bowl chance for birthday boy Sam (must have hurt), and a sublime piece of fielding at point by Nikhil (you had to see it to believe it. Was something you don’t often see at this level of cricket). Then in came Arjun and Finn who further squeezed the opposition, before the first wicket fell, a clean bowl from Finn, following which 3 balls later a cracking bit of fielding and direct hit from Arjun Gandhi saw their other opener return to the hutch. After a few nice tidy overs from Fraser, Chris, Ollie, Nikhil and Hugo, we saw the return of Arjun who took a wicket caught by Hugo (a blinder taken low down). With the runs not coming quick enough the urgency from IG picked up a pace, and their best batsmen was then lured into skying one off Sam’s return over, gratefully gobbled up by Finlay. Findlay then had the luxury of bowling the last over knowing that IG needed 27 runs for a win which was of course never going to happen ….. thankfully Brathwaite was NOT playing……..and IG finished on 76-4
RCC U11As therefore won by 25 runs
There were a few outstanding performances today. I was very impressed with the way Finlay opened his account this season with a measured 25, despite facing county standard opening bowlers. It was also great to get to see Nikhil come in for his first game for Richmond U11s (here’s to many more runs from him!), who looked exactly the part we all know he is capable of. On the bowling front Arjun started as he left off last year with some great control and swing, and some really good fielding. And behind the stumps Oscar is becoming an outstanding wicket keeper, made harder today by the fact it was so dark. I could barely see through the gloom let alone follow a ball. Credit to him for that. However for me the outstanding player and therefore my MOTM for his 46 Not Out, some tidy bowling, and a cracking catch was Hugo. Keep it going H!
We play Sunbury at home next week……onwards and upwards!